Tapia de Casariego
A half hour drive from Foz took us to Tapia de Casariego, a small, sleepy pueblo overlooking the Atlantic. The aire was on a cliff top at the edge of town, with the misty mountains behind and the lovely turquoise and blue sea in front, and great value at €4 per night.
We stayed for a couple days, going for walks into the village. Like Foz before, lots of money seems to have been invested in the coastal path, so we also went for walking along the top of the cliffs to the small picturesque harbour, admiring the rugged coastline along the way.
We’d intended to stay at a small aire at Ortiguera, but as it was on an exposed cliff top and the weather was getting very windy, we decided to skip that and move on to the next aire on our route, 180 km along the coast, east of Gijon.
The small aire was empty when we arrived at lunchtime. It was quite new looking, and didn’t cost anything to stay there. On the downside, it backed on to a busy road and so was rather noisy, so we’d decided to stay for just the one night.
Ribadesella is a coastal town, and a gateway to the Picos de Europa national park. The main thing in town is the pretty harbour, and it was market day so we had a look round. As it was threatening to rain we didn’t hang around for long and spent the afternoon back at the van.
We’d moved far enough north east to be able to pick up some UK TV again, though only Sky News and not BBC. Sadly, it was rolling coverage of the aftermath of the terrible Manchester Arena bombing. As a regular gig-goer, and having been to that particular venue, it felt a bit close to home. What a world we live in.
We’ve visited the Picos previously, so we decided not to go there again. Instead we stayed at Cosío, in the Sierra de Peña Sagra, just to the east. As the name implies, it’s mountainous, but not as bad as the Picos.
The aire cost us €9 for two nights. It’s to the rear of a bar cum restaurant, and seemed very popular even though the pueblo is tiny and in the middle of nowhere. We had the aire to ourselves, and it was nice and peaceful. All we could hear was the babbling stream behind the van, the periodic chiming of the church bells and the sound of cowbells from a farm way in the distance. The scenery was beautiful, so we went for a couple of walks to enjoy it properly.
The aire at Cabárceno is about half an hour away from Santander, and so is busy with people using the ferry to get to and from Spain. It’s also popular because it’s free, and situated right next door to a wildlife park, close to the elephant and bison enclosure. The park is huge, and has cable cars as it’s quite mountainous. However, at €25 each admission, we gave it a miss. Staying here for two nights, we went for walks and a bike ride instead.
Tomorrow we plan to visit Bilbao for the day.