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Published: June 28th 2014
Seemed to take ages to get packed up and leave today and it was 11am before I paid the campsite bill and we set off heading for the mountains. We knew that Clarissa Tomtom was going to have a day off today as the GPS is very poor in the mountains and indeed we managed to miss our way in the first 2 towns we came to. Not Clarissa’s fault but our Spanish road atlas is 90% useless and will be heading for the rubbish bin when we get to Santander.
Cangas de Onis was the second town we mislaid our road and looked a delightful place to stop for a visit but, like so many pretty and busy places with parked cars right down both sides of the road, not for us in a motorhome. Plenty of tourists about and lots of walkers, canoeists. Also some interesting looking shops. We don’t do a lot of shopping when we’re away, fortunately really, as we only rarely get to visit them, when they’re open anyway. Oddly, our trips to town generally seem to coincide with siesta time.
We were not taking the direct route to Potes but a
scenic one via the lakes at Riano. We travelled quite some distance along a tortuous river ravine, narrow, round blind bends and overhanging rockface but at least the rock was generally on the other side of the road. Fortunately the traffic was light and we didn’t meet any problems. Fortunate also that I trust Bob to manoeuvre the Tandy round the many bends though have to admit to holding quite tightly to the grab handle where the bends were particularly blind.
Once through Puerto de El Ponton, a pass high up in the mountains, we realised we had come through the heavy and low cloud cover and now had a lovely blue sky. Up to this point there had been little opportunity for stops because of the narrowness of the roads. At one point there was a viewpoint and we of course stopped to view and have lunch.
As we were driving down a wider stretch of road with wild grass on either side we spotted half a dozen storks feeding in the grass. We stopped to watch and then, just as we set off again, there was an absolutely magic moment, when one of the storks took
off and flew alongside and then in front of the Tandy. I of course had the camera ready and snapped and snapped until I almost had a movie of its flight.
The Embalse de Riano, a multi-legged lake, gave us some spectacular scenery with the pointed Picos mountains as a backdrop to the lovely turquoise water. At Riano the view was made even prettier by a bridge across the water and some pretty Catalan buildings.
Up to that point we had been heading South East but then turned North East for Potes. We have in fact driven this part of the route once before, in September 2009 coming up from the south. On that occasion we met with some quite lengthy delays as one of the passes over the mountains was undergoing major roadworks. Today the road was good, the traffic light and the only bad point was that we drove back under the low cloud and lost the blue skies and wonderful views.
We saw some signs for wild animals and sure enough spotted a couple of wild boar on a grassy slope and then a fox, slinking across a field. Magic again.
Arriving in Potes, we found our campsite just past the town on the road to Fuente de. Lovely spot, hign up off the road with lovely views of the, cloud topped, mountains. Pretty cows in the field next to the site and birds everywhere.
The pool was lovely though I was pretty surprised to have to wear (and therefore buy) a swimming hat. The explanation being that hair is dirty (mine was washed this morning) and it is a rule in Spain that hats must be worn. Never ever had to wear one before anywhere, Spain or otherwise so assume the health and safety brigade must have paid the campsite a visit !
Not an issue though as everything else about the campsite is superb. The sanitaires are so beautifully presented I took a photo !
Campsite - Camping La Viorna
Our rating 9.5 / 10
Price – Acsi - $16
Tot: 1.971s; Tpl: 0.117s; cc: 11; qc: 35; dbt: 0.0368s; 1; m:saturn w:www (220.127.116.11); sld: 4;
; mem: 1.4mb