From Rio Luna to Foz, with Lots of Aires in Between

On Saturday we took another ride into San Emiliano and Colin watched the barking/howling dogs – he thinks they’re enjoying the ride and are actually making happy noises.  I like that idea a lot better – they’re sitting up and looking forward, their ears flapping in the wind – who wouldn’t enjoy that?

There’s a large rock outcropping at the edge of the village and on top are some storks roosting – very large nests and all, but I couldn’t actually glimpse any babies.

On the way back one of the wheels on the chariot came a bit loose and began to rub against the side so I had to stop – it took Colin a bit to return for us as I pushed the bike along the edge of the road.

I envisioned him starting his second beer by the time we got to the cafe, but he did notice we weren’t behind him anymore and turned around fairly shortly.

He fixed the wheel and we were on our way, stopping for a refreshing beverage at the cafe in Rabanal de Luna.

In the late afternoon we headed down to the campground bar and asked if the tv could be changed from the soccer game to the Vuelta a Espana – it’s the first stage and is a time trial around Burgos.

At half time of the soccer game we got our wish and were able to watch the last hour or so of the time trial, with Roglic putting in the best time and taking the red jersey on day one.  We were told – in a very friendly way – that the channel would not be changed for us again tomorrow as some of the locals were coming to the bar to watch the next soccer game on the big screen.

Two of the little boys staying next to us approached me one evening offering me one of several braided strings they’d made but I said no.  I regretted my dismissal of them and as they came back around a little later I waved them over.  They were so sweet – I chose one in purple and pink and it cost me a whole euro.  I’ve tied it to my camera case and when I showed them the next morning they were thrilled.

We weren’t in any great hurry to leave on Sunday morning and didn’t get away until almost noon – we followed the same road north that we’d taken two years ago towards Oviedo.

There’s a nice pullout near the border of Castillo Y Leon and Asturias with great views south back towards San Emiliano.

We had intended to stop at one of the aires near the top of the Bear Trail so we could take a ride, but it was so packed we didn’t even try – we kept going downhill to just past the town of Proaza where we’d stopped two years ago.  Once again the lot looked very full but we pulled into a space marked ‘bus’.

There were so many people coming and going off the trail that we decided we’d take our ride some other time – August seems to be when everyone in Spain takes their vacation all at once and we can’t stand the crowds!

We did spend the night in the parking area, along with about a dozen other vans.  It’s a fairly busy little road but nothing kept us awake.

There’s a very interesting mural on the side of a building in one of the towns on the way to Oviedo – all about the mining that was prevalent in the area in days gone by.

We had a bit of a time finding the Lidl’s store as the campervan’s GPS took us miles and miles from where we were meant to be.  Luckily we have the backup of Waze and eventually got where we were going.

All stocked up once again we headed west and a bit south to find another aire, intending to stay away from the north coast a bit longer in order to avoid the crowds.  And once again we got mis-directed, so had to back-track and try a different aire.

Along our ‘scenic route’ we did get to enjoy some great sites, and much of it was, of course, near one of the many Camino routes.

The aire we ended up at was not bad, and was located in the lovely village of Sta. Eulalia de Oscos.  We parked the campervan and walked the doggies to a nice bar with outdoor seating for refreshments.

They had a large tv that I could see from my outside chair and the bartender eventually gave in and changed channels to the Vuelta so we could see the last of the day’s stage up Picon Blanco.

The village itself has put some effort into being attractive – there are several displays and murals, and all of the buildings are well maintained and don’t look derelict, like in some places.

There’s a large field next to where we’re parked and it has a very lonely donkey in it – they’re much happier if they have a friend, even if it’s a goat or horse.

Colin fed it some carrots and we saw that it has some sort of skin condition, maybe cysts or tumours.

As we left the village just after 11:00 we saw yet another interesting sculpture – I like that the cow is wearing her helmet, and is also signalling a left-hand turn – haha!

As I walked down to take a photo of the cow-on-moto I also some more wall art.

We still wanted to stay a bit away from the coast so headed to our next chosen aire in the village of Taramundi.  The village looked quite nice but seemed to be teeming with visitors so we kept going.

The next aire on our list was in A Pontenova – yes, that is the name of the place – but we couldn’t find it.  There was an occasional sign saying ‘800 metres’ but then nothing but going in circles so we continued on to the next place – Mondonedo.

We found the aire but the spots weren’t really big enough for campervans – we parked temporarily to have a bite to eat and I did a bit of exploring with Mo.

The town seems fairly nice and has some interesting buildings – also it’s a big stop on the Camino.

There was an adorable little kitten on the ‘Juliet balcony’ of an apartment across from where we were parked – it was out on the ledge for a bit and wasn’t concerned about the drop.

He made it safely back inside and we left shortly after.  We changed our minds about going to the coast and decided to head to a campground we like just west of Foz, stopping in Ribadeo on the way to refill our cooking-gas supply.

It was an extremely frustrating endeavour, but successful in the end, finding what we needed at a Peugeot garage.

The San Rafael campground was open and quite busy, although the nice bar – with the big tv – was closed.  We got settled and I made a vegetable soup with bacon and mushrooms for dinner – it was pretty good, if I do say so myself!

I took a nice walk to the ocean after dinner, encountering a couple of kite-flyers on the way.

I don’t doubt that kites fly well here as the wind was fierce.

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