Pico Pierzu

The weather is so-so. Rain at first, then it clear up in parts. I'm undecided between a walk near the hotel and Ponga mountains.
Finally I opt for Ponga. Pico Pierzu, 1550 meters. We'll see if the snow has melted.
It doesn't look good at all when I get there. It snows. At least it doesn't rain. Trail information says that with low clouds or light rain it's not recommended to get up there. Tiatordos and mountains surrounding it partly hidden in clouds. In Pierzu's direction the cloud is a bit higher. I decide to see what's going to happen, first 2 km are on a decent road anyway. Only later problems with navigating should arise. From the road I have to turn to an animal track. Cows are not the kind of animals that follow one and the same track all the time. Luckily good people have smeared some stones with yellow-orange color and put here and there a few stones on top each other. Nigel's instruction helps as well. Some holes appear in clouds, looks like by the time I get up to the top the weather will be just perfect for views. Cows residing on a high pasture ground look bored to see another tourist. Someone (in addition to the cows) has walked the same way a couple of days before and snow patches with his footprints are an extra help in navigating. There's only a little snow, it's hard and I can walk on top of it.
On my way to the top I have to cross a few narrow ridges, deep fall on both sides. Tiatordos is visible better with every step, the highest mountain of Ponga. Inland all mountain tops are covered in snow, towards coast there's no snow. Pierzu is the first one without snow, the only snow is on the saddles between tops. Eagle and starling fly over. On the top view is magnificent and really, the coast is visible. Sun moves over the landscape first in patches then clouds slowly disappear and in moments when wind stands still the air starts to shiver in the heat. Picnic with an apple, enjoying the view on Tiatordos and listening to silence. Mountains up to the horizon stay indifferent and unmoving, they don't care if they are covered in snow or not, if tourists scramble over them or if they are advertised at all.
Walking back down I repeatedly loose the track and rattle through bushes at last to get to the road. Coming down should be easier in terms of navigation. The snow has melted visibly, it's not possible to walk on top of it anymore. Strange noice overhead is not snow drifting down but an eagle flying by. I keep taking more clothes off, now the weather is more like you would expect it to be in Spain. Sun blazing but not the kind of green evening light yet. By good-light-time clouds re-appear and it feels good to drive back to the hotel. Very nice walk for the last day.

Samantha and Andreas just announced their parents that they intend to get married on 25th of October. Kitchen is full of chatter, plans and menu-making.
India is weighted as possible honeymoon destination. I have the honor to comment on tourist's life in India. A bottle of cava is opened to celebrate the engagement and John, Joann and me end up drinking more or less all of it. Philip already sleeps in the airport. Everybody is very exited and Joann even joins us for red wine. Until late we discuss European economy and politics. John is convinced that euro will collapse in an few years and the question is if EU falls apart with it. It depends if monetary union ends in an organized way or in panic. Main reason should be the unwillingness of Germans and French to finance the southern countries. Here parallels with Spain can be drawn where people in Basque and Catalonia work and have money that will be poured in Madrid's joint wallet and distributed from there, mainly to lazy southern areas. Because of this also separation moods in these two provinces. Andalusia and the rest just don't bother to work. When it comes to massive unemployment then Joann says that since the beginning of the 80ties when they moved to Spain, the unemployment has been high. Sometimes higher, sometimes lower but the 25% it is now is nothing special.
from Balmor to Villahormes
that's it

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