Picos da Europa expedition 2015: day 5


This post is part of a series that briefly describe an inspiring expedition to Picos da Europa, Spain, during the Spring of 2015. The complete series follows:


 

 

The night was calm and re-energizing. The hotel uses a generator for electricity that is shut down at mid-night. After that moment, absolute silence! Only the sound of the wind persists. Some adventurous fellows stayed up and made some nice night sky images. I’ll have to come back to this amazing place and stay here a bit longer for those types of images…

 

06:00 sunrise session

This session felt easy at first. The main viewpoint was 100m from the hotel door and there we all stand facing El Naranjo, waiting for the first sunlight to hit it, still smooth and orange as expected. I felt frustrated. I knew this was the spot, but is was everybody’s spot. Everyone would have the same image, with minor differences between ourselves. That is clearly far from my goal in photography.

First light

First light

 

Simply indescribable textures and so much cold!

Simply indescribable textures and so much cold!

So after taking the first light image, I realized pastor Luis was down in the valley running away from some cows (yes he is in the first picture above; a small blue dot in the background). That was the spark that moved me. I went down the hill, following the small mountain stream and all the beautiful waterfalls, flowers, rocks and this magnificent green carpet that filled the whole valley.

Small flowers fill the area

Small flowers fill the area

Tricky shot (making of picture capture with cell phone)

One of many tricky shots (making of picture capture with cell phone)

The cows chewed the grass with curious look completely unafraid and as long as I kept a respectable distance (the closer I got was about 6 meters), they wouldn’t even bother shaking me off.

Water everywhere

Water everywhere

Going down was the easy part. At this altitude oxygen privation is already noticeable, at least for me. The return to the hotel was uphill all the way and it took me some time to do it. Specially when I kept finding more and more lovely subjects to shoot.

10:30 breakfast

Breakfast was more in the line of breakveryfast. A lot to pack and prepare to leave this lovely hotel and surrounding fields. But hey, that’s life. Instead of spending cycles in feeling sorry, I tried to absorb the most out of it ans start building a plan to return here with the whole family. I’m positive they would enjoy if not love this as much as I did.

11:00 return to Lisbon

The trip back home had its high and low moments. At around 11:00 we left the hotel, this time with the convenient support of the 4×4 held by the hotel. It took 2 rides to carry all the gear and passengers to the lift. This was a heavy duty road, with a lot of rolling stones and some “too narrow for my taste” bits of the road. I was in the first load and that gave me some time to explore the zone close to the elevator.

The view from above, the fresh air and strong uplift wind gave you the real feel of the high mountain. Soon we were descending, flying back towards the cars that were parked right where we left them. Aching body of all the abuses of the previous days, getting into the car and setting my mind for the long road ahead wasn’t actually a picnic, but on the other end of the road, family was waiting, so with that thought in mind the trip begun. We crossed the mountains and got to the plane. The skies were amazing. White cotton-like clouds against the deep blue sky. We stopped for lunch in a small town and from there, apart from a nice meal, was the picture in the laddies room.

Confusing gender selector

Confusing gender selector

 

After lunch the inevitable road waits for us targeting Portuguese border. The pavement is very good and we keep a good pace with little traffic. Somewhere during this period, I see a big shinny trailer. I couldn’t resist taking a snapshot. It was our selfie with car included 🙂

On the road selfie

On the road selfie

Up ahead the skies turned dark and ugly. We could see at the distance the water pouring down. It was an automagic commute: as soon as we crossed the border, rain, rain and some more rain. almost 400 km of it up until Lisbon where we arrived around 19:00.

Back to the start. It is always good when that happens :)

Back to the start. It is always good when that happens 🙂

Today, almost 3 months away, as I’m writing these lines, I don’t recall the aches, the lack of sleep or the cold. I do remember the freshness of the air, the smell of the fields, the excitement of being there and the fabulous scenery that we were presented with. The companionship and the healthy group that took part in this adventure were certainly big contributors to this overall feeling.

 

As a summary:

We spent 5 days driving in thin mountain roads, going through everesty piles of manure, wet, cold weather, sleep deprivation, soared bodies  and what not. Was it worth it? Hell ya! Will I be back? Just try to stop me….

That's what I call an Everesty pile of manure. Fits a 19'' rim!

That’s what I call an Everesty pile of manure. Fits a 19” rim!

 

 

 


This post is part of a series that briefly describe an inspiring expedition to Picos da Europa, Spain, during the Spring of 2015. The complete series follows:

9 months ago, I was challenged by Foto-Nature for a photographic expedition to Picos da Europa National park (PENP) in
Planning is at least 50% of the fun. Being a planning freak adds to the joy. Trying to think in
The screening process of what to take, at least for me is a hard one. I don't want to take
Still decisions, Thanks to fabulous contributions and messages in my facebook page, the topic around what equipment to take is
Packing: DONE! this is a late entry in the post series as I was working on the packing till late
No news 🙂 Full days with a lot going on not just around the trip.
A post that considers bot the T-4 and T-3 days. Yesterday, a day mostly dedicated to the family, with a
Getting soooo close I can almost smell it 🙂 (as in the cold air in the high mountains) with hours
As I start writing this new set of posts, less than 24 hours have gone by since arriving from the
The morning started early: after 3 hours of deep and fast sleep, the alarm clock went of at 5:00. And

 

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