My first activation in Spain proved to be an experience and quite unlike any done so far in Ireland. Porra de Enol is the summit at the top of the climb which starts at Covadonga. Covadonga is a well visited and documented location on the tourist trail. From the map it looks like a long twisty drive up from Covadonga to the car park at the lakes at the base of the summit. It is a long twisty drive up, but with conditions. As we discovered to our dismay, this road is closed to the public after 9AM and access is only by bus. Seems like a scam, but there is a good reason. The road IS really narrow and twisty and probably not suited to “amateur” drivers in whatever vehicle they happen to be in attempting it. Two camper vans meeting en route would get stuck and block access to everyone. So, the bus is a good idea and is cheap, only €9 return. Even if I did get there before 9, I would still take the bus.
The weather wasn’t great starting out, with light rain and low cloud but the forecast was to improve during the day, so we went for another walk first before attempting the summit. The summit itself is fairly straight forward, just don’t be tempted to take a shortcut by the lake. It’s very muddy. Stick to the road and follow the track towards the house / farm / building. Turn off the road at what appears to be a hitching post and follow the track upwards past a water trough. There is a sharp turn right and then just follow the track til you get to the top, marked by a small cairn. There is a small bit of climbing / scrambling required just below the summit.
The weather cleared up in the afternoon to reveal stunning views, giving us our first proper view of the peaks to the south.
The view of the summit
The small cairn at the top
Zoom in to see the happy sheep
Views of the Picos