Another iffy weather day for us in Northern Spain, but we had to move ourselves from Llanes to Salas where our next hotel was booked.
Breakfast with cafe con leche, fresh juice and bocadillo at a café full of locals first though. Then packed the bikes and headed down to our first stop at Infiesto. Not really anything exciting but a good hour’s ride to start off with.
Rich chanced it whilst I put my waterproof on. Rode on an easy N-road only just skirting the foothills again as anything higher was hidden in dark clouds once more. I had clipped on my GoPro onto the windscreen taking a photo every 60 second just to see if that worked and captured anything good and it did a really good job. Maybe go to every 30 seconds next time as the ride was much more pleasant than what it captured.
Arrived in Infiesto still dry. Just got a cold drink from a supermarket and plotted a route on smaller roads to the next stop in Langreo. First the AS-254 then onto the AS-117. Looked like some nice little twisties and corners on the map. Not sure why both had different colours on Google maps though, one being orange and one green.
Off we went enjoying a little bit of sun and I had ditched the waterproofs now. Our AS-254 was a bit smaller and bumpier than anticipated but we followed a small river deep into a valley. Very pretty despite thick cloud now.
After five minutes the surface got worse and than worse again, but it was still doable dodging the many potholes, wet patches and bits of gravel and dirt at low speed. Definitely getting towards the maximum of our bikes abilities. This was much more adventure touring bike territory.
The scenery was dramatic though from what we could see. Towering steep hills left and right, the little river to our right and the lush green everywhere as we climbed gradually higher taking ever tighter corners and switchbacks.
We topped out at Collá d’Arniciu at 908 metres just as it started to rain. And thunder?! I thought I’d missheard, then the second one and I was… “What?!”. I asked Rich if we were hearing what we were hearing just as the third one very obviously made itself heard. Damn, we had just ridden right into a thunderstorm. And by “into” I mean we were pretty much in the clouds now.
Not knowing if the road would go any higher or along any exposed areas we had no chance but to quickly put the waterproofs on and bail. Back the way we came. Turned the bikes around and off we went. Only to find the herd of cows that had been by the side of the road now mostly on the road seeking shelter.
One straddler behind us gave a loud “Uhhhh” as she came racing down the slope to join her mates and possibly her calf. I thought she was gonna attack us with the speed, urgency and upset she was going but decided to canter along the others making their way down ahead of us.
There was nowhere to go for them that was off the road so we had to gently move through somehow hoping they would move aside… Which they did eventually. Phew.
Just as I was relaxing a bit making my way down those same tight rough corners now in the pouring rain I spotted my GoPro on the screen slightly off. Thought before it fell off completely I’d better adjust it and as I did on a brief straight bit of road it did indeed fall off… Ah FFS stupid woman!!! And broke the lens cover. The chances of that happening were miniscule yet it did happen, so I threw it into a pannier for now. Shit.
Made our way back to Infiesto after 30km of there and back for nothing but experience, haha. We’ll have a very close look at those green coloured road numbers from now on!
It was well after lunch time now so we had coffee and a sandwich plotting the next bit of route. Got our first experience of the big tray of nibbles waiters bring out occasionally walking around the tables for guests to help themselves. Yum.
The rain had blown through now and we chose a route on the solid N-roads and some motorway-esk orange ones up to Aviles and then back South into Salas eventually. The second part of the journey on the AS-16 was really lovely again with long sweeping corners and green hills.
Arrived in Salas quarter past four and even with not that much mileage today we were pretty knackered.
Casa Sueño looked like recently built or refurbished and the lady/owner at reception checking us in was super friendly. Got a spacious room with modern bathroom and high wooden ceiling.
Had a snooze and then a walk around the little village. Being right on the Camino it sports a few hostels and and a couple of hotels. The little central square is rather pleasant. Had a beer at one of the cafès and then got us some food at the restaurant right by the square.
It was just around half 7 now and people started coming out with their families so socialise, have a drink or food. Really enjoyed sitting there with excellent Asturian white wine and just chilling.
Food was pretty decent too and after a little chat with the very friendly waitress we went back to the hotel. What a day!
120 miles today plus 20 miles to the col and back.