In Aguilar: Day 2 - The Seven Year Itch - CycleBlaze

May 13, 2024

In Aguilar: Day 2

Scott’s ride

I liked Aguilar from the moment we arrived but this morning’s bike ride circling the reservoir to the west is what really sold me on this region.  Excellent cycling, very little traffic until merging in to the national road on the way back to town, stirring vistas, wildflowers, and a succession of the Romanesque churches the region is known for.  No thrilling wildlife sightings, but we’ll leave that for Rachael today.  Its wild country in the foothills of the Palantine Mountains though, and I have no doubt that if I biked or walked enough backroads here I’d eventually come across roe and red deer and maybe even one of the bears or Iberian wolves that reportedly range here.

It’s not a long or difficult ride but it takes me over three hours to complete my 22 mile loop because there are so many reasons to stop along the way.  If I didn’t have a lunch date to get back for I’d have enjoyed an even longer exploration.

Climbing away from Aguilar, I’m only about two miles from town and not far past the dam when it feels like I’m biking through remote wilderness. The hills aren’t bad but there’s the occasional short steep ascent that make me glad I’m here on an unloaded bicycle.
Heart 4 Comment 0
Looking across the Aguilar Reservoir to the Palatine Mountains.
Heart 2 Comment 0
Zooming in on the opposite shore.
Heart 2 Comment 0
Orchis purpurea, the lady orchid. This field was covered with them, but I don’t remember seeing them anywhere else but here on today’s ride.
Heart 6 Comment 0
Closer up.
Heart 6 Comment 2
Scott AndersonTo Andrea BrownThis was pretty exceptional alright. I don’t remember ever seeing such a concentration of them.
Reply to this comment
1 month ago
Another of Saint Martin’s many churches, this one abandoned. Behind it is a necropolis that would probably be worth exploring if I’m ever back.
Heart 2 Comment 0
Excellent riding country - a smooth and unstriped road, captivating views, and quiet enough that you can hear the rare motorized vehicle coming with plenty of time to move to the side.
Heart 5 Comment 0
Passing by Foldada, the first of several small, scattered villages I’ll pass through today.
Heart 5 Comment 0
Foldada’s del Salvador Church.
Heart 5 Comment 0
An interesting, squat decaying structure that looks like it could have been residential long ago.
Heart 1 Comment 0
Still on the same road, and apparently not making much time. It looks like I’ve only advanced one kilometer since the earlier road shot.
Heart 1 Comment 0
Up around 3,300’ I start finding snow poles lining the road.
Heart 0 Comment 0
The Church of Saint Andres, in Barrio San Pedro.
Heart 4 Comment 0
It supports one stork at least, and probably others.
Heart 4 Comment 0
The Church of Saint Andres was easy enough to bike up to that I detoured for a closer look.
Heart 2 Comment 0
The Church of Saint Andres.
Heart 4 Comment 0
The nearby Hermitage of Santa Eulalia.
Heart 5 Comment 0
Yet another one, in nearby Barrio de Santa Maria.
Heart 1 Comment 0
Some colorful stone and tile.
Heart 2 Comment 0
Nearing the high point of the loop.
Heart 2 Comment 0
#233: Eurasian blue tit. I hope I get a better shot of this bird before leaving Europe this year, but just in case I’d better include it.
Heart 2 Comment 0
Descending toward the reservoir again.
Heart 2 Comment 0
At Salinas de Pisuerga, crossing the river a few miles upstream from the reservoir.
Heart 2 Comment 0
The bridge at Salinas de Pisuerga.
Heart 5 Comment 0
The bridge at Salinas de Pisuerga.
Heart 4 Comment 0
It’s no surprise that Salinas de Pisuerga has a noteworthy church also.
Heart 4 Comment 0
This one’s San Paleyo’s, a saint I don’t remember hearing of before. Must be a local hero.
Heart 2 Comment 0
The Church of San Paleyo is lovely, with its red sandstone ashlar walls.
Heart 4 Comment 0
It’s not just the red sandstone that’s colorful about the church of San Paleyo.
Heart 2 Comment 0
Heading back to town, making good time so I won’t miss lunch. Rachael hates dining alone.
Heart 2 Comment 0
Heart 0 Comment 0

Rachael’s walk

Rachael went off in a different direction than I did, a 12 mile OAB to the northeast following the Camino route toward Bilbao.  She didn’t make it that far and didn’t find any Romanesque churches, but she got her fill of fantastic scenery and claimed an interesting wildlife sighting.  

Heart 3 Comment 0
Heart 4 Comment 0
Heart 3 Comment 0
Heart 2 Comment 0
Heart 4 Comment 0
Heart 0 Comment 0
Heart 0 Comment 0
Heart 4 Comment 0
Heart 1 Comment 0
Heart 0 Comment 0
Heart 2 Comment 0
Heart 1 Comment 0
Heart 2 Comment 0
Heart 1 Comment 0
She enjoyed an outstanding hike, but she’ll undoubtedly remember her sighting of an Iberian wolf more than anything else from the day. It ran across the road not far in front of her, moving flat out with its tail flying behind it. She was describing it afterwards (she didn’t get a photo, this one’s from the web), but described it afterwards as maybe a large fox? And probably as long as she is tall? No way that could be a fox. It had to have been one of these guys, which roam wild in these mountains. Incredible.
Heart 4 Comment 1
Andrea BrownThat's soooo cool.
Reply to this comment
1 month ago
Heart 0 Comment 0

Today's ride: 22 miles (35 km)
Total: 1,496 miles (2,408 km)

Rate this entry's writing Heart 7
Comment on this entry Comment 0