Sunday, September 16, 2012

The coast near home

When we were initially looking for a house we both said how great it would be if we could live on the coast or within striking distance. We drew a line on a map and started looking. After many disappointments we eventually found La Pasera. Situated just 1km (as the crow flies) from the coast it was perfectly positioned.

Most days when time allows we will walk to the coast on one of numerous routes. You can saunter on the quiet country lanes through a couple of sleepy villages, meander along farming tracks and animal paths or take the Camino de Santiago towards Ribadesella and veer off towards the cliffs. The scenery is spectacular and within a short distance by foot, car or bicycle there are some spectacular beaches and yet more coastal paths.

The Asturian coastline is unspoilt in the main with very little development and few facilities but that doesn't stop the visitors during the main holiday season in July, August and early September. Outside of those months it is rare to see anyone unless it is a particularly hot day and then you might get a few locals or weekenders.

The limestone cliffs near La Pasera are spectacular and peppered with blow holes known as Bufones. This is where the sea has undercut the rock and fissures act as a chimney. When high tides occur, the pressure of the water being propelled through the fissure forms a large jet of sea spray. Some of these blow holes are half a kilometre in land. On a still night when the tide is high you can here them breathe like dragon breath, a haunting inhalation followed by a long deep exhalation.

With over 200km of unspoilt coastline in Asturias there are many golden and clean beaches that only ever see tourists for about 8 weeks of the year. There is nothing better than walking along the shoreline, beach-combing on pristine and untouched sand, listening to the waves and watching the sea-birds gliding high above. The plants and animals that inhabit the shoreline never cease to amaze us and each day we count our blessings and remember how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful part of the world.

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