Spring at Olmares
Spring has arrived and the mountains are waking up from their winter slumber - wild flowers and blossoms are putting on an amazing display with little eruptions of dazzling colour breaking out like hidden gems all over the mountain trails.
This is a beautiful time of year in the Picos de Europa, with vivid blue skies and daytime temperatures nudging 20 degrees, perfect for alfresco eating and exploring mountain trails. The clear star filled nights however are still just cool enough to warrant the occasional log fire, and evenings can be spent cooking a stew on the manor house fireplace whilst planning the next day's adventure over a glass of whisky or two.
I recently ran a route up to a point behind Collado del Salce which is a ridge with a panoramic view spanning the national parks of both Fuentes Carrionas to the South and the Picos to the North - it's an awesome spot and one of my favourites. It's quite a climb up though so you'll need a decent level of fitness but the views and sense of being in true wilderness are well worth it. If you pick up the trail that runs behind the ridge and keep going along you get amazing views through the trees to the snow capped peaks beyond.
If you keep along this trail you reach a steep uphill track on your right - this was my first time along here (there are just so many tracks to explore around Olmares) - if you follow this up through the oak trees you get to a secret little picnic spot. The track opens out into a flat field with stunning views.There's also an old felled tree lying in the middle which provides a perfect natural bench.
As I sat there drinking in the vistas some grazing horses gradually appeared silhouetted against the skyline off in the distance behind me - it felt like proper cowboy country! Next time I'll be back with the family and a picnic!