Today we were booked in for our tour with Conchi at 10am to complete tbe Ruta del Cares from Cain to Poncebos. It is a work access road built through the gorge of the Cares river in a series of paths clinging to the side of the gorge and narrow metal bridges that criss-cross the gorge. There is a hydropower plant which had built a narrow canal down the side of the gorge, which the access route was built to maintain, the most popular route in Spain.
Conchi arrived right on time for our 10am pickup, we were also travelling with a young Portuguese family who were taking the last seats available in Conchi’s bookings that day by joining us. Extra boot seats were deployed for their 2 delightful little girl’s who chatted and giggled all the way together. They live in the mountains in Portugal, so I was getting some recommendations for our visit their soon.
Conchi expertly drove us down the narrow road with big overhangs and the odd stray horse and foal in the road. We stopped to see the wolf trap which was used until 50 years ago. A long fence used to funnel the wolves into a small stone enclosure at the bottom of the hill. The wolves are protected now and according to Conchi (who lives here year round with 5 other people in the village), they are abundant in the woods above the river and can be regularly seen at night heading for water. That may explain the strange animal calls Kev heard last night!
We were dropped at the bottom of the valley to follow the route. We let the girls off the lead and followed the route of the raging water below. Just round the next corner was the last house of the village, with apparently at least 6 resident cats. An embarrassing few moments of trying to recall Lola from reducing the local cat population ensued before they were back on the lead for the rest of the walk ☺️
The walk is spectacular, through tunnels and over bridges, narrow paths over sheer drops into the raging river below. The occasional drip from above managed to find its way precisely down the back of your neck each time. There was quite a stream of people and dogs in each direction. However that did not diminish the views, if anything it gives quite a perspective to the views to see the people along the pathway. We did not complete the full 7 miles to Poncebos, as it is at least an hours’ drive for taxis to collect at the far side which they will not do. However we had lovely walk for a couple of hours as the sun rose over the gorge.
We had a little wait then for the return taxi so enjoyed a leisurely lunch and coffee in the beautiful sunshine we are enjoying at the moment. Conchi warned us on the way back it is Holy Friday in Spain tomorrow. The busiest day of the year at the gorge. Therefore, plan for tomorrow is an early start to miss the traffic on the narrower roads, next heading Gíjon.
Back to the truck for a leisurely afternoon and perhaps a beer in the bar in tbe sunshine. We met the only other UK van that we have seen since the ferry, parked opposite us. The are keen mountain bikers from Folkestone and had apparently been admiring our van, so we gave another tour. We may have to start charging to fund our beers 🤣