Day 8 - Spain Trip - Pico de Europa, Potes

Day 8
Friday June 28
Pico De Europa

You know you are in a country that is green conscious when you have to wave your hands over your head while sitting on a toilet or you will be sitting in the dark! If no one else is in the bathroom the motion sensors go off quickly around here and it can be a bit unsettling at first!

Today we drove into the mountains. Tourist buses are not made to navigate twisty narrow mountain roads. There were plenty of times when we had to stop to let other cars squeeze between us and the mountain and at least once that we had a moment of oh crap now what when our motorcoach and a car were traveling in different directions and neither one of us had room to move!

Our destination was Pico de Europa, a national park with a mountain range. We took a cable car up the side of the mountain to amazing views and fantastic hiking. Many kids had some anxieties about traveling by cable car but they were glad they did it! After many pictures, we made our way through areas of grass, dirt, rocks, and animal droppings - lots of droppings. There were many reasons to keep your head down and pay attention to where you stepped.

We formed a long line of 74 people plus our two EF guides and the two mountain guides and twisted our way through the terrain until we reached a mountain lake; which really didn’t match my definition of a lake. It looked more like a place rainwater had settled. The air was thin and the sun was hot so a lot of heavy breathing and sweating was happening on our outing. The views were breathtaking and included rick formations, snow, meadows splattered with petite colorful flowers, and grazing mountain goats.

After making our way down the mountain we stopped in a small village for lunch. We piled into a small hostel that clearly took pride in their food. The owner served all of us and told us the meat was from cows on his farm. I had the fish which still had the head and scales on it.

On our way back to the hotel we stopped in Potes. I loved this little village and wished we had had more time to explore then the 30 minutes we were allotted. It was so quaint and quiet and the people were quite friendly.

Back at the hotel, our tour guides organized a soccer match between the two buses on the beach. The kids had fun but maybe not as fun as the parents who were cheering from the sidelines! Of course, our team won - I’m pretty sure it had a lot to do with their cheering section! When the game ended, the fun did not. The kids ran in the water with their clothes on and went swimming. They wadded across the waterway to dunes upon which they climbed up and over to the ocean and a nude beach. It was 8pm so there was only one old naked man there.  I’m not sure how some parents would feel immersing their kids totally in the culture that way!

The hills are alive!

The mountain lake is behind them...

a pet goose in the store!

The soccer match!

The spectators!


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