16th April – 24th April
We turned the fridge off before bed last night and had a reasonable sleep with no alarms. Our travels today had us driving off the main A roads and on an N road, which is smaller and generally nicer scenery. It was still raining although not as heavy and we travelled through many little towns over small mountains with lots of trees, surprisingly eucalyptus. We followed the Rio Eo, a smallish river that eventually flows into the ocean. We stopped at Pontenova for a cuppa where there was some big equestrian event and lots and lots of horses with their riders were returning from a ride somewhere all very wet. We continued onto the small town of Vegadio, not far from the coast. We had a quick walk around the town before returning for the afternoon.
We both felt like a good walk so we made a 20km detour from our original plan to Praia Das Catedrais on the coast where there are walk paths all along the cliff tops. It was a bit drizzly but we didn’t let that stop us. We donned our wet weather gear and had a lovely walk along the slate outcrops that dropped into the sea below us. There were several natural bridges and many caves along the way. Well worth the detour. We drove for another 20kms to our lunch spot, Arnelles where there is a lighthouse on the point and a great walk down to the beach. We had our lunch then headed off again to the lighthouse and the plan was to go in the opposite direction to the beach however with all of the rain, the path had washed away! Another change of plan. We were going to drive 95kms to our next destination but decided to go 4kms instead to the little port town of Navia which lies almost at the mouth of where the Rio de Navia (river) meets the sea. We had walk into town which for a Sunday was quite busy with locals visiting the many bars and catching up with friends. We stopped for a beer and some pinchos (1 or 2 free tapas) which all of the bars provide and then we had a walk along the river almost to the sea before coming home.
We took the scenic route on our travels today, passing many of the Camino de Santiago pilgrims. The scenery was lovely, winding through the forest with views to the ocean for most of the way. We went through a number of quaint little towns and passed many cows grazing in the fields as well as horses, some with foals. We stopped at Cudillero for lunch, parking at the marina. Afterwards we walked into town just up the road. Cudillero is a pretty fishing town with colourful houses on the Main Street and up the hill. We walked up to the lookout which gave us fantastic views of the ocean where the waves were pounding against the rocky outcrops. The view back into town from there reminded us of Rio Maggiore one of the five fishing villages in the Cinque Terra in Italy. Back on the road and to our final destination for today of Candás 40kms away on the Autovia which is our stop for the night.
We went through many tunnels today on our long journey of 170kms towards Santander, with the longest tunnel being 2.3kms. The scenery was very mountainous with snow capped peaks in the distance, cows horses and sheep dotted on the hillsides to our left and the ocean on our right. We drove on the Autovia and with a stop along the way for cuppa’s the journey took us about 2 1/2 hours. We arrived at our destination of Puente Viesgo and had our lunch before venturing up a very steep hill to a cave where there is rock paintings dating back 11000-15000 years and they have guided visits to see the rock art. It wasn’t open today, however we did enjoy the hike up with sheep and goats in the farms along the way. We headed back into town and had a lovely walk along the river before ringing up and booking a place for tomorrow for our cave visit. Our views from our overnight stop has many flowering plum trees around the perimeter of the carpark, nice houses, bleating sheep and roosters crowing in the distance.
Very heavy rain was falling when we woke so we thought we would have a quiet morning reading. The rain stopped at about 11, so we went for a walk along the river in the opposite direction to yesterday with everything smelling fresh after the rain. We had a very nice lunch at the La Terraza Hotel, three courses and drinks (a bottle of wine and beer) for €20! We caught up on our emails whilst there and then we headed back up to the cave, this time walking on the road as the rain would have made the path we took yesterday very boggy. Our guided tour was booked for 4.20pm and there was a group of about 14 of us, all Spanish except for us and a couple from Scotland. The cave itself was quite large with a lot of stalactites and stalagmites as well as the cave art. Sadly for us, it was all in Spanish but we sort of got the gist of it. We did see some photos of the art before we went in, so that did help a bit. The tour lasted about 30 minutes so once finished we walked back down the hill for a quiet evening.
We had a short drive to our final Spanish destination of Santander, 25 kms on the Autovia. We did the shopping before driving to the aire which is near the marina. After filling and emptying, we decided to drive around the corner to see what was available and found our home for the next three nights. We are parked opposite Santander on the other side of the bay with views across the water to the port and the marina and airport on the other side. Dave has driven over 1500 kms over the past two weeks so we are going to have a few days to relax and maybe do a few walks before heading back to the UK.
We had a lovely relaxing day today. After breakfast we walked around the headland and along the back of the Airport where we were lucky enough to watch a plane come in over our heads. We continued walking and ended up in the airport terminal for a bit of free wifi. From there we headed back to our parking spot, a journey of around 10kms. A lazy afternoon gazing out of the window at the passing boats and ships. Some beautiful yachts sailed past and there were lots of men fishing for squid.
Another easy day today. After a bit of a tidy up we went for a walk along the sea front on the opposite bank to the airport. We walked as far as the Autovia to check out the direction we need to take to get to the ferry tomorrow. Back to Tilly for lunch and we were fortunate to be able to watch a yacht race out of the window, some beautiful vessels of differing lengths with their spinnakers up crisscrossing the bay. A nice treat for our second last day in Spain.
We have had a relaxing couple of days and we ventured out for another walk around the airport today. Our time in Spain has been very enjoyable. The people are amazingly friendly, food and drinks are cheap and the scenery has been spectacular in many places. We are now ensconced in the Baie de Seine ferry for our 28 hour journey to the UK. So far everything has been good. The service is typically French, and the rooms are bigger than expected. The ocean is very calm and we are hoping for that to continue although we have taken sea sick tablets just in case. Our dinner tonight was roast beef and very enjoyable. Oh to have red meat!!! Hoping for a good nights sleep. Stay tuned!