27th July 2014: Hike to Pico Cutiales

We’ve had a busy day. I rose early and collected croissants and put the washing on. Then we ate breakfast, washed up and got ready to go hiking before hanging the washing out.

We started the hike by walking down into Potes from the campsite. Then we contoured around the hillside and followed a neighbouring valley. After an hour or so, the path began to climb steeply. Although it was a beautiful sunny day, thankfully it wasn’t too warm yet, and there was plenty of shade from bushes and trees along the track. We reached the top (Pico Cutiales) after about 2 and a half hours, where we enjoyed stunning views of the Picos de Europa mountains. On this photo I am attempting a pistol!

Looking forward to a cold beer, we then set off for a remote village called Tudes, high in the hills, where the guidebook advised us there was a bar. The village was beautiful and the pub exceeded our expectations. Called La Taberna des Ingles, the walls were decorated with murals, some of English history (such as Francis Drake, Walter Raleigh and George and the dragon), some of stars (such as The Beatles and The Rolling Stones) and some of local villagers. The bar maid was very welcoming but couldn’t speak English. However, we got by and were soon enjoying a plate of Iberican meats, a house salad with goats cheese, olives and almonds in a lovely honey dressing, and patatas bravas.

When we emerged from the pub after lunch it was much hotter. The route back was mainly downhill through a couple of deserted villages, scrub and bushes, and cork forest (see below for a photo of a harvested cork tree). However, the sun was high and there was little shade. Thankfully, the bar maid had refilled our water bottles, we’d applied sunscreen, and I had put my hat on. Nevertheless, I was glad when Potes came into view after about an hour and a half.

Before heading back to the campsite, we decided to rest in the shade for a bit in Potes. We chose a bar by the river and ordered a bottle of the local Asturian scrumpy-like cider. This is poured into the glass from a great height. We did attempt this but couldn’t manage to get much height without pouring cider all over the table!

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