Adios Picos!

We left our home in the Picos this morning and what a leaving!


(Stop Press – The cows have bells too!)


But first I need to tell you about the possibility of missing the odd day’s mail – heaven forbid! Yesterday, my internet connection was down all day. It worked just long enough to post. So although internet connections have been very good so far, just a warning: If the mail doesn’t arrive one morning, please do not fear that we have been eaten by bears (there are bears in The Picos!). Or that we are lost on a mountain. Or that I have moved into a monastery for some alone time. It is just technology, useful but not always reliable.


(Our village for two nights)

Anyway the leaving. We packed up and went downstairs to check out. Our host and all her staff have been so helpful and kind to us even though they have no English and our little Spanish doesn’t work. There was a photograph on the landing on the way to our room of a very old church and I “asked” where it was located. Well, our host called for Maria-Jose but neither knew where it was or what it was called. But like the bar man the previous night, that didn’t stop them. Maria-Jose (remember when you think of her name the J is pronounced H and the se is stressed) takes the frame down from the wall to look for the name on the back. No name on the back. But she is a tenacious woman. She starts to take the back off the frame! Meanwhile they are both talking ten to the dozen in Spanish and I’m saying “No, no, oh no,no” and they begin to laugh at me. The result? On the back of the poster, now out of the frame on the floor, there is the name San Miguel de Lillo. Both of the woman look at each other, one points one way, the other disagrees and points the other way. They don’t know where San Miguel de Lillo is. “Ok, no problemo” I say, “the internet”, I write the name down and make lots of hand gestures to indicate I will type it into the internet. As they put the frame back together I’m backing away downstairs.

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(The roof tiles – some upside down and some right way up)

So this morning as we’re leaving, Maria-Jose and our host are saying “San Miguel de Lillo?”, and I’m trying to indicate that I couldn’t look for it because…. the internet wasn’t working, but that I will send them an email when I find it. They look a little crest fallen (I thought) but smile anyway. We pay our bill and are saying our mucho gracias and picking up our worldly goods when both Maria-Jose and our host say “Un momento!” Denis looks at me, but I haven’t a clue, so we wait.


(These sheep were all on their own walking along the road)

And back arrives the two of them smiling with a bag of gifts for us! Hats and a little flashlight, a shopping bag and a folding mirror! Well… gracias wasn’t enough for me after that… I was around the counter hugging and kissing (on both cheeks). We both left La Ercina with happy thoughts and big smiles.

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(A little chapel in a cave in the Picos)

And one more thing…. we arrived in Oviedo late this afternoon. I found brochures in English for the church with the frescos and was reading about it back in the hotel. I also got a map of the area. And guess what church is 3 km from town? Yes! It’s San Miguel de Lillo. Isn’t that interesting……? Wonder what I’ll find there…..? I was so delighted I composed an email to Maria-Jose and our host… in Spanish. Denis said to use Google Translate, but I don’t trust it, so I used my dictionary….. Sometime when I want to give the Spanish speakers (readers?) among you a laugh I will send you a copy of it, in the meantime I hope they can understand my good wishes and great excitement.


Saludos (Best Wishes), Mairead.