“Rocky Mountain Way”
23 May 2022
One advantage of holidaying in Spain is its warmer climate. However, the Cantabria region in the north of the country where we are staying for the week is like a combination of the English Lake District and the Scottish Highlands, so the weather can be changeable. Indeed, we arrived yesterday in a rainstorm.
And there are many minor and unclassified roads with unmade verges, so you have to be careful. Falling rocks from the surrounding mountains are also a hazard – perhaps I should have packed the hard hat.
Our base for the week is the village of Cosgaya, reached via the tortuous N-621 road through the Desfiladero de la Hermida (or Hermida Gorge), one of the most scenic canyon roads in Spain.
Moreover, the Dangerous Roads website once referred to this route as a “very exciting and sometimes very exposed and unsecured driveway in innumerable twists and turns,” adding that the road is “characterised by the verticality of its walls and the narrowing of the valley produced by the erosion of the Deva River.”
However, there has been considerable investment in recent years to upgrade and improve this amazing road.
And the views looking up from the bottom of the gorge as you drive through are simply awesome.
But let’s get back to that British preoccupation with the weather. Another benefit of the climate over here is that there are fewer frosts to break up road surfaces and cause potholes.
JCB's PotholePro is designed to enable a contractor to cut out a road defect, crop the edges and clean the hole with the one machine, boosting productivity.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council has found that using the machine has enabled it to complete more than three years of pothole repairs in four months. Surely this is something more councils should invest in – or ask hirers to provide the equipment.
I also hear that the UK government has been conducting trials using drones to detect potholes in Kent. That’s all very well; but surely identifying the holes isn’t the problem: it’s actually getting them fixed quickly with a decent, durable repair that’s the issue.
Anyway, automovilismo feliz - happy motoring.
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Photos: Alan and Christine Guthrie