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:

Rock climbing in Asturias

We’ve just said goodbye to two  guests who made me reassess my idea of fitness and stopped me feeling smug about doing my 5 km run every other day!! This couple  managed to pack their two week stay with walking, cycling and rock climbing; pretty much only coming back to the house to shower and sleep before heading off into the glorious autumn sunshine for another day’s exhilaration. The walking and cycling are not new to me, but…

Who knew that Asturias had some of the best crags in Spain and Europe? Well Richie Patterson knew and spent over 2 years of his life writing the difinitive guide to cragging in the area ,which is what brought this couple to us. Roca Verde written in both Spanish and English, is a really good accessible guide featuring all the information you need; “how to choose the right venue for sun or shade, summer or winter for whatever grade you climb” in Northern Spain. I’m not a climber, but as a  lover of Asturias this book feels really exciting because it  is sure to bring the climbing world this way and open up this amazing part of Spain to more outdoor enthusiasts.

Sample page from the book.

Sample page from the book.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ruta de Curyargayos PR AS 63

We did this walk backwards, starting in Agues through Feleches then heading up to the summit of Curyargayos and finally Ladines.

Difficulty rating: medium to difficult

Time: 5 hours +

I recommend long trousers and good walking shoes-you will be doing a bit of climbing through fern and gorse and there’s a fair bit scrambling up and down rocks. We saw lots of deer, a snake, a toad and there were tons of pretty wild flowers and blackberries to keep us going.

Turn left at the tumbledown bar

 

Head up through Agues turn right over the bridge crossing the Nozalin river and when the path splits 3 ways, go straight on and up into the forest. Continue on this path going up and up until you come to a T junction.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Feleches

Feleches

 

 

 

It’s clear that you follow the fork to the left and you continue on the path going up and round the mountain. Eventually you come to a group of tumble down stone huts. This is Feleches.

 

Follow the path that zigzags round the huts and up into the mountains. You come to a small clearning with a barn on your right, you will see a water trough ahead and to the left which marks the path as continuing ahead and to the left.

 

 

 

the water trough is near the trees. This is looking back on it.

the water trough is near the trees. This is looking back on it.

 

 

 

 

Follow the path up- you are now going through fern and gorse. It’s easy to lose the path so you need to keep looking around. Basically it goes up and to the left.

 

 

 

 

 

A signpost always helps.

A signpost always helps.

 

 

 

 

You continue on the path until you come to a clearing that is marked with an AS 63 post and an arrow pointing the way.

 

 

 

 

Scramble along the ridge

Scramble along the ridge

 

 

 

 

 

Now the path takes you up and down some little ridges, don’t go down into the forest. You basically scramble along the mountain ridge for a couple of kilometres .Keep going, the views are incredible.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Views of Ladines, Rioseco and Soto

 

 

 

 

You can see the whole of the Redes Park: Soto, Ladines and Rioseco are tiny clusters below you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now the ridge scramble takes you close  to the forest on your left, to your right there’s a path and green pasture. (I don’t have further pictures because we got caught in a thunder storm!) Follow the path down to the right and into the pasture. Soon you’ll see another sign telling you that you’re on track. Follow the path down through the fields, it turns rocky and it brings you out onto a plain. The path takes you off to the left and onto a concrete path which leads to Ladines,to the comfort of the local bar for a little treat.

New route to Ladines

I did this route about 3 years ago as part of the ‘Marcha Popular’ August celebrations but never really thought more about it until last week when my expert-walker part-time neighbour suggested we find it again: so we did. On a lovely early August morning we set off through Agues

The walk is best finished off with a coffee in the bar overlooking the hills like we did.

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!

Biking Asturias

Asturias is pefect for outdoor activities and cycling is incredibly popular and it’s easy to see why.  Asturias offers some of the best cycling routes in Europe and to make it all easier for English speakers there’s a great new blog Bike Asturias with photos and videos of the best routes all in English!!

Food and drink Sobrescobio style

There are lots of great things about Spain and it seems kind of shallow to put food right up there, but if you love eating like I do, Spain is tops. It irks me that Italy is so constantly fauned over in the British press; cava and serrrano ham are easily equal to their Italian counterparts and when you get into the range of cured meats, cheeses and fresh produce, well, I’d hate to sound biased but…

What I love about Asturias in particular is the abundance of food you can get from within the region and how tied it all is to seasons. Right now we’re in asparagus season- the shops are full of it, it’s dirt cheap and delicious but in 2 weeks it’ll be gone, we’ve also got new potatoes and lettuces coming faster than you can eat them, but most important for my family is the fruit; we had 2 weeks of cherries, now it’s peaches and nectarines and when melon hits the market you know it’s time for swimming in the river. Then as a sweetener for the end of summer we get hit with plums, figs, blackberries, pears, apples, hazelnuts, walnuts and chestnuts not to mention the vegetable feast. And not to brag, but all of those fruits come from my village, I can pick them all within a 1km radius of my house. Add to that the locally reared pigs, sheep and chickens (and eggs),  cheese made in the next village and the apples for cider and it’s pretty much foodie heaven. So anyway, I’m getting distracted. I want to tell you where to eat fantastic, often locally produced, food in the area of Sobrescobio.

Soto de Agues:

Merendero El Molino del Alba. Only open in the summer. Catch your own trout (or have them do it). From river to plate in 15 minutes; it doesn’t get much fresher than that. Personal recommendation: try one of Eva’s homemade desserts too. I highly recommend her coffee cake (tarta de cafe).

 

Bar Casa Lao- home made food, great cider: a place to spend a pleasant moment

Restaurante El Fresnu- menu of the day from 8€ plus good tapas with friendly staff and indoor and outdoor eating.

Restaurante El Llaimo-specialising in Asturian dishes with a modern twist.

Albergue El Alba- serving a range of reasonably priced tapas

Wider Sobrescobio:

Merendero El Anzo- A really nice outdoor (and indoor) restaurant. Great food and service.  I personally recommend the chorizo in cider and the ‘cachopo’. Really comprehensive menu del dia for 20€

Restaurante La Puerta de Arrobio- highly recommeded restaurant specialising in ‘lamb a la estaca‘ and traditional Asturian food.

 

 

 

Welcome to Walking in Asturias

So this is my blog. I have lived in Redes Natural Park for 3 years and i love walking, not really the hi-tech loads of equipment and a compass type walking, more the decent pair of boots an apple in your bag and off you go type walking.  I’m trying to do all my favourite walks with pictures so that the routes are easy to follow.  If you know these signs:

Don’t pick these:

Don’t scare these:

You’re good to go. x

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.