Wild, wild North (Part II)

We leave the mountains behind and we turn to the sea.  The sea is also wild. Sometimes stormy, always wild. With mighty tides and crashing waves. The charming little fishermen villages are the coordinates to find shelter and humanity. These are places like the tiny Tazones, with a handful of nice little corners, white houses with colourful woodwork, a miniature harbour and lots of fish restaurants. They look good, but we have already eaten.

We arrive in Cudillero in the evening and the sea is so rough that we cannot park in the space designated for campers because the waves are so high that they break above the walls of the harbour and inundate the parking, impressive. The town is lovely though, cosily tucking the sides of the hills, with the shape of a shell. The views are nice from every angle. A kind local accompanies us to one of the view points of the town and gives us some tips to visit the surroundings. We just get a bit disappointed that we don´t find a single restaurant or sidrería open in the evening to have a bite and a drink, so go back to Polaris and cook something simple, which is anyway warm and comforting.

Not far from Cudillero is Playa del Silencio (the Beach of Silence). The name is sort of paradoxical, since the sound of the sea is thunderous over there, as the waves crash against the giant rocks, dissolving themselves in salted mist that floats on the ambiance everywhere.

The bigger town of Luarca is maybe not as charming as the previous two, but has some nice corners as well.

Also nearby is Portizuelo Beach, carpeted of pebbles that vibrate with the coming of the mighty waves. The tide is high and one has the impression that one of those waves is going to drag the whole beach into the sea. It´s the perfect place to wait for the sunset, while admiring the dramatic coast and the special rock with the shape of an arcade that the locals just call Óleo Furao (Pierced Rock).

We spend a night camped next to the lighthouse of Illa Pancha, next to the Galician town of Ribadeo. The wind is so strong, that we think if we would add some little wings to Polaris would happily surf the skies. The place is really nice though, even if the weather is not fully with us.

A bit more to the west is the amazing and fascinating Praia das Catedrais (Cathedral Beach), which get the name from the magnificent collection of natural arches that provide a buttrest to the cliffs along the coast. It can only be explored during low tide, at very particular times.

We arrive in the evening and the wind continues to blow strong, the waves are powerful and break wild against the rocks.

This means that the day after the tide doesn´t quite reach the expected low point, which results in people having to climb to the rocks every time a big wave approaches the beach and inevitably wet feet.

Well worth it.

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Cathedral beach

Then we go land inwards and start heading east. We arrive to Oviedo, which is a lovely, lovely city.  Its streets emanate the scent of history and its arteries are vibrant and full of life. Old and modern in the special way that towns with a long university tradition are.

And then unexpectedly, on our way further east, we find a desert named Bardenas Reales. This type of landscape is very unusual for the region of Navarra, where we are at, and it´s the result of a special climate made up of cold winters, hot summers and long dry periods interrupted by heavy rain. There is also a wind current that blows through the area, called cierzo”.  This wind is responsible for the rough landscape, the canyons and plateaus. Some of the shapes of the landscape look like pure magic.