Tag Archives: travel

Getting Roca Verde 2nd Edition to the printers > having a baby…

After realising around last October that the original Roca Verde was going to sell out – in around 18 months only – I was obviously thrilled.

However, that also meant that I had to start again and so, after 6 more months of intense work here I am with the second edition on the presses in Aviles (in Asturias) as we speak.

The 'doctor' oversees the birth - it's a book...

The ‘doctor’ oversees the birth – it’s a book…

A manic weekend (as well as several manic days before that) led me to this position and the stress, sleeplessness and last minute panic somehow led me to the conclusion that producing a book is a bit like having a baby…

Now I am not saying that it’s equivalent but (and this is just what I have been told obviously) in so much as that women having their second one say they only do it as they have forgotten how bad it was first time.

And that’s the same with books.

You forget about the proofing, the endless fucking proofing: re-read = errors, re-read again = errors, then more errors until you even wonder if it’ll ever end. Then it goes to PDF proof from the printers, more errors; then your PC decides it can’t cope and won’t print…etc etc etc

And in the end you sit there say sod it and just push it out…LOL

Giving it the first once over...'it's a healthy 512 pages'

Giving it the first once over…’it’s a healthy 512 pages’

Anyway, despite all that the new version of Roca Verde is ready to go and I should have copies in store on the 2nd May.

Full details will be released at the end of the week save to say that it’s jam-packed with even more brilliant routes in this amazing region – and lots of stunning photos too!!

There are stunning new images like this across the book...

There are stunning new images like this across the book…



Roca Verde reviewed by Climb Magazine Jan 2015

There is nothing that makes me more nervous that putting Roca Verde up for review.

Because even though it’s been quite successful so far, and everyone’s been very complimentary, there’s always the feeling at the back of my mind that I’ve missed something and that someone, one day will point out the obvious thing I’ve missed! I’ll pick up the magazine and the review will read something like ‘the book was great but if only Richie hadn’t made that huge mistake on page 99′.

And all of that goes double when the review in question comes from Climb Magazine, and it’s author is Dave Pickford who’s not only been to Asturias but is a man of high standards.  So it was with great trepidation that I picked up my copy of the Jan 2015 issue where my book was being reviewed…

Climb Magazine Jan 2015

Climb Magazine Jan 2015

And it was an audible sigh I let out when I read it. No huge error had come to light and Dave seemed to like the book and certainly still had fond memories of Asturias and his visit.

Indeed, his words of encouragement to ‘just buy a copy of Roca Verde and book a flight to Santander’ echo my own and so I’ll say it again. This is a great spot hop on a plane and come and visit us…

Casa Quiros – It’s worth mentioning here that we have just opened a new guesthouse in the region so if you are thinking of a visit please check out our website for booking and prices.

Finally if you’re not convinced by that review here’s another – this time from the estimable Niall Grimes and if you’re still not convinced here’s another from Miles Gibson



Casa Quirós – our holiday cottage under the crag

We have just opened Casa Quirós – a picture-book pretty, traditional stone-built Asturian house that has been recently renovated to a high standard.

A great spot for climbers, Casa Quirós is just underneath one of the best crags in Asturias, Quirós, which has nearly 300 sports routes spread over 22 sectors. Teverga, another huge climbing area, with nearly 500 routes, is only 15 minutes drive.

The view from Casa Quirós on a summer morning...

The view from Casa Quirós on a summer morning…

The south facing house sleeps four and is situated in Aciera, a picturesque traditional Asturian village, in the heart of the parque natural de Las Ubiñas-La Mesa. Surrounded by beautiful peaks and passes the area is perfect for all types of outdoor activity including; climbing, road biking, mountain biking, trail running, hiking, fishing and birdwatching

If climbing’s not your thing (or your partner’s) then not to worry because the area has loads more to offer. The road and mountain biking, straight from the house, are both awesome. For littler legs the 45km long, mostly flat, Senda del Oso (bear path – yes, we even have bears!) wends its way along the foot of the valley beneath the village. There’s even kayaking on the reservoir just below the house.

See more about Casa Quirós here…

An Afternoon in La Hermida and Potes

In the end we only had a couple of hours free, in between delivering books to shops. We wondered if we’d get the chance to climb at all but that’s one of the many great beauties of the La Hermida gorge – the proliferation of roadside crags.  A shorter walk-in = more time to climb.  And you couldn’t get a shorter walk-in than the one to Puente Lebeña. In less than a minute from the road you can be tieing in. And we were.

Mary on Tecno Viking, 6b Puente Lebeña

Mary on Tecno Viking, 6b Puente Lebeña

Even the book delivering itself turned out to be pretty fun in the end. We discovered a couple more cool climbers’ bars in Potes that are definitely worth checking out if you visit. Set in the beautiful medieval heart of the town both La Sidrería and La Reunión offer something a little bit different to the standard local fare.

The pinchos and smoothies at La Sidrería are simply superb

The pinchos and smoothies at La Sidrería are simply superb. A great bet if you´re a vegetarian.


You can sip an excellent craft beer at La Reunión while checking out their wealth of topos and information.

You can sip an excellent craft beer at La Reunión while checking out their wealth of topos and information.

Of course no trip to the La Hermida gorge would be complete without a visit to the hot springs. On the outskirts of the village, underneath the bridge that leads to the Balneario Spa Hotel is this glorious free-access hot spot (literally.) A balm for tired climbing muscles and the perfect way to end the day.

Chilling in the hot springs

Chilling in the hot springs