“At last!” I hear you cry. Yes, at last, I’m talking about the Cares Gorge walk, or as the locals call it, ‘Ruta de Cares‘.
There are a number of options ahead for the walk; you can drive to Cain and walk to Poncebos which is the easiest option, walk from Poncebos to Cain with vehicle support at the end or for the best adventure and chance of wonderful vistas walk from Poncebos to Cain and back again.
That was the route we took the second time we visited. The first time was a shambles as we arrived late in the day (around 3pm when it was blistering hot) and had very little water. On that occasion we opted for a little meditation by the farmhouse and then walked back.
On our second visit we had a friend in tow and he was as keen as us to complete the walk.
We arrived early to get a good parking space, followed our checklist (see part 2 for that by clicking here) and were on the path by 9am.
There is too much to discuss for one article so I’m going to break the walk into several sections which will make it easier to digest.
Part 1 – Into the Cares Gorge
The first part of the hike is an uphill trudge which is hard on the ankles and knees. The ground is difficult due to loose shingle and the path can be quite narrow in places. In other words, the first few kilometres get the blood pumping and the heart racing.
After the initial winds the path levels off and straightens out a little more and you’re treated to stunning views of the gorge. Just before a bend in the path there is an old abandoned farmhouse which now serves as a respite for walkers and mountain goats alike. The area is home to a wonderful range of animal life and the goats especially are quite friendly.
On our first visit we stopped here to meditate and soak up the blazing sun but on this occasion we carried on walking, following the path as it rose towards an arch in the rock at which point the path started to descend a little following a bend to the right.
It was here that we realised the extent of the walk and the magnificence that the Picos de Europa was about to afford us. The gorge plummeted hundreds of feet below us while the massif walls soared high above on both sides. The narrow path could be seen stretching off into the distance, twisting, winding, rising and falling between the gargantuan mountain sides.
I felt a rush of excitement at the prospect of a day wandering the mountains and I was energised by the closeness I felt to this largely untouched natural wonder.
Next up in part 2, the majesty of the Cares Gorge.
If you want to do the Cares Gorge walk you can book a hotel in Poncebos by clicking here.
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