May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.
|Picking off peaks|
We started by taking a winding path through the mountains. I tried to take a photo that would give some perspective to the drive and the skill of the bus driver, but it all pales in comparison to the actual experience. Just suffice it to say that the W road in Chattanooga would be about the only local experience that comes close, and it doesn't have nearly enough hairpin turns, nor does "the Dragon" on Hwy 129 to compare to this. Let's not even discuss the single lane thread of road. But needless to say, our capable driver, Juan, got us to Point A. Which was Roque Nublo--Cloud Rock...That in itself should give you a clue!
|Roque Nublo roughly translated into English as Cloud Rock is seen in the distance...with a cloud on it.|
|As you see, we got the reward of having the cloud clear off for a while. Paul is in the foreground to give perspective to this monolith, which is 125 meters high (about 400 feet).|
The views into the valley below were intermittent with the misty cloudcover, but needless to say, it was very dramatic. We could see lower valleys and occasionally out to the Atlantic Ocean. Then the clouds would drift over us again and we'd see very little, but even that had its own special magic. From this point, we hiked to the base of the rock, and then back to road to get to peak #2 Pico de Nieves, the peak of the snows.
|The beginning of the Pico de Nieves trail in a picnic ground where we enjoyed a mortadella and local queso rojo sandwich which we bought the ingredients for in the ubiquitous Spanish SPAR grocery store.|
|High up within the clouds at Pico de Nieves. Although the view was frequently shrouded, occasionally it would move over and give us a peek into the valley.|
|Acusa Seco cave dwellings.|
But alas we made it safely back to our hotel in Aldea de San Nicolas. Dios mio!
|As you see, I am no worse for the wear!|
“Aren't the clouds beautiful? They look like big balls of cotton... I could just lie here all day, and watch them drift by... If you use your imagination, you can see lots of things in the cloud formations... What do you think you see, Linus?"
"Well, those clouds up there look like the map of the British Honduras on the Caribbean... That cloud up there looks a little like the profile of Thomas Eakins, the famous painter and sculptor... And that group of clouds over there gives me the impression of the stoning of Stephen... I can see the apostle Paul standing there to one side..."
"Uh huh... That's very good... What do you see in the clouds, Charlie Brown?"
"Well, I was going to say I saw a ducky and a horsie, but I changed my mind!”
― Charles M. Schulz,
Paul's Ponderings: Three hikes of differing lengths but all of interest....the first one with the rocks at Rogue Noblo was the payoff today....simply stunning views with a panorama across the valley to the sea and beyond. You won't see this at home as they say. We were quite lucky as the clouds held off long enough for us to see that panorama. The second hike was quite steep but we were socked in at the top for most of it. Both of these had quite brisk weather and we were glad we had multiple layers for the trip. Finally, the cliff dwellings....very much like certain ancient tribes in the USA.
We followed it up with another communal meal at a local bar here in Aldea......we have a great group to hike with this time with a variety of folks, mostly from the UK.
We are very privileged to be here as this is not a part of the world most folks ever visit. While I hate to be effusive, the mountains here are incomparable and incredibly scenic. That said, the hikes have been strenuous, but not quite up to the level of the Pyrenees a year or so back, which is welcome.
We've had a couple of folks ask about food....out here where we are, it is pretty much home cooking at this point. Lots of fish, potatoes, fried seafood, and such. We think it may be different next week in Las Palmas, but will wait and see. This is a very rural area for hiking and the amenities are limited. The weather today had no rain at all, but was quite chilly up high....maybe 40 degrees on the peaks....at lower elevation, it was more like 70.
The roads, as someone said, are about six inches more narrow than a large bus. We drove up and down on a roadway that would put Lombard Street in San Francisco to shame....and this was on a full bus meeting cars with huge ravines...can't say enough about our bus driver today, Juan.
Much more to come....more hiking tomorrow then adventures to come....we keep on keeping on....