Saturday 10.10.09 Torbina (1317m)

The first major climb in our itinerary, Torbina stands between the coast and the Picos range and should therefore offer good views of both… or so the theory goes.

After a walk up 4kms of asphalt hairpins to the hamlet of Arranga, it is a steep scramble through scrubby rock gardens before we find ourselves painfully wading up heather slopes towards sheer walls of limestone. The sun is hot and we are at all times accompanied either by powder blue, acid yellow or tortoiseshell butterflies.
The path eventually reappears near friendly goats, where it zigzags up a cliff pass for one hour. By this time the weather has degraded, reducing visibility to seven or eight metres. Not wanting to be beaten so close to the summit, we make a mad scramble up into the mist to successfully find an unceremonious cairn marking the highest peak (although only by using an altimeter can we be sure this is the summit).
We never see the impressive panoramas that the map promises. On our way back however, the cloud breaks to offer tantalizing views of peaks and valleys snared in mist (pictured in the sketch below). Stop for a beer in Arranga, which later becomes a free lift down the road to Arenas!

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