Saturday 25thMay – Day 30

There was a distinct chill in the air this morning, as we walked the dogs. A reminder that it is still spring and in this part of the world the snow has only just melted. We walked as far as the small hamlet of Santo Adriano and yet more apple orchards and met some of the locals. When we returned to our car park campsite the local cycling club had convened on our car park and were busy getting their bikes off their cars ready for a good Saturday morning ride. As much as we would have liked to join them and regale them with our cycling tales from yesterday, we headed north to the coast and the seaside town of Ribadasella.

We are back on the route of Lesley and Andy’s bike ride, with Ruth and Dom, last year and Ribadasella was one of their overnight stops. Last time they had stayed in a hotel in the town, this time we were 30 minutes’ walk outside on a pretty, well-kept site that boasted of views of the Picos de Europe. It might have had a great view once, but now the trees had grown, and the best pitches were covered by wooden cabins. We could just see them if we climbed to the top of the campsite beside the restaurant (only open in July and August) and stood on tiptoes.

Ribadasella from the dinosaur footprints end of the beach

The walk down a steep hill brought us to the beach and a seafront with a very classy feel. Before walking along the promenade into town we turned left and walked to the most westerly point of the bay where the cliffs crumbled down into the sea. A quick scramble over the safety fence and I was looking at another set of dinosaur foot prints. Daren had told andy about them in preparation for their previous trip. Ribadasella has quite a collection of prehistoric remains, It also has a display of cave paintings and it is easy to see why this fertile corner of the continent, where a river meets the sea, in the shelter of steep cliffs would be an attractive place to settle.

Of course it is a footprint!

As we got closer to the town end of the beach, it was clear that there was something happening, there were hordes of youngsters in blue t shirts milling around and more of them on the beach with balls flying up in the air. We had stumbled on the “All Asturias children’s beach volley ball championship”. It was a very big event. There were 25 courts as well as practice courts and some for the under-11s marked out. The prom and the beach were also covered with gazebos belong to the various clubs and teams competing, manned by parents dishing out refreshments, retrieving children from the sea and smoking (there are an amazing number of smokers in Spain).

After watching for long enough to realise that youth beach volley ball uses three a side as opposed to the adult doubles’ version and the under-11s have four on a team. We crossed the bridge over the river to find a sidreria. A sidreria is a bar that specialises in cider and, in particular, serving it in its own unique style. The sidre is much like scrumpy in that it is cloudy and flat. To give the amber nectar some air to enhance its taste the waiter pours the bottle from eye-level into a glass held level with his hip, without looking at it! Our waiter must have still been practising as Alf had a splash of cider lying on the floor at my feet.

This evening it is our own paella (with extra seafood) and a map chat. Where shall we go tomorrow?

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