We have a delightful, if unexpected stop today. It was only meant to be a pause to fill up with water, but the busy carpark indicates that an exploration might be in order, so it’s off we go.
We’re in just at the edge of the Austurias region, in Cangas de Onis, one of the gateways to the Picos de Europa National Park. Being August and the official start of holiday season, the town is full to the brim with people on hiking, canoeing and other outdoor adventures. The less physically inclined meanwhile, are tackling lunch with gusto.
Cangas de Onis is also home to a series of beautifully preserved ancient structures including the Ermita de Santa Cruz church, built in 733 and a magnificent stone arched bridge crossing the Rio Sella, built in 13th century, but mysteriously named the “Roman” bridge.
There’s also an unusual church fronted by a statue of Pelayo, the ruler of the Visigoths who encouraged his people fight victoriously against the Moors by initially refusing to pay their taxes, leading eventually to a full blown crusade.
It’s busy and there’s lots to do and see including deciding where to have dinner – there’s a thriving restaurant scene with specialities including an impressive display of (locally made) cider pouring from a great height, so done to give it a frothy head.
Later in the evening Chris has caved to his yearning for a wood fired feast. It’s a good choice but there’s oh so much food. With just two dishes ordered, ribs and Iberico pork, our table is groaning. An excellent aged vino tino does its best to assist.