This walk is part of the trek El Camino Primitivo - from Oviedo to Santiago de Compostela.
The day starts with a climb even though Tineo is already perched over the Villar valley. The route takes us along the southern flank of the Pico Navariego, staying high above the valley and the road below, finally dropping down to Obona and then a fairly flat stroll all the way to Borres.
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) We leave Tineo in front of the town hall, a peculiar green coloured building that dominates the main square. Head up the Calle Mayor as far as the church of Saint Peter. A tile with a scallop shell on a yellow coloured building opposite the church, tells us that we must take a street on the left Travesía la Fuente. This time the tile with a scallop shell is on a red coloured building. Turn right along Calle la Fuente until you reach the open countryside. The route bears left and goes along a country lane to reach the fountain of Saint John, where there are a couple of tables and benches to rest for a while. The lane carries on, hugging the side of the Pico Navariego, running above and parallel with the AS-217 road. The route offers some spectacular views across the valley and goes past the Mirador de Letizia, a popular viewing point. If you're lucky, you'll be in the sunshine and the valley will be full of cloud - ¨mar de nubes¨ a sea of clouds, as it's called here. The track continues to climb steadily, finally coming out of the valley onto a tarmacked road at Alto de Guardia.
(1) Keep left to go along the lip of the valley, with some great views to the left and farmland to the right. The road descends gently, finally reaching a crossroads with the AS-350. Turn right along this road (there's a footpath on the left, off the road) and look out for a track leading off to the left when the road makes a broad sweep to the right. This leads across open ground down to a track that crosses the river Deina. Don't cross the river but turn right to reach the monastery of Santa María la Real de Obona. Our route goes back west to cross the river and pick up a country lane heading northwest to Villaluz and the chapel of Cristo del Socorro.
(2) Head down to the main road and turn right past the bus stop. Stay on this road for a good while, passing through Vega de Rey, Berrugoso, Las Tiendas, Campiello (where there are a few bars) and finally El Fresno where there is the chapel of la Magdalena. When the road bends right, keep straight on along the road indicated for Pereda, Orrea and Sangoñedo but only as far as a sharp bend to the left, where our route heads straight on the west to join a layby off the AS-219 briefly. Take the track leading west from the layby to enter the village of Borres near the hostel La Montera and the church of Saint Mary.(A)
D : km 0 - alt. 653m - Tineo
1 : km 4.46 - alt. 877m - Alto de Guardia
2 : km 10.3 - alt. 631m - Villaluz
A : km 16.14 - alt. 639m - Borres
The first part of this stage is a joy and a walk to be enjoyed, not rushed. There's plenty of time as the distance is short and only the weather will dictate if you can spend all day drinking in the fantastic views. However, from Villaluz to Borres it's just a long slog along the road, fortunately, it's not very busy. There is some welcome respite in Campiello to get refreshment and treat the blisters or just cool off and relax for a while. Make sure you have your sun cream handy and a good wide-brimmed hat for the road walking as there's not much shade.
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
As explained, the first part of the walk is delicious and should be enjoyed to the full. Once you've reached the Alto de Guardia it's tarmac for the rest of the day, so you might want to change your footwear. Hopefully, you won't have to put your wet-weather gear on and the clouds are all in the valley. There are churches, fountains and rivers to cross but most of the time the going is firm and you only have to worry about where you are going to stop for lunch. 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!
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.
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.
This stage follows the motorway and a couple of rivers. There's plenty rural scenery, some ups and downs, tracks through woods, small villages, past ancient monasteries and plenty of hórreos.
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.
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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.