After the usual routine of dog walks and breakfast and having emptied and refilled the relevant tanks, we were on our way this morning. It felt like quite an adventure setting off towards the snow capped mountains behind us. However, between Llanes and the Picos de Europa mountains was the limestone ridge of Sierra del Cuera, rising to around 1100m to traverse first. We passed through the village of Poo (tee-hee 🤣) then onto the main E-70 road. The E-70 like all other main roads we have travelled in Northern Spain was mainly empty and a relaxing potter to drive.
The 2 hour journey to our campsite did not really start to climb steeply until the last 30-40 mins. Before that, we were just following the route of the River Sella through the valley. At the bottom of the valley the river was wide and gentle with kayak hire places in abundance, then as we ride a little in height the river bed became a gorge and the river was white water over boulders. The road narrowed from a major route to two narrow lanes but with considerable over-hangs in places on the cliff side. Luckily that was mainly on the other side of the road heading uphill. We pass there motorhomes (probably coming from our campsite) and 1 lorry plus a few cars. Otherwise we had the road to ourselves mainly.
We passed quite a few small villages with lovely old stone houses and even a reasonable sized town, Cangas de Onís which feels strangely built up and bustling for where it is situated. We passed its lovely Roman bridge in the middle of town but it was in the centre and we did not stop. We gradually climbed still further, the outside temperature dropping to 8 degrees and you could see some snow on the roadsides and on the mountain tops all round.
Finally, we reached our destination for the next couple of days a small municipal campsite in a small mountain village. There is some good walks from here and even a couple of hotels and restaurants.
We parked up and went online to pay for our pitch, 10€, which must bring some well needed invome into this remote place. It is a fantastic spot, we are surrounded by mountains on all sides with the only noise the rattle of cow bells. These seem popular around here even down in Llanes for cows in well fenced fields and even a couple of horses we saw. It is certainly such a consistent background noise I am not sure how you would use it to locate a missing animal. I guess it maybe something to do with the 2500 wolves which apparently inhabit the area. That maybe the reason why there seems to be a large dog or two sleeping in all the sheep fields in the village too. There is also brown bears, wild cats and vultures locally too.
Whilst we were making lunch a very nice lady in a taxi called Conchi arrived to tell us about a tour she provides to the nearby famous gorge walk, via a former wolves lair if we wish. We thought that sounded great and a another good contribution to the local economy. Her daughter is apparently a vet in the UK near Nottingham, not far from where I grew up and she said she enjoyed meeting the English here. So we are booked for our tour tomorrow at 10am.
In the afternoon we did a few kilometres walk around some of the tracks (sadly no large animal sightings) and back to the village with the dogs before stopping of for a drink at the bar in the centre of the village where it seemed several locals were doing the same before jumping in their cars to drive home.
Hopefully this evening we can eat locally, though the restaurant does not open until 9pm. Those who know us will understand we have really had to convert our timetable to Spanish time, it is not just a 1 hour time difference for us! 🤣
One thought on “Climbing Mountains – Posada de Valdéon, Picos de Europa National Park, Spain”
We found it amazing. We spoke to a local ranger who told us the bears had been forced more to the west by the local wildfires, but that was 4yrs ago, and they may be back now.