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Cangas de Onís - Cangas del Narcea

This spring I spent a week "lost" in the Asturian side of the Cordillera Cantábrica. Nice weather, beautiful mountains, rural villages, friendly people, a lot of wildlife... a perfect week.






I designed my own route at home, but once in the field, it changed almost everyday thanks to local people's recommendations.

Ancient ways










Cornón peak and Camín Real de la Mesa (ancient roman way)




To progress in this ancient ways was sometimes hard, because nowadays they are not used and the vegetation has occupied some of them. Anyway, it was very fulfilling to reach the next valley or pass using that old itineraries.






Normally, seeing a burnt landscape is not nice, but a pair of times it was a good thing for me, because it made easier to cross that "clean" slopes.




No artist in the world could mix so well rock, forest, villages and pastures as Asturias does. To make it even better, the highest summits where still snow covered.


Pierzu/Pierzo peak



Pervís village near Sella river



Cirieño village and Mota Cetín (peak)




Pen village



Valle Ruamón (valley) and Pico Pondio (peak).



 This should have been one of the best sights of the trip (of Tiatordos peak):




I think it has been the first time I see someone sleeping outside in Cordillera Cantábrica (out of Picos de Europa). In the next photo, my tent.



Tiatordos the next morning




Foz de la Escalada (gorge in the left)



Brañadosu (ruins of a herder settlement) and Peña Maciédome (peak in the back)



Peña Ten and Peña Maciédome peaks



Picos de Europa massif



The main ridge of the Cordillera Cantábrica, (almost) always on my left



Pendones village





Foz de Palombar (gorge) and Tiatordos peak



Soto village




Valle del Nalón (valley) and Peña Maciédome (peak)



Tiatordos



Sierra de Brañapiñueli (range)



Brañagallones (herder settlement) surrounded by Sierra de Pintacanales (range on the left) and Sierra de Príes (range on the right)



Pico Torres (peak on the right)



Mayá de la Tabierna (herder settlement)



Collá Cebarón (pass)



Pico La Forcá (peak)



Valle del Río San Isidro (valley), Sierra de Collaroces (range on the left) and Pico Torres (peak on the right)



Sierra de Pelúgano (range)





Llamas village, Pico Torres (peak on the left) and Pico Cueto (peak on the right)






El Rasón herder settlement area and Sierra del Cuadro (range)



Next massif: Macizo de Ubiña






Congostinas village and the railroad that crosses Cordillera Cantábrica. To accomplish it, it uses 63 tunnels and 156 bridges in a 42km stretch. This railroad is going to be replaced by two parallel tunnels of 24,6km.




Ubiña massif's peaks: Fariñentu, Picos del Fontán, Peña Rueda...



Peña Rueda (peak)



El Chegu lake



Puertos de Agüeria (high altitude pastures)



Ranchón and Huertos del Diablo peaks



Braña de la Cardosina (herer settlement)




Ubiña massif from the other side



Las Morteras de Ordiales (herder settlement)



Braña La Corra (herder settlement).



Campa Cueiro (pasture)



In the last part of the route the landscape changed. Villages and pastures were not placed in the bottom of the valleys, but on the slopes or even on the ridges.



Ridera village



The surprise was in this valleys. They are so narrow that they still remain wild, and therefore, full of wildlife...





When someone thinks about wildlife in Cordillera Cantábrica, a few species can come to mind: Wolf, deer, Cantabrian Capercaillie (Urogallo Cantábrico)... but all are overshadowed by bears. In 2013 there were about 210 bears in the entire range (about 200km long).

It's an incredible experience to hike surrounded by so much wildlife.






I found lots of wolf excrements




I'm not sure of who did this...



Bear excrements




Bear marks



And the most intense moment of the trip: Bear footprints




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