Somiedo National Park. It´s also a biosphere reserve, and it´s gorgeous! I felt right at home in the park and Asturias as a whole, and, funnily enough, we met quite a few Asturians with family working in Canada. Maybe it´s the wide, open spaces. The beautiful natural places. The friendly attitude. The roast meat...
Anyway, this park was a bit of a drive from our home base in Oviedo, but we wanted to check it out since we had heard it was a hiker´s dream. Indeed.
We got some funny looks in the trail office, with several people commenting we should stick to the driving routes with Baby. We didn´t listen. By then we were well into our Babymoon and knew the right way to ask questions:
"Hello, we´re on our Babymoon. He loves being outside as much as we do! We´d like suggestions for trails that are well maintained, scramble-free, and under four hours."
This day we got two suggestions, so we thought, hey, try one, and if there´s time, head for the next!
Trail one, nicknamed Sun-Shade Trail, is 6km long and takes about two and a half hours. First, you leave your car at the edge of a tiny mountain village. Then you get distracted by leather goods and other handicrafts, and of course homemade cheese. Back on the trail, you wander along a country road, meeting farmers and a few other hikers. This trail had a number of bikers, too. The trail winds its way through farmland and a few copses before starting to climb up through a shady forest.
We picnicked and played with Baby at the halfway point, on the shores of a mountain lake, before heading back down on the sunny part of the trail. This part was mostly on a cement track. I suppose you could cut your time if you went there and back on this part. We walked by small farms and some traditional houses and huts, and came across many a cow. We also passed a man we´d seen in the tourist office. He hadn´t commented, and now he stopped to say hello, and how nice it was we were out with Baby.
We finished the trail in good time and in good spirits, so off we went for route number two, Lagos de Saliencia. If you´re really ambitious, start early, and maybe don´t have a baby, you can join the two routes into one super route. It would be great!
This is a linear route, and the nice thing about linear routs is that you can just turn around when you´re tired. We didn´t see all the lakes along this route (which would have included the Valley Lake we´d seen in the morning), but we stopped at the first three, and saw another from a lookout point. It was a very rolling route, over some rocky trails.
We saw someone wave, and who should it be but the man who´d stopped us earlier, amazed to see us again with Baby. "Animo!" he said.