Photographer's Note

From Arenas de Cabrales, a road leads to the small village of Poncebos. Spanish villages can be very small, and I do wonder if occasionally one single house is pompously coined "village". For those heading into the mountains, this is the place to leave the car on the side of one of the narrow, windy roads. The availability of parking space is practically unlimited, however, on the busy Saturday I chose the roadsides were packed and I had to park far and walk back to the trail head. Forced to cope with the demands of modern vehicle traffic and the limitations of the narrow roads in the old towns, the Spanish have brought parking to an art and the cars are packed like sardines.
The trail into the mountains, towards Refugio de Los Cabrones (Refugio J. R. Lueje on some maps) situated 1800 m higher, starts with a short descent into the valley and the crossing of Rio Cares, which enjoys its own fame due to its spectacular gorge, clear water and the long canal that brings water along the steep walls, high above the river, to a small hydroelectric power plant. My trail continued on switchbacks through the gorge of Rio del Texu, towards the Village of Bulnes. Until recently, this mule path was the main access to the village, which does not have an access road but is now connected by an underground cable car. A late start is not recommended, because the trail head is at an altitude of less than 300 m over the seal level and the gorge becomes quite hot once the sun is up. Not to mention the nuisance of the bugs. I had been tired after the festival the night before and started around noon, and so the first hour was not overly enjoyable...

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Additional Photos by Roland Roesler (Roly) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 546 W: 9 N: 436] (2024)
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