The first time I visited the renowned Lagos de Covadonga, in the region of Asturias, Spain, was some thirty years ago. It was the first time I went on a hiking trip to the north of Spain and I was so impressed with the beauty and the greenery of the place.
At the time I was a keen cyclist and used to watch on tv every single stage of the Vuelta de España. Among the most famous stages was the one ending at Lagos de Covadonga. Since I didn't have my bike with me back then it became a dream of mine to be able to cycle up to Lagos one day.
This Summer we decided to change our usual route on our way back to Luxembourg from Ireland. The new ferry route from Cork to Santander offered us the chance to see this part of Spain before heading back home, and I had my bike with me so it was the perfect opportunity to try and make that dream real.
The climb to Lagos is a tough one, it has special category among the many climbs on the Vuelta a España. My level of fitness is far from what it used to be at the time I visited this place thirty years ago, but I decided to give it a try anyway.
The first 6km or so were tough but I managed to cycle up to the so called "huesera", a section of the climb with ramps of 15% average, with some ramps going up to 20%.
It proved too tough to cycle for me so I had to take a wee break and walk from there on to be able to get over the worst ramps. Not that I want to find excuses for my lack of fitness but it was mid day and pretty hot.
I got to the top after 2 long hours of tremendous physical effort and even though I could not cycle all the way up I was quite happy with my level of fitness. Maybe with some specific cycling training I will be able to be back and do the climb as it should be done, without putting your foot to the ground until the top.
I decided to come back the following morning for some photography and I leave you here a few images I took that morning.