Picos day 6

Today was another great day and our final day. It was also the coldest day. Yesterday we were OK in shorts for the most part, despite the presence of snow on the road. The following photos from yesterday are courtesy of Doug and Graham.

Today was definitely a case for full winter set up in the morning as, although the sun was out it was very windy – and also blowing in our faces too. I rode the first flat section and then the climb rotating the lead with Richard and Tony until Graham joined us – he had been suffering a Garmin malfunction which held him back at the start (and yes, I went on without him knowing that he would catch me anyway).

After about 35km there was an option to rode down the gorge to Caín and back before rejoining the main route. Though the legs were still burning from yesterday (and indeed from a week of significant climbing) and the “descent” included a short 19% climb as well as some 20% stuff on the way back up, this was an excellent move. We have seen lots of gorges this week, but this was the best one to gorge on!

Some great views before getting to the little village at the bottom. There was a short cobbled section of road there, so that was fun when climbing back up too!

I nearly stopped on a 20% section on the way back up, but remembering how difficult it was to get started again after stopping on the Angliru yesterday, I pushed on. Redemption time!

It had been 22 degrees in the sun trap that is Caín, but on the next climb the temperature plummeted to about 6 degrees (and it felt colder with the wind) and it started snowing! Only lightly, but it was snowing. Good job I also had my winter gloves and skull cap with me. It was actually snowing when I took the next picture, though that does not show up. Shame!

Ham, egg and chips for lunch. I have eaten too many chips this week, and also bread of course meaning that once again I now consist of 80% carbohydrate!

From there it was just one more push to reach the top of San Glorio. We had climbed this from the longer side on day 1 so were going to be descending from the summit back to our first hotel in Potes for the second time.

First, though, there was the optional extra 2km climb to the Mirador above San Glorio. This was well worth the extra push if only to see the bear!

I don’t take many selfies, but here is one of me with a bear behind.

A final long descent to the hotel and then it was time to dismantle the bike and box it up. There was a final optional extra of another 24km climb to Fuente De and back first, which Graham wanted to do but I did not. I’ve ridden about 800km (500 miles) with 16,000 metres of climbing and that’s quite enough for one week. It’s time to sort out my stuff in good time for dinner and in readiness for a 6am start tomorrow.

Now, I wonder what the gin is like here …….

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