The Atlantic Coast of Portugal can be a bit crowded so a route east of Porto along the Duoro River into the Mountains then north to the spa city of Chaves was the best option
It was a great choice; clear windy roads and wonderful scenery.
It was a short ride to Chaves less than 150km but storms ahead dictated the length of the ride.
And the storm came casting an grey pall over the old centre of Chaves.
While Chaves is a Spa town the waters are used primarily for therapeutic use rather than leisure so lolling in a hot spa wasn’t an option. But drinking warm mineralised spa water straight from the spring was.
Cups are filled straight from the Spring.
The rain cleared over night and it was a clear run over the mountains into Spain
So it was goodbye Portugal
And hello Spain,
Confirmation I was in Spain came at Astorga and its Gaudi designed building.
The route headed around Leon and into the Picos de Europa.
I had travelled to the Picos in 2018 and it was a great opportunity to revisit.
The road to Riano to Potes is just beautiful.
From Potes in the town plaza there is a magnificent view of the central Massif of the Picos de Europa
Just 23km on from Potes is Fuene De in the heart of the Picos and one of the most beautiful camp grounds I have stayed at in all my travels
From Fuente De there is a Cable Car that ascents 753 Metres to a high plateau at about 1600 metres. There are number of walks in the mountains. One is an 11km return walk the ascends 770 metres to a refuge.
It’s a hard walk but the views spectacular.
Being up with the eagles.
Fuente De is a short ride back to the ferry port city of Santander. It was such very different circumstances arriving in Santander than it was in 2020.