Wednesday, 16 May 2012


After we left the Fuente De, we drove the route Gargantas, the AS114 following the Salmon river, Limestone ridges around us, stunning scenery.

Mike photographed this little Nuthatch there.

The glacier waters so blue here,  tumble over rocks, through the river gorge.

From there we drove on to Covadonga, arriving at dusk, to see the Basilica, all pink in the evening light.

The following morning was sunshine and Mike photographed the Basilica, lit by the morning light. It is beautiful and tranquil here where Christianity was kept alive, in the caves, during the rule of the Moors,
who were driven out in 718ad by the Visigoth King, Pelayo, his sarcophagus is still sited in the shrine (now a chapel) in the caves in the mountain side, with waterfalls and a pool below.When you walk through into these caves, hew out from the rock, it is not difficult to imagine those Christians of long ago
meeting there in secret. There is a daily mass said here and Covadonga is a huge focus of pilgrimage.

All over this area you will see these strange buildings, so quirky, perched high on stones, for storing grain or maize.

From Covadonga we drove to the coast, where we spent that night at the delightful little port of Cudillero, where the houses are piled upon each other, all brightly colored, a busy bustling place, but so pretty. Asturias is a wonderful area, with its own language, full of diversity and beauty.

Close by a little Black Redstart joined us, calling for a mate, Spring is in the air!.

So we bid fare well to Asturias and voyage on to Galicia, ( the wild coast) Its early March and the weather is fantastic. Passing Ortigeira, we see the many Rias that this area is famous for, below is the Ria de Cedeiria.

We stopped at the Playa Frouxeira, that has the most wild and windswept beach, with great Atlantic rollers crashing in. Behind is a hidden world of salt marshes and scrub land, fantastic for birding.

Mike photographed me, photographing the sea, totally oblivious to the the danger of
"the seventh wave" the huge one that sweeps many an unsuspecting fisherman to his death.
I was lucky, it was only the sixth! I only had wet feet!!
(Mike did tell me all about it, but I in typical fashion ignored it)

Mike photographed this little Dartford Warbler the next morning.

and this Zitting Cisticola enjoying an early morning breakfast.

I photographed some of these extraordinary and beautiful plants growing on the dunes and so important to stabilise them. The colors and shapes against the sky, just stunning.

This is one of my favorite photographs Mike has taken of a female Stone Chat. 
She looks as though she is perched on lace!

Male Linnet guarding his wife, whilst nest building.

Mrs Linnet, with nest building materials.

Mr Cirl Bunting.

The next morning we drove up to the Punta Frouxeira, with its lighthouse perched high on the cliffs and what a sight awaited us! We were blessed with sunshine and good weather, it would have been a very different place with a storm brewing! The view was amazing of the surrounding coastline, as below us the huge waves crashed against the rocks.
A place like this makes you feel very small in the world of nature.

We bade farewell to this rugged coastline and traveled on, passing Santiago De Campostela, as we have been there before and are on a different exploration, arriving just north of Ribeira at Porto do Son, where we found a delightful campsite from which to explore the area. We were very lucky to have some excellent warm weather, unusual for this time of year.
The beach, with tidal lagoons behind and the huge Natural Park is a wonderful place for birds.

Below is a  beautiful Golden Plover   

More Golden Plovers, taking flight. These birds are some of many passing through this area
on migration.

Some of the beautiful wild flowers growing in the sand.

Mr Stone Chat advertising for a mate. 

I did my usual thing and wandered around the rock pools, looking for treasures
 and photographed these Star Fish. I have never seen so many! 

and these Sea Anemones, like jewels in the glistening water.

This cross among the stones, is a reminder of the those who have lost their lives to the
power of the sea and the forces of nature.

As the sun sets over the sea, we will remember this place, this Galicia, wild and beautiful, with untamed coastlines and its people and we will return.