Ruta de la Sierra del Crespón. PR.AS-121

Difficulty rating: medium to difficult

Time: 4.5 hours

Ruta de la Sierra del Crespon. We did this walk backwards- starting in Soto and finishing in Villamorei . Take the ruta del Alba heading out of Soto. Just after the fish factory, there are 2 steep paths going off to the right. take the first one. Confusingly, it has a ‘no walking’ sign, but this is to keep those looking for the Ruta Del Alba on the right track.

Follow the path up and up and up towards some huts, until you can take a sharp turn off the the right.

Keep following the path upwards, until you get to a group of huts.

The path continues along the line of a water pipe carrying water to Gijon, you have beautiful views to your right of Soto, Villamorei, Ladines, Campiellos.

You come to a clearing, head to the left of the rock and take up the narrow path again heading slightly down and along the side of the mountain.

 

 

Follow the path until you reach a mountain hut. The keep going sign is on the front of the building, turn sharply to the right and look for another keep-going sign. This path will lead you down and towards the reservoir. When you come to a tumble down house with a stone wall crossing your path, go to the left and you will find the ‘keep-walking’ sign again.

Keep going down, it gets quite scrabbly and steep and parts are best done ‘al culo’ (on your bottom) but it’s perfectly doable. When you get to Villamorei, head back to Soto or into Rioseco for a well deserved coffee/beer.

 

Winter sun

Back from Christmas in the UK, back to the same old same old; same old mountains  stoical and snow capped, same old river indifferent to  festivities, resolutions or the joy of family,  the same old wood smoke rising like spectres and haunting each one of us, same old clutch of lambs born too soon gambolling on stubbornly frosted grass…

and then one day like this:

The tower at Villamorey

Ruta de la Sierra del Crespón. PR.AS-121

You're headed here.

You’re headed here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another favourite walk of mine starts in Villamorey and takes you up to the tower, where you can either enjoy the views and feel good about what you’ve done or you can continue up and round for a more challenging walk. This walk has great views, nice gentle climbs and falls and again, you will often be alone. If you’re driving to Villamorey, leave your car in the car park next to the chapel and walk to the end of the village where you’ll find the path that goes past a chicken house and up along a  path with views of the fields and Rioseco on the other side of the resevoir.  Keep walking along and up  you will climb up some stone steps and come to a picnic area with great views over the valley. From there, continue along and up slightly. You follow the line of the resevoir until a path takes you down and to the right. At the bottom you come to the ruins of a stone house. Cross infront of the house and take the narrow steep path up the side of the tower. It’s perfectly doable with young children (my youngest was probably about 4 when he did it for the first time) but you will need to keep a tight hold on them. Climb up and round until you are at the base of the tower. Sit down and enjoy your sandwiches and looking down on it all!

From Agues to Ladines

This is probably my favourite walk. It’s short (it takes about an 1.5 hours), you are almost guaranteed to be alone, you walk through some magical forest, across a stream and arrive in the beautiful village of Ladines, where you are rewarded with fantastic valley views, a friendly bar and a playground if you’re with kids.

Take the main street through Agues, keeping the river on your right. Follow the street as it leaves the village and becomes a wide concrete path. Follow the path,  don’t be tempted to cross the river until you get to a 3 way junction at which point you take the sharp left turn.

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Turn left here.

Stay on this path, there are fields either side of you and if you look up to the right, you should be able to see the village of Ladines. Keep following the path and heading up. You will come to another 3 way junction (down to the left leads to a gate), take the path off to the right that goes up quite steeply.

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Turn right here.

Follow this path up and up and up, it is quite steep but it’s only for 0.5 km. Soon the path will even out and you are in the middle of the forest, the path winds round and continues up and soon you will be at the same height as Ladines; you have good views off to your left. When you get to the top of the hill, the path flattens out for 50 metres or so before  bending to the left and starting to go up again. You now need to look for a small trail going off to your left. It is signalled by the ‘walk’ sign on a tree about 10 metres in on the left.

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Turn left here.

If you start another steep climb on the main path, you’ve gone too far. If you look closely you will also see 2 trees with the ‘no walk’ sign, to show that you’ve gone wrong. Take this trail off to the left and follow it down towards the river. You will come to a small fork in the path with a yellow arrow indicating the low path. In my experience, it’s better to take the high path as it’s less muddy. You are picking your way over tree roots and divets so you do have to be careful about where you’re putting your feet. Although you need to cross the river, you should stick to the higher path where there’s a choice as it’s drier and easier to navigate. This path will take you past a beautiful old tumble down stone wall with moss growing along it; follow the path towards the sound of the river. Pick your way across the stream and you are pretty much on the home stretch.

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Pick your way across the stream.

You notice that you’re coming out of the forest. You will come to a large cow shed on your right, you should turn left and follow the path into the village. You are rewarded with great views of where you’ve come from down to your left. The village itself is well worth a meander, it’s all pretty houses, flowers galore and wandering chickens. As long as you don’t go significantly up, all roads will lead to the bar, where you can enjoy a welcome beer or coffee in the little garden out the back and take it all in. While you’re in the village, I recommend a trip to Vayu  for a hands on bee keeping experience or just for buying their local honey and liquors and to the organic bakery.