Imagine green valleys, clean skies and barren peaks. You have just seen something what might look like Picos the Europa (the peaks of Europe). Jolien and I only spend their 5 days during our summer vacation in the North of Spain but these days will always remain in my memories.
What I would like to share with you today is our day hike from Fuente Dé to Veronica Cabin on peak Horcados Rojos (Torre de los Horcados Rojos). It is also a great starting point for a multiple day hike. As you approach Fuente De you see the high mountains rise in front of you. The town lies at the end of route CA-185 from Potes. Here you can get on the Cable car which brings you to the starting point of our hike, the lookout point El Cable.
We advise to come early if you want to take the cable car! We arrived at 11 AM and this meant that we had to wait 2 hours before we could go up. You can also walk up. Something which we may should have done. A well, after you go up with the cable car you get a beautiful view on the surrounding mountains and the valley. And if you are lucky you can see the lammergeier and eagles slowly flying over the valley in search of prey. They really make an awesome sight to see.
The first part of the hike is busy with a lot of families. But as you move up the mountain they become scares. Most of them turn right at the first mayor intersection because that is the way back down into the valley. And when you follow the road right you can also see the nests of the Lammergeier on the cliffs above you. Make sure you bring your binoculars otherwise you cannot distinguish a rock from a vulture.
We turned left on this intersection. As you walk ahead you will pass the lagoons of Lloroza. Most of them dry in the summer but the ones that still have water in it also have beautiful colors due to the alga in the water. During the summer farmers from the valley bring their life stock up into the mountains so it is possible that you come across horses, sheep and cows along the way. We took around 2 hours to climb to the cabin. We came across gravel roads but most of it is single track up a moonscape environment. We even passed a couple of snow fields so beware of sliding down the mountain. But this also adds to the diversity of the landscape.
As we reached the Veronica Cabin we saw that a person lived there who sells cans of lemonade. This is a welcome addition to our water supply and we took a well-deserved rest. And make sure you rest so you can take in the nature which surrounds you. The cabin is not the top of peak Horcados Rojos (Torre de los Horcados Rojos). But you can reach it if you continue the path. We did not do that because we were well past the middle of the afternoon and we still had to walk down.
Sadly we saw there also was a queue for the cable car on the way down. Meaning we could wait in the heat again for 1,5 hours and this time not in the shade under big trees. Luckily there was a concessions stand where we could buy cold water and luckily we brought our jackets with us. So we hide under our jackets to get some shade..
This brings me to tell you, bring sufficient water with you on the trip. And also warm clothing. The weather on top of the mountain is different to the weather in the valley. The temperature can vary up to 10 degrees because you are higher and the wind has free reign. This does not mean that you cannot get burned. So also bring your sunblock with you.