The arrow points to the Principality of Asturias
La Peral, where we spent two weeks immersed in the language and culture.
Closer view of La Peral
Lynn on the left with our instructors and new friends Alfredo and Jimena. They were not only superb instructors, but fine chefs as well. We ate very, very well.
Jimena in the kitchen, performing artistry with an Iberian Ham.
On our first day, we started with a hike up the valley above La Peral. We are passing a "Teito" here, a traditional stone building with a steeply pitched thatched roof.
Near a high pass above La Peral, we found these grazing horses. They are raised for meat, primarily for the French market.
Language instruction immersed in nature - a picnic lunch on our first excursion. We spoke nothing but Spanish for the two weeks we were with Alfredo and Jimena.
Out for another hike; Alfredo and trusty dog Rocco.
Alfredo and Jimena finding the trail.
Classic Cantabrian mountain scenery
A Meadow Pipit.
This traditional building, called an "hórreo" is raised on pillars to keep the mice out. It was/is used for grain storage.
An old building. Practically everything here, old or modern, is built of stone.
Another high village we passed through on one of our daily hikes, which began down in the valley.
A legless lizard, species unknown to me.
On this day our hiking excursion took us to the incredibly scenic village of Valle de Lagos.
A teito above Valle de Lagos.
A white wagtail.
A female Black Redstart
A local in La Peral. Note the traditional wooden overshoes, designed to keep the ubiquitous manure off one's indoor shoes.
We took an ancient cobbled trail up this gorge to a high pasture. Here we are returning to the valley.
A hiking visit to a high Braña, a cluster of huts used by herders in the summer. Most are falling into disuse now.
Chatting with a local who told us he is 92 years old. He still hikes up to these huts every day to manage his animals. It was about a 2000' climb.
A classic "teito", a summer herder's hut.
Chilling out with some local apple cider in Pola de Somiedo, the cultural and economic center of this part of Asturias.
Pola de Somiedo from above.
Actually doing some homework! We did far more hiking than studying, I'm afraid - our choice.
Another day, another hike in the superb landscape.
Passing through a fishing village on the coast trail.
Note the whale bone.
Alfredo explains a fine point of Spanish grammar during our coastal hike.
On this day we drove north to the coast and hiked about 15km along the sea cliffs.
Picnic on the coast trail.
Another wagtail on a typical orange tile roof.
Rebecos on the ridgeline above La Peral, where we often saw them.
This Rebecco had run a long ways when I took the photo. He is gasping for air.
The path above La Peral.
A Northern Wheatear.
Jimena takes us for a hike in the Silancia Valley.
Approaching the high lakes, Silancia.
A local poet displays his feelings about his pueblo.
Un hombre y su perro.
Hiking above Valle de Lagos.
A portion of the village of Valle de Lagos
Architectural detail, Valle de Lagos.
Departing La Peral.
After finishing our course of study at La Peral, we found it difficult to leave Asturias, and so went back to Valle de Lagos to stay in this "Casa Rural" for 3 days.
A panorama of Valle de Lagos from lower in the valley.
A high pasture above Valle de Lagos.
A braña above Valle de Lagos.
Evening above Valle de Lagos.
Valle de Lagos.
We hiked up and over these peaks in the Valle de Lagos.
A panorama of Valle de Lagos (the valley and the town have the same name.) The "Lago" is the lake at the extreme left end of the photo. The town is down to the right.