Leon all Borders – Stage 3

– Friday, August 8th, 2014 — Two weeks after the beginning of Leon all Borders project, I’m again on the road. In my mind, a 3-day weekend to cycle stages 3 to 5. Previous week, I booked a hotel in Moreda (Aller) for 2 nights. When I designed this 3rd stage, Puebla de Lillo was the start/end point. However, as weather forecast announces rainstorms after midday, I decide to start the stage in Moreda. This modification adds 20 km (link from Moreda to Cabañaquinta and viceversa). But, I think it’s better to be close to the hotel if I’m soaked when finish the route. The .kml file (Google Earth) for this route is under next link: Stage_3.kml. You can also check the map and profile.

Route 2,753,423 – powered by www.bikemap.net

Important consideration to take into account. Road AS-112 from Moreda to Cabañaquinta is forbidden to bikes, pedrestrians,… You have to take the one that goes through the villages, AS-112a. First km until Cabañaquinta are flat. I cycle side-by-side with an MTB biker. He talks about his recent visit to the Pyrenees to see the Tour de France, the time Vuelta España climbed Coto Bello pass and about Puerto de Vegarada. He points the climb is magnificent, marvelous, … “but not for a road bike”. What curious, I didn’t tell him my plans for tomorrow. However, he seemed to observe something in my expression when he mentioned “Puerto de Vegarada“, so the cause of his advice. I say goodbye to him right before start the uphill to la Collaona. It always is positive to have a partner to talk while you cycle; even if in this case, it was only for several km. Alto de la Collaona from Cabañaquinta is a short pass, 5.5 km, but with a very constant gradient between 7.5 – 8 %. Pavement is quite good during the uphill (it’ll be worst for the downhill) and trees cover the road borders. You gain altitude pretty soon. Sensations over the bike are OK along the climb (better than 2 weeks ago). On the top, I eat something and take the common pass sign photo. The approach to Puerto de Tarna is long, very long. You always go parallel to the River Nalón and gradients are commonly low. But, you find some scattered tough slopes (for example, 1 km at 10% to reach the Tanes dam) and think: “Wow, is this necessary? :) ”. There are 2 tunnels I checked via Google Maps were well iluminated. For both tunnels, the old “open-air” road is open, so I take it. I arrive to La Foz de Caso; from here to the top, 15 km with an average gradient of around 5%. The pavement could be in better conditions, but for an uphill, it’s acceptable. The pass has nice wide hairpins. I decide to enter in Tarna (small village on the right hand side of the uphill) with the hope of take a coke in a bar. To my surprise, the bar is closed. At least, there is a fountain to fill the water can. During the next kilometers I’m a little bit concerned about the fact that maybe until Puebla de Lillo I don’t see any bar to buy some food or drink. Landscape disolves this trouble. A good point to admire the views is before/after the short carved-stone tunnel. It’s very close to the top, but it’s worth it. Once again, another surprise. This time a positive one. There is a  restaurant in the top. So, I eat a sandwich of cured meat with a coke. Reaching Puerto de las Señales is a piece of cake (only 3 km from Puerto de Tarna). It’s more challenging to avoid some cows in the middle of the road during the downhill to Puebla de Lillo. Clouds are dark and all points to the forecasted storm, but no rain until now. I start the climb to Puerto de San Isidro. Quite irregular in the slopes, the part of León is less beautiful than the Asturian one. Lots of flats and houses near the top remember the traveler the presence of the ski resort. Once in the border of provinces, I have almost 40 km of downhill and flat sections to enjoy. I ride fast. By the way, at the end, rainstorm appeared 2-3 km before arrive to Moreda. Luckily, I was soaked few time :) As previous posts, I finish the current one with a gallery gathering some pictures done during stage 3:

La Colladona - I.Marote Alto La Colladona - I.Marote Alto La Colladona - I.Marote Puerto de Tarna - I.Marote Puerto de Tarna - I.Marote Puerto de Tarna - I.Marote Puerto de las Señales - I.Marote Puerto de las Señales - I.Marote Puerto de San Isidro - I.Marote Puerto de San Isidro - I.Marote Puerto de San Isidro - I.Marote Puerto de San Isidro - I.Marote

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