Jan & Lynne’s Daffodil Travels – Picos

 Hello Everyone.
This could possibly be our last update for this trip as
we leave the Picos de Europa tomorrow(Monday 8th April), and head off
to Southern France and the journey back north over the next 7 days. 

The last ten days in the Picos have been very wet down in Potes, one of
the four main towns that sit at the four corners of the National Park.
In contrast to the mountain tops all around, which are covered in quite
deep snow. The roads up to the puertos are perfectly cleared of snow
but the drifts on either side are 3 metres deep! As you climb, or
descend, the snow gradually diminishes and you get a sudden blaze of
yellow covering the ground under the erica, gorse and broom bushes.
These are Narcissus asturiensis, millions of them, just lighting up the
mountainside as they hurriedly burst into bloom as the snow recedes.
These will be followed later, in May, by  Narcissus triandrus that are
already flowering 1,000 metres lower down, where the temperature is
slightly warmer.

Incidentally, do you know the difference between a Spanish snow-plough
and a British snow-plough? Answer at the end of this report! 

A day trip over to Covadonga and the two mountain top lakes(lagos)of
Enol and Ercina showed the difference in temperature between the
northern edge of the Picos and the much colder southern half of the
Park. No snow at all near the roads there only on the very highest
peaks. This was good because the Narcissus bulbocodium citrinus were
just coming into flower on the grass meadows surrounding the top lake
and Narcissus pallidiflorus was in perfect condition flowering slightly
lower down amongst the dwarf scrub and rocky slopes. These too, were
punctuated by sudden bursts of gold from the N.asturiensis and an
occasional scattering of ‘citrinus’ No obvious signs of any N x xavieri
to be seen although with both parents in flower at the same time, the
chances of a spontaneous hybrid is not out of the question, you just
need somewhere to pull up and spend a few hours searching for one. If
you’ve been up the road here, you will know what I mean about pulling

Another day trip up to Puerto de Piedrasluengas which is the valley
that cuts southwards from Ojedo near Potes, did have a touch of snow
but was well worth the trip up to see the asturiensis and triandrus and
quite a surprising number of N.bulbocodium on the flat wet fields of
the valley leading south towards Cervera de Pisuerga and the Embalsa de

We did make one aborted trip to Puerto de San Isidro to try and find N.
x cofinalensis(N.asturiensis x N.primigenius) but after topping Puerto
de San Glorio, Puerto de Tarna and finally Puerto de Las Senales we
decided that the height of the snow at this point was above the roof of
the motorhome and that any self respecting daffodils would be asleep
under a blanket of snow in that direction! We were also running out of
options on a turning point should the need arise. It turned out to be a
wise choice as we encountered fresh snow falling and laying at Puerto
San Glorio. 

Our last two days have been spent visiting the 2nd Annual Game and
Angling Fair in Potes. If you are a country pursuits afficionado, then
this is like the icing on the cake. Apart from the usual hunting,
shooting and fishing stalls and displays, all manner of rustic country
crafts are on display including, an Asturian clog maker using only hand
implements, artesan cheese, embutidos(preserved meats and hams),wine and
cider production, and most novel of all the impromptu ‘coro ronda’
singing farmers with their Gaitero(Asturian bag-pipes) accompaniment.

Seeing and hearing is believing! 

Well friends, we may well see a few more daffodils before we end our
trip for this year, however, we may not be in a position to send you
another report, so thanks for reading these few notes of our annual
trip to Spain etc. and we hope it encourages you to try it yourself
sometime. The country, the people, the food and drink are all
marvellous and the flora and fauna are magnificent.
Hasta el ano que vierne! 

Oh, by the way, the difference between a Spanish snow-plough and a
British snowplough is—- a Spanish snow-plough keeps roads OPEN!

Look forward to seeing you all at the shows. Assuming the road’s clear
when we get back?

 Jan & Lynne

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