The Cares Gorge
Coffee in Asturias was becoming a problem. We had forgotten our espresso maker and besides the coffee in Spain was good, right? Trouble was we couldn't seem to get any before ten. Thus we were making later starts than intended. And then there was the temptation of that swim first thing, and those wave-induced smiles of Julian's as he bobbed and ducked...
Anyway, for our second attempt at a Short Walk Before Lunch (we had our eye on the place mentioned in the Guardian as serving highly calorific simple fare) we were on the mountain road by eleven. We chose not to have our coffee in either of the places called Poo (little did we know how symbolic these places would become)but instead in a small market town. In Arenas de Cabrales we replenished our walking sock supply in a shop that sold everything that you could possibly want and in which there there was not a single bar code. (Gold medallion souvenir blue cheese? Sure. Skip in back to brown box. Waterproof trousers? Sure. Skip in back to another brown box etc) Then, at my insistence, we bought a litre of water, a hunk of bread and a block of the cheese for which the region was famous. We were ready for our morning walk. In fact we were ready for anything. Almost. 'Just a quick visit to the tourist office' I said.
Julian hates tourist offices. He is the kind of guy that, rather than go to the information centre right in front of him to find out where the map shop is, he will walk round the entire town trying to find it. He is not a tourist office kind of guy. He is the kind of guy who eats the picnic while his wife is in the tourist office.
'The Cares gorge from Poncebos to Cain is only three hours each way' I said, emerging to find teeth marks in the cheese. 'Surely we can do it?'
Needless to say, our budget fabada (the highly calorific simple Asturian bean stew with chorizo and black pudding) at Casa Moran in Benia did not happen that day either. However, we did have a very tasty Magnum (a highly calorific simple chocolate covered ice cream popsicle thing) in Cain with our feet plunged in icy river water and the sun beating on our shoulders.