Sunday, August 30 Torrelavega
Awoke to thick fog this morning, but it cleared in the afternoon. We were not in any hurry as the ride back to Torrelavega was short and downhill so we walked around an empty town and took some pictures of the older and more interesting buildings with almost no one around.
We left Santillia del Mar mid morning and rode mostly downhill to Torrelavega, about 6 miles. The route since Santander has been following the Camino Pilgrimage. From today the Camino turns south then continues west through the mts. We met a Spanish couple (also bike riders) in the plaza near the tourist center in Torrelavega and joined them for coffee. They had a lot of good information that confirmed in part, our plans. They also advised us against some other places we were considering as they described them as not so interesting.
Sunday in this region is a sleepy time. There are some restaurants open, many bars open and very little else. Torrelavega is not on the tourist map for good reason. There is very little to do. We visited one exquisite Catholic church built in 1899
and rode our bikes around town to scope out the car rental agency for tomorrow. We plan to drive into the mountains to Picos de Europa to see the high peaks that are just inland from the northern coast. We also located the train station since we are planning to take the train on Tuesday to get us through the mountains and on our way toward Madrid. Dinner of Tapas at a bar in one of the many plazas.
Monday August 31st
Ed walked to pick up the Avis car at then we headed out of town. It was a foggy but a beautiful drive of 1 ½ hrs. through the mountains on a very small and windy road.
Every 3-5 Km we went through a village. We stopped at the small village of Potes for a break and walked around a street market that was going on in a side street.
We had coffee in one of the many, many bars/restaurants/coffee shops that are present in every tourist town in Spain. while sipping we noticed a carved sculpture wall hanging prominently displayed in one corner of our coffee shop. Beneath the carving we noticed 4 of the 5 subjects who appeared to be memorialized in the carving. What do you think?
After coffee, the last 12 Kms was up into the rocky peaks to where the cable car took us up the final 2600 ft. in 4 minutes. It’s the longest cable span in Europe. The top was around 7000 ft. and stunning.
This national park has all sorts of wildlife including ibex, wolves, eagles and grizzly bears. We were very lucky as the clouds up-drafted and came and went the whole time we hiked around the top. we even got some blue sky. It didn’t rain until we headed back down the mt.
Back in Torrelavega around 7 pm and struggled to find somewhere open for dinner. It was raining. We gave up and went to the market to stock up on supplies for a picnic dinner in our room.