Site list (GPS fixes)
Walks (GPS tracks)
Making SMT boards
Spain 1973, 1974,
1975, 1976, 1977,
1979, 1982, 1983,
1985, 1986, 1987,
1988, 1989, 2000,
2001, 2002, 2003,
2004, 2005, 2006,
2007, 2008, 2009,
2010, 2011, 2012,
2013, 2014, 2015,
2016, 2017, 2018,
2019, 2020, 2021,
The Battle of
Expedition log, March & April 2023
Cueva del Cuélebre, Los Lagos, Cueva Bolado
UV-C, Tito Bustillo, Museo de la Emigración
Click on (or tap) any image thumbnail for
a full-size version.
||(Sunday) Mike to Bilbao from Gatwick; Bill from Milan. Tedious and rainy travel, but no masks required. Met in Bilbao as planned, then to Llanes with a stop in Sarón. Dinner
(lomo) at 22:00 in Rte. Uría.
East to Santillán (just west of San Vicente) for a coastal walk,
starting a little east of Posada Balcón, to locate Cueva del Cuélebre
📌. A pleasant 1.5km walk (gpx) from the road and an impressive entrance. Mike somewhat chagrined
because eight years before he had walked along the same track within
a few metres of the cave and didn’t see it because it is hidden behind
a mound and not immediately visible. Also, it is not marked on our
maps despite its archaeological significance.
Next to Buelles (halfway between Unquera and Panes) to locate La
Sauceda, a restaurant on our to-do list; promising but too early
for lunch so we checked out the local Cantina before progressing
to Casa Poli for lunch. Welcomed as usual, we enjoyed gambas al
ajillo, Serrano (ham), and La Planta. Back to Llanes for a
walk around town and later a very light supper.
||Breakfast with croissants in the hotel restaurant.
The weather forecast promised a warm day so we decided to try going
up into the mountains and the Covadonga lakes. Beautiful!
Lago Ercina (from above Bar Mª Rosa)
Strangely the temperature was warmer at high altitude; 25°C at
1100m. We had expected to see more snow in March; instead there
were hundreds of yellow flowers (probably the native Narcissus
bulbocodium, the petticoat daffodil). Dozens of tourists (like
us) had taken advantage of unlimited access to the high Picos. From
Easter (two weeks later) only bus transport will be allowed.
Los Lagos flower
On return we stopped off at La Casa Nueva, a bar/restaurant on the
outskirts of Corao. It seemed quite good and friendly, and offered
a tempting Menú del Dia at €14. But we were not feeling hungry enough
for that and proceeded to Casa Morán shop/bar in Puente Nueva for
a plate of mature Gamoneu cheese; very good.
||A warm day ahead (24°), Plan A was to visit Tito Bustillo, a
famous show/archaeological cave in Ribadesella. On arriving in Ribadesella
(which was very smoky) we learned that tickets were sold out for
the day and only two slots were available for the 30th, so we bought
tickets for the 14:00 slot (€2.12 each).
We then headed south via Margolles, noting numerous smoky and extensive
wildfires on the mountain slopes – thankfully on the other side
of the river Sella. We eventually arrived at Rte. la Roca in Sevares
(9km from Arriondas on the N624) where we had a light lunch of rather
good fish soup.
Strange place to build a tower ...
Back to Llanes for a walk along the Paseo San Pedro and around the
town for some pictures, etc., including the tower ‘blocking’ the
pavement. A rather chewy criollo for dinner in La Amistad.
||First objective was to test Mike’s UV-C torch (4W 255nm ultra violet) in
a cave, and Cueva Bolado seemed to satisfy all the criteria,
including close and easy access from Llanes. |
Our initial reaction was some disappointment as the hoped for fluorescence
was dimmer than expected in white stal. However we did find some
stronger yellow/green (and later blue) fluorescence on the cave walls.
No phosphorescence noted.
Cueva Bolado entrance
Then west on the autopista to Parilla La Chopera restaurant in Cardoso
where we were too early for lunch. But they gave us some good tapas
which satisfied our hunger and filled in most of the time before
going to Ribadesella, via Cuevas del Mar, to visit Cueva Tito Bustillo.
The guided tour took us 900m in meandering muddy passage to a gallery
with cave paintings (of horses) dated to 15,000 years ago. Some
artifacts elsewhere were claimed to be 32,000 years old. The visit
took just over an hour and the tickets were discounted to €2.12 each
for we seniors.
Cave passage at Cuevas del Mar
Back to Llanes to exchange data and bits of electronics, and to write
the log. A third warm day in the low twenties.
||First to Unquera for petrol (€1.64/l) then to La Hermida for refreshments.
The plan was for some wide panoramas of the La Hermida Gorge using
the drone, but it was extraordinarily hazy so instead we drove part
way up the road to Bejes and flew the drone in the smaller context
for several panoramas and stills of caves in the valley wall.
Caves in Bejes valley wall
Timing worked out well for lunch in a new (to us) restaurant, scouted
on the 27th: La Sauceda in Buelles; a good tomato salad for Bill
and above-average escalopines de ternera for Mike (unusually
light and crispy breading). A walk around the Llanes fishing harbour
in the afternoon was followed by the second new restaurant of the
day: Sidrería As de Guía in Llanes; a rich fish soup for both.
||Headed east to Pendueles where we were recognized in the El Chispero bar. It was a much cooler day and we had hoped to find the stove alight – but no such luck, although they did light it just as we were leaving.
Then back towards Llanes and we took the shorter but very curvy route
via La Pereda to Alto de la Tornería just in time for lunch at El
Roxin in El Mazuco. Here the grill was alight for the weekend and
as the first customers we were given the most panoramic table with
a spectacular view of the mountains. Mike ate ribs (costillas)
and Bill liver soup (sopa de higado).
Heavy rain was forecast for the afternoon so some playing with computers
took place, even though the rain didn’t materialise. Dinner at Salero.
Morning walk to Llanes lighthouse and environs, then as it was lightly
raining we decided against a drone flight and instead drove to Colombres
for a bit of culture – in this case the Museo de la Emigración (maintained
by the Fundación Archivo de Indianos). This museum is housed in
a powder-blue palace and commemorates the many Asturians who emigrated
to Latin America and often returned later and, with their wealth,
built mansions all over Asturias.
Museo de la Emigración
The many display rooms showed the people and their belongings (mostly
in the decades around 1900). There was also signage and the old
and current Asturian Club buildings and their extensive estates in
Mexico, Habana, Buenos Aires, etc.
Archivo de Indianos sign from an Asturian Club
It was still cold and damp so we then moved to Pendueles where the
wood-chip stove was very welcome. It being Palm Sunday (and shortly
after the church service had ended) the village and bar were unusually
busy. It also might explain why the free tapas were so substantial:
two pork meatballs, chips, and a tasty sauce. Thus fortified we
decided against the planned Casa Poli lunch and returned to Llanes
via Buelna. Spent some time computing, etc., then into a crowded
Llanes centre for some lacón con patatas at Sidrería Carbonería.
Pendueles El Chispero PalmSunday
||Hotel getting quite crowded – presumably with tourists coming to
Llanes for Semana Santa and Pascua (Easter). More traffic and full
The morning walk turned into a tinned-fabada-hunt; an old favourite
and a new brand were successfully procured.
It was dry and sunny but with the strong winds (20mph + gusts) we
decided again not to go to Ballota or Cobijeru for drone panoramas
and instead drove west to Posada for a second breakfast of tortilla
filled with tomato, ham, etc.
south via Casa Morán in Puento Nueva and thence to Arenas de Cabrales
for lunch. Patatas con Cabrales was deemed appropriate and was
Naranjo de Bunes peak (far distance)
Great views of the Naranjo de Bulnes tower-like peak in the sunshine
from a Mirador SW of Carreña. Then back to Llanes for a walk and
to save photos and write up the log.
Then, for the ‘expedition dinner’ out to Casa Poli; magret de pato
(duck) for Bill and una media de solomillo (half portion of steak)
con cabrales for Mike, washed down with La Planta, a favourite
Ribera. We learned that for ‘pink but not red’ steak, one should
ask for medio y un poco más.
||Despite stronger winds than forecast, sunshine and a relatively warm 13°C; tempted us to the cliffs near Playa Ballota to fly the drone mostly over the sea for four spherical panoramas of the cliffs and sea cave. Then some sitting in the sun at the inland end of the sea cave listening to cow bells and the sea.
On to Buelna for a simple lunch of tortilla then back to Llanes for
packing, short walk, etc. We were very lucky to get a parking space
immediately outside the hotel, or indeed to get any parking space
at all! Skipped supper.
||Left hotel 09:35; uneventful but slow travel (11.5 hours for Mike, 12.5 for Bill).
- Exchange rate: 1.13 EUR/GBP (compared to 1.43 in 2015, 1.10 in
2020); 88p = 1 Euro = 166 pesetas (≈188 pts/GBP).
- Petrol was €1.64/litre in Unquera (03.31).
- Weather: overall very good; unseasonably warm at first, then a day
of light rain followed by cool but fine weather.
- The drone flown was a DJI Mavic 2 Pro »; 38 min in total.
GPX tracks of the drone flights may be available if you contact
- The pictures in this log were taken using a Sony RX100M6 camera,
various phones, and the drone.
- 360° panoramas are very large and so are not displayed in this
log; instead, click on the any [360°] marker
to open and then save the panorama, or right click to save directly.
- Specific GPS positions are shown by a pushpin symbol (📌)
in the log above – click on the symbol for a Google maps view of
the position. These positions are also listed on the Speleogroup site list page with coordinates in °,′,″ degrees using
WGS84 datum and also in UTM coordinates; see Coordinate systems.
- Fixes and tracks were recorded using a Samsung S10e Android ’phone
using the MyTrails app (or by the drone, for drone flights).
- This log was almost entirely edited in the field on a Lenovo Yoga
notebook, using the
MemoWiki » extended
Wiki notation which is then processed by a
Rexx » script to generate the HTML for this