The guide book is a liar. The descent was long and not too steep after being sold as treacherous and the climb was long but of reasonable grade and not hard. There was no bar in La Mesa! Why publish the thing if it’s a god damn liar. A little grumpy from being under caffeinated? Maybe.
Weather was warm, humid and a little overcast but mostly pleasant. We had a brief sharp climb to a ridge with many wind turbines and then a long drop into a valley to a hydroelectric dam followed by a long climb up to Grandas de Salime. Only about 21 km with about 1000 m of elevation gain trail was mostly dirt and tree covered with many switchbacks on the down and up.
We were unsupplied by bars for 4.5 hours and this made me feel a bit like Shackleton – even prisoners don’t go an hour in Spain without being offered refreshments.
The dam has that certain Brutalism that only concrete of a certain age can convey. Strangely ornamental pieces of art were also present – a concrete lookout in shape of a whale’s mouth. Sculptures embossed onto the walls of the machinaty buildings. These looked out of place with the purely utilitarian look provided by the concrete and the abandoned workers quarters and concrete works. The walls of the restaurant where we had dinner tonight were adorned with images of 65 meter mural that is inside the turbine room at the dam and an illustration by the artist made for the owner by the artist.
Dam art information Cool stuff!
We had lunch at a hotel just above the dam. Just a sandwich and 6€ of most expensive ice cream in free world. Who said entrepreneurship/banditry was dead in Spain. It’s more surprising how little we are gouged by bars and restaurants that it’s a shame to bring it up. Often just too tired to bitch to the gougers but always happy to be extra appreciative for kindness.
Niel’s blog – in Danish but chrome will translate
He was suffering today but was going on a bit further to Castro to a well reviewed Auberge for compensatory hospitality for a rather inhospitable experience last night.
We had our last, and best, Asturian dinner with great bean stew and much animal protein. We had a nice chat with a 70 year old (looked 55) Catalonian at the adjacent table.