Daily Archives: January 11, 2018

A Gallimaufry

I generally try to have some sort of a theme, but I’m stymied in this post. It’s my own fault: I’ve left it so long that life’s rich tapestry has scrolled a long way down the road and I’ve lost the thread. I’m quite sad about it: one might almost say “Blue Bayeux” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HiMl4yX1JiA)

So I ask you to put up both with an atrociously forced pun and a bit of a hodge-podge.

In my last post, on our last night in Los Picos – Espinama to be precise – I promised to post some photos when time and inclination allowed: time hasn’t been a problem, but I’ve been, if not disclined, at least culpably dilatory. There are some photos at the bottom of this post.

What drove me to get my act together was the welcome news that Laurie Chancellor has gone to New Zealand. Let me rephrase that: he, along with Tina and another couple, is going there on holiday and decided to blog about it: I recommend looking at https://lauriesblog726204385.wordpress.com

Before posting pictures of our Picos jaunt, let me bring you up to date.

Soon after getting home, I joined Mrs M for a trip to Nice. It was really great and only slightly marred by my having a real stinker of a “cold” which eventually, some weeks later, required antibiotics to free up my lungs. I should have put the snuffling, coughing git in the seat behind me on the outward bound flight out of his misery. And mine.

We stayed in the Hotel Imperial, an establishment I had patronised before and which exemplifies faded glory. Madame is probably aged about 102 and runs the hotel almost single-handedly: Monsieur seems to have left us for a better place since my earlier visits but there are two part-time guys who alternate at breakfasts. This meal – the only times we ate in the hotel – takes place in a dining room whose 15 foot high double doors stop some distance from the ceiling which is decorated with classical looking bints in diaphanous dresses, surrounded by pretty curly-haired cherubs. There were one or two other folk staying in the hotel – we occasionally saw signs of them at breakfast – but the place is quiet as the grave, its silence only broken by the ancient lift creaking its way through the two or three floors. Apparently a Russian princess was born there: not specifically in the lift you appreciate.

Since Nice there have been a few outings to the hills: all enjoyable if not always culminating in reaching the summit. Hills seem steeper than they were in my youth: just one of the many things that were better in the old days.

When Laurie did a balancing of the books from our trip, my complete faith in his financial probity was confirmed as he announced that he owed me some money. We agreed it should be paid in beer at the Castle Tavern in town and fixed a date. At about 6pm on Friday 24th November, as I pottered round the house, it suddenly came to me in a flash: “I should have been in the pub an hour ago with Laurie, not dithering about here”. Unable to find his mobile number, I rang the house and was not surprised to be answered by Tina: when I explained my faux pas, she said Laurie had forgotten as well and was pottering around their house. He at least had an excuse, but as it should have been free beer for me, I was distraught. Our lives are so packed with social engagements we just managed to squeeze a reckoning in before he left for down under.

That’s me just about finished, but I’ll flag up the fact that I’ll be away on another walking trip in Spain at the end of February. This time it’s further south, in the Alpujarras, sort of foothills to the Sierra Nevada, near Granada. I may be in touch again about then. In the meantime, have a good year.

Now for the photos.

Picos route

Beefore we’d even started!

Day 1 – looking towards Bejes

Oddly reminiscent of Narnia

Picu Urriellu – El Naranjo de Bulnes

The refuge at Collado Jermoso, complete with bikini-clad senorita. Satellite dish not visible.

The start of the Cares Gorge

The Cares Gorge