Gijon to Ribadeo

Gijon was our landfall when we crossed Biscay in our boat a few years ago so we thought it would be a nice stopover on our tour. We found the Motorhome Aire next to the port entrance as the rain came down and did not stop for the next 10 hours. We ventured out on Sunday morning as the town dried out. The city’s housing comprises of high-rise apartments and every parking space in every road we walked was taken. The back streets were full of dilapidated industrial buildings with no windows that were providing homes to the world pigeon population. The only shops open on Sunday morning were the Patisseries for bread and cakes, it did strike me as funny that in such a deprived area fancy cakes and pastries would sell but there again the area was well served with pizzerias and a McDonald’s.

For my ride to Ribadeo I started on the edge of the town so that Kaye did not have to navigate the morning rush hour traffic, almost at once I was rolling along a rich verdant valley with chalet style houses dotted about that looked like they had been there for eternity. As well as the house and outbuildings each plot had a wooden “Horreros”, a granary built on staddle stones and a very neat log store with wood cut to the millimetre in length and stacked with a spirit level, I reckon a man’s character can de defined by his log store.

“Herreros” wooden granaries of Asturias

I got to the end of the valley, a quick right and left turn to the next valley but this one told a different tale, it proclaimed heavy industry, a large steel making plant with large manufacturing buildings, railway and belching chimneys, this commercial transformation continued all the way to the town and port of Aviles where some large ships were at the dockside unloading their cargo.

Heavy steel section moved with ease

Aviles

Once clear of Aviles I was back to green countryside and small villages, the road was constantly undulating and progress was not made easy by a very strong headwind.

I met Kaye for a coffee stop at Soto Luina, outside the cemetery ( always a large spacious car park ). Suitably refreshed I pedaled on and a series of long zig zag descents followed by the same in an uphill direction, at least it seemed to offer a bit of shelter from the wind

Approaching Luarca I was again pedalling uphill and into the wind and progress was slow when I was passed by a combine harvester, now being on the Camino I saw this as divine intervention and with half a dozen pedal strokes I took his draught for an easy three miles to the centre of Luarca.

From Luarca I had only one road number to follow, the N-634 and this gave me some lovely views with little traffic to worry about. Approaching Villapedre I saw that Kaye had parked up on the side of the road so I pulled in for a lunch stop, another cemetery and we seem to have a bit of a theme here. The final 23 miles to our destination flew by, Kaye had located a **camper stop at Tapia De Casariego and was able to give me directions courtesy of the i-phone and Google maps, life is easy when technology plays ball. After parking up and a shower we walked into town for a beer at the local cafe where the local senior citizens were enjoying a very vocal card school. A very challenging but rewarding days cycling, 88.4 miles and 6190ft climbing for the day

Camper Aire  at Gijon  N43.54472° W5.69556° Free, WC disposal + water

Camper Aire by the sea Tapia De Casariego, Agenda De Serantes, N43.56606° W6.94550° WC discharge + water €4 per night, police will collect money but the never did appear !!

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