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Hi there fellow SSCers. This thread is part of a set from my recent travels to France and Spain, click the links in my signature to see the others, thanks, hope you enjoy them!

The Picos de Europa national park in Northern Spain straddles the border between Asturias and Cantabria. It is a beautiful natural region of jagged mountain peaks (rising above 2,500m) and small villages.

Our campsite





up into the mountainThis is apparently one of the most remote villages in Spain. Until 2000, it was only accessible by foot via a winding mountain path that leaves a local road around 4km from the village. However, to improve access, there is now a funicular railway that travels 400m up a tunnel bored straight through the mountain that arrives near to the entrance to the village, free for residents E15 for visitors! We took the railway up and walked back down.

The path from the top of the railway





















Jonesy Jr taking a drinks break with a new friend



Lunch - Chorizo in cider and fries in cabrales cheese sauce



The path back down to the road - mostly easy walking but a few narrrow sections with huge drops off the side :eek:





 

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Covadonga was the site of a battle in 722 in which the Christian forces of King Pelayo I of Asturias inflicted the first defeat on the muslim rulers of most of Iberia who had been trying to incorporate the unconquered north of Spain into Europe's most advanced society of the era, the Caliphate of Cordoba. Whether the battle actually took place seems to be in doubt and it could be entirely mythical!! Anyway, this traditionally marks the beginning of the reconquest which would be competed some 7 centuries later with the fall of the emirate of Granada in 1492.

Today it is a pilgrimage centre where the faithful visit the cave where King Pelayo was allegedly visited by a vision of Mary which inspired the military victory. There is also a pretty basilica on the site which is built on a rocky outcrop and appears from a distance to rise impressively out of the mountainside.











Above the pilgrimage site, the road winds up into the mountains until it reaches a series of mountain lakes on a plateau where cows and goats graze. The park also contains all sorts of other interesting wildlife but we didn't have enough time to hang around and see it unfortunately.





 

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What can I say? Suberb report indeed.

I have gone to lunch to Arenas de Cabrales a few times but I had never done this route. It looks really nice, like if world had stopped there in the last decades.

I usually go SW, following river Cares between Poncebos and Caín through a narrow pass. It's more breathtaking but you cannot see as much vegetation and fauna like in yours.

About Covadonga, it's a special place for us. Not being exactly a Catholic family ourselves, we go every year there.

Chorizo, Cabrales, fabada... the cuisine is not for weak stomachs. Hope you liked it.

Awesome pics. Keep them coming from your trip.

PS- Jonesy Jr seems as intrepid as his father. That cat looks wild.
 

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Our campsite was just outside Arenas de Cabrales, (Camping Naranjo de Bulnes) it was a great spot.

The cat was actually very friendly, he's a Burmese I think, I was surprised to see a posh pedigree cat in such a remote place. :laugh:

I liked the food and the cider, Oviedo photos are on the urban showcase btw.
 

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^^ Yes, that's me, the scenery in these mountains is lovely, you can do some great walks around here. Apparently there are bears and wolves but I think you would have to try very hard to find them.
 

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^^ Yes, that's me, the scenery in these mountains is lovely, you can do some great walks around here. Apparently there are bears and wolves but I think you would have to try very hard to find them.
Yes, there are a lot of wolves, you can to see them if you want, there is not very difficult. But bears... the only tourist area where you can see them is a enclosure in Proaza (central Asturies).

 

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Great pictures!

Bulnes is the start point of a lot of footpaths used as approach to climb peaks or to cross the National Park. But that's a high mountain area, so it's advisable to be properly equiped and travel with someone who knows the area.

Oh my God, Spain is more green even than ireland!!!
We have even bagpipes here!... :lol: Galicia an Asturies are celtic regions, with historic links to other places like Ireland, Brittany or Wales.

Cheers!
 

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Spain is GORGEOUS. My godfather is Spanish and I grew up eating chorizo. I dislike so much chorizo now and I used to love it when I was a child.
 
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