Friday, 20 April 2018

Bear country

Friday 20 April 2018 - Day 47

Yay - it’s the weekend!  Nido’s parked up in a beautiful free aire in Barrio Entrago, surrounded by lush grassy fields, trees and high mountain ridges; the tallest of which in the distance are still capped with snow.  There’s a fast flowing, white-water river by us.

We enjoyed our breakfast with a sea view this morning and a lovely drive to this place.  The green fields, trees, small villages and winding roads reminded us of a cross between mid-Wales and the German Black Forest.  I know I’ve said it before, but this part of Spain is really beautiful and unspoilt and certainly an area we’ll return to.  We’d planned a couple of days inland in the mountains, so this stop was perfect.  The village of Entrago is quite small - houses with land growing their own vegetables, a few small bars and restaurants and a panaderia.  The aire is actually a large car park and overlooked by the Guardia Civil station; they regularly drive around so I don’t think we’ll have any problems here.  Although the service point (to empty the loo) is permanently closed, there’s another service point in a village called San Martin just 1.8km up the road.  But there is fresh water, toilets, showers and a sink to wash clothes/pots.  This is a very popular walking, cycling and climbing area and I think the grass area behind where we parked (with wooden picnic benches where we ate dinner) is probably used for camping in the summer.

Entrago is within the 300 sq-km protected area of the Cordillera Cantabrica, known as Parque National de Somiedo.  Comprising five valleys descending from the 2000m heights of the snow-covered mountains we can see in the distance, it’s characterised by its lush woodland and high pastures dotted with thatched shepherd’s shelters - we can hear cowbells on the hillsides above us.  It’s also the major bastion of Spain’s small remaining brown bear population.  Each valley has lots of marked cycling and walking trails.  In one corner of the aire is the Entrago end of the Senda del Oso (Path of the Bear).  It’s a 20km walking trail along the course of a former mine railway, through fields, riverbank woodlands, villages and canyons, finishing in the village of Tunon.  We decided to walk some of this today.  We had high mountains on both sides, plus the raging, white-water river running some distance below us.  It was a beautiful walk, with loads of wild flora and fauna; Cathy saw her first ever bee fly!  She also found some wild marjoram which went into our dinner. The walk passed rock faces with climbing pitons embedded high above our heads and we did see a couple of guys climbing.  We also passed through a few long tunnels, water dripping on to us - very cooling after the hot sunshine.  We turned around about 1.5 hours in and reversed our route back to the van; a really enjoyable easy walk.  

Dinner was rabbit paella, finished off with some of the prawns we bought yesterday, eaten outside at the wooden table and benches just behind the van.  The rest of the evening we sat watching the mountains (no bears seen but lots of birdlife) change colour as the sun set and listening to the fast-running river.  Tomorrow’s promising to be an even hotter day, so we plan to walk in the morning before it gets too hot, this time climbing up towards one of the ridges.  Well, that’s the plan.

Beautiful place to stay


Any bears in there?


That could ruin your day if you timed it wrong!

Rabbit and prawn paella


  1. Chris and Peter21 April 2018 at 06:14

    Oh, so happy for you. Finally some nice weather! And wow, that paella looks yummmmmyyy!
    About the pot you are using: is it a special motorhome one? We are still looking for pots for the van, with a thin bottom that is. At present we have camping pots but they are so small...

    1. The pot isn't specifically a motorhome one, but I like it because it has high sides and a lid so multiple use. We also have a smallish high side frying pan, a small saucepan with lid and a small milk pan. All stack one on the other to save room! We also have a Remoska - a small electric 'oven' for when on electric hook up. Lakeland sell them - low voltage and a great bit of kit. We tend to cook mainly one pot meals - easier and less washing up!

    2. Chris and Peter23 April 2018 at 07:47

      Many thanks for the info re pots and pans. Keep enjoying!

  2. Now putting Germany on the ever growing list.

  3. Another beautiful region in northern Spain and one could be forgiven for thinking to have been teleported to Switzerland, Germany or Austria; nobody expects that! Nice aire at Cóbreces, if you don't mind the smell of 'pastured' fields. Paella looks great! I am making one tomorrow. ��

    1. It is a beautiful area and thanks for the tip. Enjoy your paella!