Asturias, land of lush mountains, blond cows and 40-odd cheeses has had a widely spread publicity campaing touting it as a natural paradise. We spent nearly a week there this summer, whizzing over in the little white car from neighbouring Galicia, and very much agreed. It's dark green forests, dramatic beach coves and arrogant grey mountains are astounding. Dark brown, light brown, black and white, and brown and white cows dot every field, munching on long grass, whilst red-cheeked farmers sit nearby. Trucks from the Central Lechera Asturiana (the Central Asturian Dairy Plant), which seems to have something of a monopoly in the area, roam up mountain passes and down fertile valleys. It is a region famed for having everything; beach, hills, greenery, good food, lovely people.
We ate the famous bean stew; one fleshed out with a few chunks of chorizo, black pudding, ham and fat, the other with veg and bacon fat. Deep, delicious, moreish, and very good fuel for climbing mountains.