By Veronica

Estaon to Nibros

Yes, I signed up for another torture session with the serious walkers. I'm so unfit, I've never fully recovered from each walk by the time I start the next one. We set off from the village of Estaon, above Ribera, after some hasty shopping and the obligatory cafe con leche. As usual the forecast that had said there was 90% chance of drizzle all day was completely wrong. Luckily, the walk was once again through shady woods, but there was quite a bit of climbing involved. Also many pauses to clock yet more clouds of butterflies. After seeing a lone tigermoth for the first time yesterday, I must have seen a dozen today. Plus a few more new varieties, most of which I didn't manage to photograph.

Our destination was the abandoned hamlet of Nibrós, which used to be the summer accommodation for shepherds and cattleherds. Imagine how many flocks there must have been to justify this many substantial buildings! Nowadays it's in the middle of nowhere, miles from the nearest road. Actually it's not completely abandoned -- while we were resting, a couple of men appeared from one of the more robust looking houses and washed their lunch dishes in the stream.

The return was a bit easier, being mostly downhill on a dirt track,  except that we decided to detour to the hostel at the top of Estaon in the hope of a rewarding cold beer. This involved a bit of very steep rock scrambling when I was already knackered, so it was a bit disappointing to get to the hostel and find G and A sitting outside beerless. The hostel was open, and the proprietor had both cold beer and glasses available, but for some reason she had decided she wouldn't serve them to mere passers-by.

Stats: 8.5 km, 350 m climbing, and a rather disgraceful four hours (me) including rests -- G and A made it back to Estaon half an hour before we did. Bear in mind G is ten years older than me, has very dodgy knees and a hip replacement and can still leave me behind uphill!

We got home for a very late lunch: 3:30 pm, so we just had  pan con tomate and a bit of ham and cheese and then a restful afternoon, rounded off with the daily accordion and melodeon practice from A, which drew applause from passers-by. 

We'd booked into the restaurant for our last evening together; I'd worried it would be packed on a Saturday night, but in fact the campsite had emptied out and it was the quietest evening yet. As we arrived, the heavens opened and all the rain that had been forecast for the last three days fell out of them. We were cosy indoors for a lovely last evening of peasant food (props to G for trying the chickpeas and tripe) and chat.

The butterfly album is still to come ...

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