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Ready for our trip to Cantabria

Yorkshire, England
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Ready for our trip to Cantabria

Hello, bjbyorkshire here, just to say that we leave home on Tuesday morning (17th Sept) to travel to Portsmouth for the evening ferry to Santander arriving Wednesday evening and staying for 5 nights. We are really looking forward to it very much. I looked at the 10 day weather forecast and apart from Wednesday evening and Thursday morning where it says a little rain the rest of the time looks as though it should be just perfect. If we are planning on looking at the lovely towns and walking along the nice beaches then the weather does make such a difference to the enjoyment levels.

I promise that when we get back then I will be sure to do a trip report as I also love to read what others have found when they have asked lots of questions on T/A. It seems the least we can do as thanks for all the help received from others.

bjbyorkshire

Cantabria
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1. Re: Ready for our trip to Cantabria

I think you're right, you should have some lovely weather! Enjoy the trip and look forward to the report!

Tip for this weekend...go up to Reinosa on Saturday for some excellent fiestas, huge market and huge cattle market during the morning, and in the evening (late) the parade of floats. The same parade happens on Sunday lunch time going back the other way. Programme: http://www.aytoreinosa.es/Reinosa%202013.pdf

Yorkshire, England
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2. Re: Ready for our trip to Cantabria

Thanks Raton, I've added that to my to do list. It seems as though it should be about 45 mins to 1 hour drive from Somo to Reinosa. Parking then may be a problem so what time will the parade happen at night do you think?

Thanks

Cantabria
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3. Re: Ready for our trip to Cantabria

The parade is late, Spanish time! 10pm start, although it usually gets delayed. It returns at 12 noon on the Sunday. There are tapas huts around the town too, which are great fun for lunch or dinner. And yes, it takes about an hour from Somo, and parking is not easy on the Saturday night, but should be fine on the Sunday. There'll be parking areas available, best bet is to take the 2nd exit to Reinosa, Reinosa Sur (not Norte) and you'll find yourself close to one of the parking fields. Once you cross the Hijar river coming in that way, park wherever you can and follow the noise! Have fun!

PhilB
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4. Re: Ready for our trip to Cantabria

Hi Raton and my apologies to bjbyorkshire for high jacking this post (this is my first forum post so my apologies if I am breaking forum etiquette).

I have spent the past hours reading your posts Raton and am really impressed with the quality but even more so by the fact that you go to such lengths to help people out. Very kind!!!!!

I am organising a trip for a friend and I to go hiking in the Picos (both 35 and pretty fit though not experienced hikers). Unfortunately I have only been able to start researching the trip very late (we leave London this Thursday) and am a bit short of time to do it properly soooooo, I was hoping you could help us out with some recommendations.

Basically we arrive in Bilbao Thursday night and leave from Santander Sunday evening. It seems that Cares gorge is a ‘must do’ so we think we will do that Friday (staying in Arenas Thursday night as you recommend). Also your tip re the parade on Saturday night seems awesome so we will definitely consider that. The plan was however to try to do a two day circular hike (or one where we can bus back to the car) staying at a refuge and not retracing our steps. Perhaps there is something we can tack onto Cares gorge? If not is there any hike that you could recommend, we are extremely flexible so if you suggest we miss the George and parade and instead do a three day hike we are up for it. Likewise if you think it is better to do a one day hike and tie it into the parade then we are ready for that as well.

Just to help out a little re what we are looking for, small non touristic villages (for accommodation), nice views and also food is important to both of us (more the hearty home cooked style than fancy restaurant) so if there is any recommendation at all in this respect that would be great.

Sorry I know I am asking quite a lot here but you could be the difference between a good and great holiday :)

Thanks very much!!

Phil

Yorkshire, England
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5. Re: Ready for our trip to Cantabria

Thanks Raton, all noted down, cases packed and ready for the off tomorrow.

Good night

Cantabria
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6. Re: Ready for our trip to Cantabria

Have a great trip brb.

Phil I shall get back to you this avo, and try and make it a great holiday! (no pressure! Haha ;) )

Cantabria
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7. Re: Ready for our trip to Cantabria

Phil can I just ask a few questions? Are you high mountain walkers? Are you prepared (or do you want) to carry your kit on your back and stay in refuges? Are you used to walking in snow? Will you have crampons? I ask as there is perpetual snow in the high Picos this year, but that's not to say you can't walk there. Also, do you have a car? I'm guessing so from your flexibility, and what time are your flights in and out on Thursday and Sunday? And do you want to spend any time specifically in Bilbao/Santander? And are you interested in markets, traditional stuff etc? I ask with regard to tying in events happening around the region this weekend. Answer all that for me and I'll get back to you later!

Asturias
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8. Re: Ready for our trip to Cantabria

Hi Phil,

Belolw are some of the refuges to be found. Some are spartan some are relativelively palacial (compared to the Spartan ones). The Refugio de Aliva is expensive (more like hotel prices)

Refugio de Vega de Urriellu, +34 638 278 041 +34 650 780 381 +34 984 090 981 refugiodeurriellu@hotmail.com http://www.refugiodeurriellu.com/

Refugio de Áliva +34 942 730 999 cantur.com/instalaciones/…7-hotel-aliva

Refugio Collado Jermoso +34 636 998 727 http://www.colladojermoso.com/ Also known as Refugio Diego Mella

Refugio de Cabrones +34 650 780 381 http://www.joudeloscabrones.com/

Refugio de Vegarredonda +34 985 922 952 +34 626 343 366 http://www.vegarredonda.com/

Refugio de Vegabaño +34 699 633 244 refugiopicos@gmail.com http://www.refugiopicos.com/

Caseton de Andara +34 635 425 228 http://www.casetondeandara.com/index.html

Ideally you should book ahead as many of the refuges have prioirtisation in place for non-booked visitors i.e. In distress, mountain rescue, members of regional mountaineering group (e.g. FEMPA) then anyone else.

These are not all the refuges in the Picos but only the ones I have contacts for. Alas I don't have a contact for the refuge Cabaña Verónica as it's probably the most unique refuge in Spain. A couple of guys spotted gun turrets on an American Warship that was being decomissioned in Bilbao. They aquired one of the gun turrets and man-handled it up to the top of the picos ..... bit-by-bit and by hand.

Although there is some snow, there are certainly areas high up that are still clear ..... i.e around the Vega de Urriellu.

If looking for somewhere in Las Arenas de Cabrales that has views and can assist or advise on walking, skiing, snow shoeing etc. then try the Hotel Torrecerredo -> www.fade.es/torretours/english/home.htm , it's only minutes walk from the town centre.

IMO the best place to eat in Las Arenas is La Taberna del Pindal .... their beetroot soup is lovely. I have also eaten the hearty fare in the Restaurante Cafe Cares which is on the main road through the place and have found it good.

Raton's certainly the best placed to help you out here ...... hope you enjoy.

Regards,

Mike

Edited: 17 September 2013, 13:49
Cantabria
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9. Re: Ready for our trip to Cantabria

Nice on Mike, you've saved me a good bit of work there, and great to have that info on here, thanks!!

Hoping you can answer all those questions I posed you earlier Phil, I'm just gathering my info to get back to you properly!

Co Clare
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10. Re: Ready for our trip to Cantabria

Hi I am going to Santander next week for 4-6 days and heading up the coast of France via La Rochelle. I have a major problem with heights in other words am terrified of them. If I stayed in cantabria can I avoid the mountains. Can anyone recommend a nice place/village to stay with character and still avoid the mountains also when I drive to France can I avoid the mountains. Thanks in advance