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Covadonga – Sunday

This is the first rainy day we have had.  A trip to the cheese market in nearby Cangis de Onis seemed like a good idea this morning but the town was packed and not a parking space to be found due to the cycle race from Santander that was passing through later in the day on its way to the finish at the lakes above Covadonga. Nothing for it then, but to return to Ribadesella on the coast for a very pleasant and leisurely fish lunch.

Basilca de Covadonga

Basilca de Covadonga

We were told Covadonga, the site of the cave shrine where the Reconquista  is said to have stared, is especially atmospheric in the mist – it seemed a pity to miss it so we braved the road chaos and wound our way up against the flow of returning cyclists (looking remarkably fresh after the climb they had just made), many spectators and a surprising number of police.  You expect it from the guide book images but still the sight of the salmon coloured Basilca de Covadonga rising out of the trees is impressive. A service was just starting and people hurrying to the church. We made our way through the tunnel carved in the mountain side to the shrine where many candles burned brightly. There is a strong feeling of matter of fact devoutness and yes, it is a bit special in the mist.

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