Ruta del Cares / Cares´ Trekking Route
Ruta del Cares / Cares´ Trekking Route Poncebos Reviews
May 01, 2007
Cares trekking route it´s probably the most known itinerary within the National Park of Picos de Europa.
It´s also the easiest, so if you have one spare day in your trip to Asturias is a good idea to come and try this beautiful scenery.
I will only have two general advices:
first of all, it´s an six hours journey (poncebos-cain-poncebos), so you will need all day to do it. Bring some water and food for the journey.
Second, if you start from Poncebos (the most usual starting point) you´ll find a hard begining, with a pronunciate uphill slope. If you´re not used to trekking you might find this discourageing but don´t give up!!! This is the only slope in the route and the rest of it its amazing and easy.
The Cares Trek is a well defined path along the river Cares, within the heart of the peaks of this national park. Was built a century ago to link two villages: Poncebos (in Asturias) and Cain (Castilla y Leon). An electric power station was also built in Cain to take advantage of the river´s power.
The tipical starting point is Poncebos, in Asturias. To reach this village, you have to go to Cangas de Onis, then to Arenas de Cabrales (home of a Spanish kind of chees quite famous, the Cabrales cheese, of strong taste), and then to Poncebos in a well conservated road. As it is a well known place, there is sufficient information.
In the tiny village of Poncebos there are several parking lots to leave everything behind and start the trek.
And at the begining you will face the extremely high slope of "Los Collaos" which go uphill until some abandoned shelters. Here the road turns magnificent (and flat!!) as we advanced through the road.
This path is commonly called the "Cares divine gorge" as this river cuts the middle of high peaks of thousands meters long. You don´t have to worry as the road is wide enough, but even though, it can make you dizzy of you look down at some points :)
After more or less 10 kms you will reach the end in Cain. The final part of the road is the more amazing as you will see more and more water, with lots of cascades and caves, until the final stage at Cain´s dam.
I have to say something about the the best moment to try this route. In all websites you will see advices to do it from Octover to may, as you will find less problems of "overbooking" in both parking lots and trek itself. Well, we made it on a bank holiday in may, and the problem was the weather: Asturias is a rainy place and this place is windy as well... We saw a shiny sun that morning so we decided to made it, but at midday black clouds were approaching threateningly. Be careful with that as wind and rain can make some rocks go down the hill! It´s very unlikely, but we have to say it!
Otherwise, scenery is incredible, its impossible to get lost (there´s only one way, after all!!!) and if you have the lucky of being without a lot of other tourist you will enjoy a marvellous view of the inside of the mountain!!!
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