This walk is part of the trek El Camino Primitivo - from Oviedo to Santiago de Compostela.
This stage has two route options: the High Road or the Low Road, otherwise known as Hospitales or Pola de Allande. One deciding factor might be the weather as the higher route is quite exposed. On the other hand, the lower route means more distance (17.9 km as opposed to 15 km). The recommendation is for the Hospitales route as it appears more authentic and has less tarmac to cover.
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
(D) Leaving Borres is quite easy as there are really only a few houses to pass and the route is out in the countryside. From the church of Saint Mary, cross the main road (AS-219) and go up a block of concrete that bends left around the back of the farm buildings and heads up the hill. At a crossroads of tracks, keep straight on heading southwest. At a T-junction of tracks bear left keeping parallel to the road below. Bear left (heading south) under the electricity cables and rejoin the road. Turn right and follow the road through Samblismo. Ignore a road off to the right indicating Santiago Cerredo but keep on for another 100 m and take the next right after a copse of trees. This road will take you through the hamlet of La Mortera and past the chapel of San Pascual.
(1) The route turns left and continues to climb steadily heading west. A path leads off to the left to cross a stream then climb towards Pico Picón but stays on the side of the hill, round to Los Llanus and joining a track below Pico Caborno. This track takes us to the col between the hills then, leaving the track to our left, runs along the ridge as far as La Chana which we skirt around to the south. The route goes past the ruins of the Hospital de Paradiella. We're now in the Sierra Fanfaraón and the route follows the contours past a spring then past the Laguna de Marta and heads southwest to meet the AS-364 road between Pico Marta and Pico la Casilla. Head straight across the road in the same direction to go past Pico la Casilla and climb up to Pico de Freitas. This is now the Sierra del Palo and the route heads south past Pico del Palo and past some old roman mines (used to extract gold!) to almost reach Puerto del Palo.
(2) Before walking under the electricity cables, the route bears off to the right, going under the cables and reaching the AS-14 road just down from the viewpoint Mirador de Montefurado. Our route takes us down the road to a path (marked by a Camino tile with a scallop shell) going down to the left, descending sharply to reach the road again further down. Turn left at the road and follow this all the way to Montefurado and the chapel of Santiago. The route goes off the road to the left before reaching the chapel. Stay on the road at the back of the hamlet (there is a tap with drinking water), heading southwest along the ridge, keeping parallel but above the road. Once past Sesto de la Fuente the track heads down to meet up with the AS-14 road again at a concrete bus stop and a junction of roads. However, just before reaching the road, take the footpath that runs left alongside the road, slightly below but parallel until the road bends sharply to the right and our route goes off to the left to reach the chapel of the cemetery and then the church of Saint Mary in the hamlet of Lago.
(3) Check out the ancient yew tree next to the church (possibly over 2,000 years old) then take the small road that runs near the main road but somewhat lower. At a fork in this road, bear right to finally come out on the AS-14 at a junction. Follow the main road west for about half a km to reach an opening on the right near the pine forest. Go off the road onto this path but bear left at a path that heads into the woods. Stay parallel to the road for about one km then cross the road at a poles-and-wire gate to look for the path on the left-hand side of the road about 20 m further on. This path will take us gradually away from the road and a couple of km later into the village of Berducedo.(A)
D : km 0 - alt. 636m - Borres
1 : km 3.49 - alt. 724m - Chapel of San Pascual
2 : km 15.33 - alt. 1149m - Puerto del Palo
3 : km 20.82 - alt. 887m - Lago
A : km 24.88 - alt. 897m - Berducedo
Having chosen the Hospitales route, make sure you have enough water and provisions. Wet weather gear is usually required at some point and make sure you check the weather forecast before embarking on this route. Also, have a good layer of clothing on as the wind chill can be an uncomfortable factor. There are bus stops shelters on the roads but not much else when you are crossing the hills. Good footwear is essential, boots that protect the ankles and maybe even gaiters.
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
The reason for choosing the higher route is for the spectacular views, so take time to stop and have a look around. If the weather is kind there is plenty of wildlife along the route, not just livestock but butterflies, birds and small mammals. Take time to enjoy the scenery and to chat to the people you pass, this is not a race and plans should be flexible. Don't leave any rubbish and don't damage the environment. Keep to the Country Code and respect the farmers, vegetation, animals and rivers. Don't take any plants or stones home; take photos (they last longer and you can share them). Say hello to fellow walkers and help anyone who needs it. Take care of yourself and make the most of the moment!
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This stage has highs and lows, reaching 1,041 m above sea level (3,415 ft) and droping to 209 m (686 ft). The route goes past a wind farm on the tops and crosses over the dam that holds the water of the Salime Reservoir. Some spectacular views and changing countryside make this stage one to remember.
This stage is a bit shorter than the two previous stages and only has a gentle climb at the start. At the beginning, the route follows the river Nonaya and borders the Sierra de Bodenaya. After crossing the river Casandrasín, our journey takes us along the valley with the Sierra de Tineo up to our right. Plenty to see and a few villages to explore, just hope the rain stays off.
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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.