Monday, 19 December 2016

Chamois, a Wild Goat-Antelope, In the Cordillera Cantabica.

Having seen an Iberian Wolf, we had felt on a high, but we also realised, a Brown Bear would not be walking out in front of us anytime soon!
We had headed on for a night stop at Aguilar de Campóo. With the snow capped mountains all around us, cold clear skies, with such stunning scenery.

We had searched for supplies in Salinas de Pisuerga, not a shop in sight!

We headed for the town of Guardo. The route took us across a rugged plateau, Golden Eagles were seen hunting, in front of the rugged mountains, Common Wheatears, migrating North, perched atop fallen stones, in search of a snack.

After Guardo, the scenery became vast and bleak, with the snow line, about to meet us, we were constantly scrutinising the mountain sides, in the hope of seeing Chamois.
A few years ago, this act had produced a good result, when we found Iberian Ibex in Almeria province.

And once more it worked, we got a sighting as we approached the Puerto de Monteviejo, just south of Riaño. In the Cordillera Cantabrica.

We had seen them before on the high mountain sides of Zuriza, in Navarra, there we could only discern them, through our telescope.

These guys seemed as happy to watch us!

They actually seemed quite inquisitive!

The leader decided enough, and they started their retreat, back up the mountain.

Their last glance back!

That's it, they were off and good luck to them!

Riaño, looked wonderful, but also quite desolate, as we passed around the shores, of the Embalse de Riaño.


As we approached, the Puerto de San Isidro, the snow was getting quite deep, but the very efficient Spanish snowploughs had cleared the road.

There was no stopping, as we passed over the top, and started our descent into Asturias.
Through the tunnel at the Puerto, with its huge 18" inch long icicles, the road, only just passable, albeit we could not turn around had we tried. The steep mountain sides seemed to whisper avalanche! draped thick in snow, this was a very different World to our accent, and yes in two sections of our descent, avalanches had fallen, damaging the road, but we had no option but to continue. 

We did not stop, for any photographs until we had passed through the village of Felechosa, and out of the snow!

We parked for the night, safely at (Aller) Cabañaquinta, and rewarded with the sight of a male Bullfinch.
What a superb day of "travels".

Tomorrow we head for the Reserva Nacional de Somiedo,
Brown Bear, not a chance, not even a glimpse.

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