Monday, May 28, 2012

Birthday treats - walking in Asturias

For many years now both Luis and I have celebrated our birthdays by forsaking unnecessary presents and choosing a favourite walk instead. This past weekend I celebrated my birthday in style by choosing to set off from La Pasera along the coast towards Cuevas del Mar.

There are so many walks in Asturias it is difficult to choose just one but the fact that we could set off from home and leave the car helped me make up my mind.

After a leisurely start, we packed up lunch, plenty of drinks and a few essentials: camera, binoculars, sunscreen... The weather forecast was good with plenty of sun and a slight breeze, perfect walking weather.

Leaving home

Setting off around 10am we decided to walk the caminos (country lanes) and footpaths through local villages and return via the coastal path. It was good to see that many of the holiday and weekend homes were occupied and that one or two new houses were being built and several renovations of older properties were in progress. Despite the downturn in the economy, Asturias still attracts many Spaniards from the cities who have holiday homes here or who rent apartments and village houses for short breaks.

The small network of caminos that connect the villages are very quiet and provide a good vantage point for the numerous vegetable plots, orchards and meadows along the way. Luis took the opportunity to compare onion size and blight progress as we walked and was heard to say on more than one occasion "mine are bigger than them..."

The Roman Bridge

The hedgerows and fields were busy with birds and insects, with numerous lizards soaking up the sun's rays or making a mad dash across the road as we approached. Bird song and the sound of strutting crickets accompanied us and the heady scents of orange blossom, mint, wild roses and roasted meats wafted in and out of our space.

We arrived at Cuevas del Mar around 12 noon after stopping en route several times to look at birds, take photographs or to chat to people we met along the way. Being such a small community means that most permanent residents know who you are or know someone who knows who you are... In general, they are a friendly bunch and the chance to chat for a while is welcomed by both parties (although I often lose my concentration or cannot understand their strong accents so I revert to the fixed half smile and nodding head syndrome with the occasional Si, Bale, or shrug of the shoulders...).

Cuevas del Mar

The water is still very cool

We explored the beach and rocks for a while, took refreshment and decided to commence our return along the coastal path where we could find a shady spot for lunch. Along the route there is a pond with shade where a few ducks and geese have taken up residence. There is something really nice about nibbling your favourite snacks and foods outside on a summer's day whilst enjoying the sights and sounds of the countryside.

We made our way back and stopped for ice cream in Llames de Pria arriving home about 3.30pm. It isn't a long walk, probably about 14 miles but never-the-less we welcomed the chance to relax in the garden with Wentworth and Gawber back at La Pasera with a cup of tea and a large slice of Luis' apple and walnut cake. A great birthday treat.

Nearly home


  1. Happy Birthday Ian! That sounds like a truly idyllic way to celebrate :D .

  2. Happy Birthday! Glad you had such an enjoyable day.


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