hiking Picos de Europa, Spain – day 3

Trip ReportPicos de Europa Circuit – by site editor Rick McCharles

This was the most photogenic day. Amazing.

I started by climbing up from Bulnes La Villa through high pasture land towards the central summits.

trail-to-mountains

green-pasture

I was looking forward to the iconic peak of the Picos, Naranjo de Bulnes.

Bulnes

It’s a world class climbing destination, obviously. But I was more surprised by the normally shy Chamois that hang about the Vega d’Urriellu refugio (1953m) as if they are domesticated.

Chamois

A cable assisted scramble takes you up and over Torre de los Horcados Rojos.

cable-climber

At the top, this weird silver igloo draws your eye. What the heck is it?

refugio

That’s Cabaña Veronica (2325m), once an American aircraft carrier cannon mount. Three hikers can sleep in it.

The most difficult part of the entire Circuit for me was the section from Veronica to Refugio Collado Jermoso. Here’s the high, bleak terrain. There are cairns at the start. But soon you’ll be guessing wildly, route finding and scrambling for a couple of hours. Convinced that you are hopelessly off route.

A GPS is essential. …

Picos

Somehow I made it. As did a dozen other hikers that day. Many, I noted, arrived late to the refugio.

This was my favourite sunset of the entire summer.

hikers-silouette

I set up the tent in a marvelous spot, very high with grand vistas in every direction.

tent-picos

Curious Chamois came by to check out my tent.

Chamois-tent

Hiking doesn’t get any better than this. .

tent-sunset

See the rest of my photos from day 3.

day 4

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