Picos da Europa expedition 2015: day 3


This post is part of a series that briefly describe an inspiring expedition to Picos da Europa, Spain, during the Spring of 2015. The complete series follows:



Day 2 was a long, exhausting day and as a group we decided to sleep a bit more this morning. We have participants of all ages and the fact that the drivers are also photographers, means no extra sleep for the wheel bearers.

08:00 Wake up, shower and clothes: a start of a normal day. To be honest felt wierd, but in a good way. A good night of sleep goes a long way on safety, mood and consequently on the outcome of my images. The morning was as expected: cloudy and probably foggy up in the lakes, but its one of those things: we didn’t o up there, so we’ll never know.

09:00 The team got together for a nice and rich breakfast. We were all ready for action and couldn’t wait for the upcoming activity. Batteries charged, all the gear ready and packed in the car trunks, some leg and extensions and we were ready to roll.

10:00 Drive to Cares take 2: we are now aiming for the other end of the Ceres route: Poncebo. The road carved into the mountain takes us in a magnificent scenario, now during the day. I honestly regret not having used the GoPro mounted in the car to record this trip.


Road to Cares trail – Poncebo.

13:00 Cares take 2: after a lunch, we hit the trail on the Cares and hiked up for about 1 hour and a half. The scenary is quite dfferent from the other end of the trail. Much further away from the river, deep valleys, eagles, mountain goats all the way.


Begin of the Cares Trail – Poncebo.

For me this part of the trip was specially hard as I decided to also take the Mamiya, meaning full 15 Kg of gear on my back and shoulder. Am I sorry for that decision? ABSOLUTELLY NOT! But I certainly need a different type of backpack for these harder hikes…

Picos Europa-2015_ Ceres2_ by Luisa Melao

Hiking with load – Image by Luisa Melão



The biggest challenge of such a magnificent landscape is to have the ability of transmitting the notion of scale. The dimension is hard to describe, even harder to transpose from its 3D existence to a 2D picture.


Cares trail.

There were moments when it seemed I had a correct notion of the size and then, suddenly, I looked to the face of the mountain and saw a small dot that in the end was a shad. Kabang all my perspective shifts making my head spin in a whow moment. Unbelievable. After 3 days in this mountains and I keep getting amazed. In the image bellow there is a not so small shad, in the facing mountain face. Can you see it?


A cabin in the distance.



The far away cabin – Highlighted

After reaching the highest point of our hike, we had a magnificent view of the valley we covered, as well as some of the valley ahead.


The Cares we have covered. panoramic of 5 portrait images. Cares trail.

Time for a rest, and some pictures from “the balcony”.


Capturing some analog 6×7 with my Mamiya. Image by Luís Afonso.


This rock offered a very interesting viewpoint, specially to a hanging tree. Oh boy. I could spend some time just in this small place…


The hanging tree. Cares trail.


The trail goes on from here climbing for another kilometer or so before starting to descend smoothly towards the river.


End of the trail for us. Cares trail.

For us it was the end of it. Time to get back. I have chosen to shoot digital on the way back, with the 80-200. The idea was to capture some details, as well as compressed image plains. The goats roam the trail back and forward and are both adventurous and unafraid even when climbing into trees!


Baby goat playing around. Cares trail.



Climbing mountains is no brainer. Climbing trees on the other hand… Cares trail.

18:00 Drive back with a quick stop still close to the Cares river. looking up the mountain, low clouds and mist. Certainly a special mood.


Mountain crests. Lovely forms cutting through the fog.



Misty atmosphere, perfect for B&W images.

21:00 Dinner at Covadonga: having dinner closer to the resting place, sounded a wise choice. Long rides after dinner in dark mountain roads have proved to be painful both for drivers and companions. We attacked the tapas menu like there was no tomorrow. I simply love the Spanish way of sharing food among good companionship. You have the chance to grab a bite of each dish and sample all the lovely flavors. A must! And hey, our neighbors do have the cult for food, just as we do.

Picos Europa-181

Image by Luisa Melão.

01:00 Late night routine: back to the room, its time for the backup routine, battery charging, filter cleaning and repacking for the next day. Note to self: next time pack a multiple socket extension. Its the third day I find myself laying down in the floor with the surface, card reader, portable raid disks, etc..

Fall into bed… lights out. Next morning: sunrise at Covadonga lakes.


This post is part of a series that briefly describe an inspiring expedition to Picos da Europa, Spain, during the Spring of 2015. The complete series follows:

The night was calm and re-energizing. The hotel uses a generator for electricity that is shut down at mid-night. After
After an easy day with a wake up scheduled for 8:00, today was our last chance to make the sunrise
The morning started early: after 3 hours of deep and fast sleep, the alarm clock went of at 5:00. And
As I start writing this new set of posts, less than 24 hours have gone by since arriving from the
Getting soooo close I can almost smell it 🙂 (as in the cold air in the high mountains) with hours
A post that considers bot the T-4 and T-3 days. Yesterday, a day mostly dedicated to the family, with a
No news 🙂 Full days with a lot going on not just around the trip.
Packing: DONE! this is a late entry in the post series as I was working on the packing till late
Still decisions, Thanks to fabulous contributions and messages in my facebook page, the topic around what equipment to take is
The screening process of what to take, at least for me is a hard one. I don't want to take


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