Days 6-10: The Asturian coast

Having plonked ourselves bang in the middle of the coast line, days out tended to be driven by heading in one direction or the other, rather than activity theme. For the blogs sake, we’ve done one on the coast towns, and another on the mountains, despite them both being typically covered in a day…. 

Finally some sunshine! We made the most of a bright day and headed to Llanes, as a stop on our way to the east Picos mountains. Our tapas lunch was far more generous than expected, but Simon’s never one to turn down an eating challenge, and it gave us time to soak up the atmosphere of the harbour. A quick mooch around the town and headland to see the beaches and it was back in the car to head off to Fuente Dé, covered in another blog post.

Another sunny day gave us the chance to go dinosaur hunting. I’d read that the beaches around Colunga had fossilised dinosaur footprints, and E was keen for a photo opportunity in her dinosaur vest. Our first stop on Merón beach was unsuccessful. The beach was remote and stunning, but my broken Spanish and charades determined from the only other person on the beach that you had to wait for the tide to go out, then scramble around the side of the cove. Probably not a wise thing to do with a baby in a sling. Especially since she’d chosen that point to nap and our plan was to photo her, still sleeping, in her car seat next to the footprints. On to the next place. 

We had more luck at La Griega beach, where signs and a footpath took us off around the cove to clearly signposted footprints of a number of dinosaurs. Lucky they were signposted though, as we’d have never made them out otherwise! 

The neighbouring town had a Jurassic museum, where we had great fun posing Evelyn and her dinosaur vest with fibreglass beasts. All these were in the gardens, so we didn’t even need to pay to go in to the museum, result! And just as well, since we’d typically arrived 1/2hr before it closed. I was still a bit gutted not to see in real life the photos I’d seen on the internet of dinosaur skeletons doing it. Shame.

On dinosaur tour day we also stopped in a beautiful fishing village called Tazones which looks like a film set it’s that quaint. Typical bad planning meant we hadn’t thought to go for lunch and it was too early for dinner, so Simon was spared having to confront his fishy fears. Still we did get to see a very odd house covered entirely in shells where I can only presume Old Gregg (Mighty Boosh) lives. Further bizarreness ensued with posters for an up coming festival where the village would be flooded with Morris dancers and bagpipers, but unfortunately we’re moving on to Santiago de Compostela that day.

A drizzly day saw us head out to Gijon, predominantly to get supplies from Decathlon. We hadn’t read the guidebook in advance (again) and it turns out there’s not really that much to see. The town is a bit industrial, and has more of a reputation for wild nights than scenic days. Still, we made the most of our outing, wandering along the beach front to the harbour with its innovative old wine bottle Christmas tree (still erected in June) and on to Parque de Atalaya on the headland. There’s a sculpture there called “Eulogy to the horizon”, but we both agreed it reminded us of the water tower on the Downs, and that a lick of paint wouldn’t go amiss. A further wander down to the beach for an ice cream, and then back through the old town completed our visit. Still, at least we got some new chairs, and some elastic for the broken awning pole.

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