A travel blog of a journey that I started in 2010 and I don't know when it will end ...

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Pedales de Léon. Léon Pedals. Peaks of Europe

New experience on the bike! This time in Leon (North Spain)!


Jordi, Santi and I have decide to do the circular mountain bike route Pedales de León (Leon Pedals).

This route is for 3 to 6 stages (according to preparation and desire to enjoy the scenery and places) to the mountainous eastern part Leonesa. A total of about 220 km and accumulated about +6500 m. The organization Pedales de León apart of organizes the accommodation bookings and informarte you about the route, they take your backpack between the accommodations.





To Leon we go by the super van of Santi! A long journey to begin to disconnecting ...


On the way we found the remains of Monegros Festival, wine from Rioja and much much lonely lanscape ....


Cistierna is the starting point of the route. As soon as we arrived we went to visit Eduardo, who is one of those whom organize the route.
He gives us some tips for dealing with the stages, a map and a roadbook just in case the batteries of the gps goes off .

The first night we stay at Hotel Rio Esla

The route starts!

Stage 1: Cistierna - Crémenes
Distance: 31,84 km, 19,7 miles. By the Romana path of Esla way
Accumulated rise: 902 m.
Villatges: Cistierna, Yugueros, Olleros de Sabero, Sabero, Valdoré and Crémenes.

Once we are on bikes, we cross the river Esla and climb to Yugueros, where begins uphill , strong rises that take us to the Collado de la Cerra from where we do a demanding descent one. To get to Sabero, we went through a path next to Olleros and Saelices where we can see old mining facilities.


Go back to rise to the Collada de los Carriellos. What a climb! We met a forest ranger that is walking . He explains some wildlife that are in the area and we chat.


We descend to Valdore and take a variant that has recommended Eduardo, the Roman path, much more straightforward than the original route and beautiful.


At Crémenes we arrive for lunch. We have made the first stage!
Lunch and at mid afternoon we go to the swimming pool and we do a swim to relax. The Center for Rural Tourism The Sabinar invite us.
when we have enough of regeton music at the pool bar, we decide to do a tour of the town ..
For dinner Cecina, cheese of Valdeón and wine of Posada del Bierzo.



Stage 2: Crémenes - Soto de Sajambre
Distance: 65,03 km, 40,40 miles. By the Viego way
Accumulated rise: 2.567 m.
Villatges: Crémenes, Corniero, Primajas, Viego, Valbuena del Roblo, Lois, Liegos, Lario, Polvoredo, Pío de Sajambre, Oseja de Sajambre y Soto de Sajambre.

In the morning they make us a big breakfast.
After passing through Corniero we begin raising the Collado of the Caperas for then come down to Primajas. It's hot and we are lucky that there are delighfull fresh water sources in each village we pass.


We take the alternative A of pedal of Leon, which passes through Viego . We raised up until the collado de Viego to descend to the Valbuena del Roblo where we take a small road to reach the beautiful Lois. At Lois we visit the church of classical style white marble stone and we have a drink.


We way up to Liegos and we eat lunch menu at Lario. From Polvoredo we started a long climb Zalambral Gate. At half of the way up starts raining, rains and it stops . We got wet, but not much ...
At the Gate Zalambral we have to get off the bike to not degrade the area. It's been a while that we have entered the Picos de Europa National Park and this point is critical.


We pass through a majestic forest where we see a couple of deer from oak, beech, ginger, heather and yews.


Until an hydroelectric Power plant Pio we descent in the middle of a road sickle stones and water .... lots of water.
when we have we go out of the forest we visited the plant and continue down to Pio by unsalted road. Now we have to rise to Oseja de Sajambre, and a bit more to Soto de Sajambre.
We clean the bikes, take a shower and drink a cider.


The village is very neat and you can do many routes from here. If we could stay another night we would climb the Peña Santa.


Stage 3: Soto de Sajambre - Villafrea de la Reina
Distance: 56,01 km, 34,08 miles.
Accumulated rise: 1.819 m.
Villatges: Soto de Sajambre, Posada de Valdeón, Prada de Valdeón, Santa Marina de Valdeón, Portilla de la Reina, Barniedo de la Reina, Los Espejos de la Reina y Villafrea de la Reina.


We have breakfast and we descent to to Oseja of Sajambre along a trail that follows the GR-201.
The ascent to Puerto Panderrueda along the GR-201 is brutal. It is very hard and demanding (dismounted), but the scenery you pass with the bike, is worth it.


Once we have reached the harbor, we go to the viewpoint Piedrashitas.


Brutal descent to Posada Valdeón. I really enjoyed
At La Pensión Begoña we have lunch (too much food) and we recover to face what's left of stage.
Valdeón cheese for dessert! Of course!

The ascent to Puerto Pandetrave (1557) is very hard. We ate too much and we have not begun to digest it.

Slowly, step by step, we go up. I remember a phrase of Sonia ( Biciwink ) at II Congress of bloggers around the world Problems? Will pass throught, as the flower next to the road while you pedal.


At the Collado we admire the view and the clouds that are growing, threatening us.

We descend to Barniedo de la Reina by road and trail to find Boca de Huergano Where we look for the Hotel Tierra de la Reina.
We clean the bikes and after a well deserved shower we fix a broken radius of Jordi and Change brake pads from Santi.


Beer and relax.

Stage 4: Villafrea de la Reina - La Mata de Monteagudo
Distance: 52,94 km, 32,8 miles.
Accumulated rise: 1.575 m.
Villatges: Villafrea de la Reina, Valverde de la Sierra, Besande, Priodo, La Red de Valdetuejar, Ferreras del Puerto y La Mata de Monteagudo (Virgen de la Velilla).


We start raising strong. Leaving the mist behind and gaining altitude to Collado de Varazón and start descend to Valverde de la Sierra and Besade where we take the Alternative B by Priodo. At Besade We raised by road to Puerto Monteviejo and we descent a very dangerous path to Priodo.



We wait for the person who carries the bread to bar and we eat a sandwich.
From here there is maintly a ciclable path up and down .

We visited the Santuario de the Virgen de la Velilla. They say that One neighbor in 1470 found in the small field the image of the Virgin.


We are staying next to the Santuario, at Centro de Turismo Rural La Velilla.


Stage 5: La Mata de Monteagudo - Cistierna
Distance: 25,77 km, 16,01 miles.
Accumulated rise: 623 m.
Villatges: La Mata de Monteagudo (Virgen de la Velilla), El Otero de Valdetuejar, Quintana de la Peña, Sorriba del Esla y Cistierna.

Good breakfast for the last stage.
As Eduardo said, this stage is a trick. It seems easy but it's hard.


We go bordering Peña Corado with strong and long rises. Showed up the four days on the bike.



We arrive at Quintana de la Peña abandoned villatge and we continue decline to the railway crossing Cistierna León - Bilbao.
At 5km from Cistierna Jordi breaks the reel (bushing) of the rear wheel. We are lucky that is close to finish the stage

When we arrive, the first thing we do is buy cheese and Cecina.


Then we go to Esla Rio Hotel to take a shower and go to your spa to celebrate that we have finished!


After lunch, we meet up with Eduardo, who gives the Maillot and a gift


The places we have seen for its majesty and for its flora and fauna so diverse.
we haven't seen bears or wolves, but we saw some deer and oak, beech, ginger, heather and yews.
And road back to Tarragona

Some Fotos (See full screen)