Northern Spain Road Trip – Day 13

We’re on the move again today, continuing our stay in the Picos but this time we’re moving over to Arenas Cabrales for 2 nights, there’s an epic hike that Brownie thinks we should tackle. As we’re packing our bags we hear a cacophony of cow bells outside. We look out the window and see numerous herds of beautiful tan coloured Cantabrian cows being ushered down the main road. We later drive past the livestock market that they were headed for about two villages down the valley, imagine the chaos this would cause on the roads back at home.

One cow clearly can’t bear the thought of being parted from a luv interest 😂

We load the car up and head back up in the direction of Fuente De where we were yesterday. There’s a walk that’s been recommended by one of the hotel receptionists back in San Sebastián and also by a lovely lady in the local tourist office. We climb the steep switch back roads and marvel as we arrive at our destination. Mogrovejo village, one of Cantabria’s most picturesque villages, with a population of 40, hugs a hillside 10km west of Potes. This picturesque village with a medieval watchtower, 16th-century houses and 17th-century church are brilliantly set against a stunning Picos de Europa backdrop.

We walk up a steep hill to commence our walk and ascend through green pasture and an array of trees and spring flowers. There’s hardly anyone around and we frequently have the walk to ourselves. We know that the mountains are there but can’t see them. We come across occasional vistas affording us views of the beautiful starkly jagged peaks. It really is quite a stunning walk. We descend and stop in the village for some refreshments before heading off for our next stop.

We have to head down the valley back the way we came in order to join the road to Arenas de Cabrales and friends recommended that we stop at a spa en-route with the mineral rich water naturally heated and bubbling out from 3 springs. It’ll be rude not to we have after all just had a good walk. So for 17 euros each we can soak our aching limbs in a variety of virtually empty hot mineral pools for 90 mins. Oh and only the outside ones are open so we get to enjoy the gorgeous Hermida gorge scenery and marvel at the golden eagles as they swoop and soar high above us on the thermals. It’s a lovely way to spend a Saturday afternoon. Refreshed and relaxed we reluctantly leave the spa and hit the road for Arenas Cabrales.

We arrive in Arenas de Cabrales locate our hotel and once again disgorge the contents of the car, here’s hoping we have a big enough room for all our paraphernalia. Fortunately we do, so once everything’s sorted we venture out into town in search of something to eat.

A local band entertains us in a food market. The gaita asturiana is a traditional Asturias bagpipe consisting of 2 pipes as opposed to the 4 pipes of the traditional Scottish bagpipe

We find a restaurant but are informed that the dinner menu won’t be available until 8pm – with the Spanish eating late it’s often difficult to find anything other than tapas available between 4-8/9pm. We choose a meat and cheese board with some delicious tangy blue Cabrales cheese and discuss the plan for tomorrow’s hike. As luck would have it we’re still in the restaurant at 8pm and have delicious veal for dinner. There’s a music and culture festival on in town under an enormous marquee so we wander along to listen to have a listen the bands. The music is very folk Celtic influenced and we jig the night away with the locals it’s been a brilliant day and no doubt we’ll have slightly sore heads in the morning.


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