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Llanes to Arriondas – Saturday

Los Cubos de la Memoria, Llanes

Before leaving Llanes we took a stroll around the port entrance to see the colourful sea defences created by Basque artist Augustin Ibarrola. The great concrete cubes that sap some of the energy from the waves that can batter this coast are are brightly and boldly painted, it looks rather as if someone has scattered a bag of giant children’s bricks around the harbour walls.

We are in Asturias now but the stunning beaches go on. Stopped at two today, the first, Playa de S.Antonlin, was wide and flat with a sea arch, so tempting to walk through at low water; the second was more cosy, shaped like a horse shoe and guarded by rocky pincers with a crescent of sand around its rim.

At Ribadesella we turned south, following the Rio Sella inland along a leafy, tree lined valley. This 20 kilometre stretch of river from Arriondas to Ribadesella is where the Decenso del Sella takes place every August. I’d just read an an article about this renowned canoe race in Brittany Ferries’ Voyager magazine. The start looked colourfully hectic with canoeists jostling to get afloat on the packed river. This evening it’s a very tranquil scene, as the last paddlers of the day pack up, loading their kayaks onto vans for the easy trip back up river.

For the next couple of nights we’re staying at the Posada del Valle run by Nigel and Joann Burch. If I tell you it’s is a former farmhouse – all stone and wood, beautifully converted into a friendly hotel, and that it sits on a steep hillside surrounded by an 18 acre organic farm , the produce from which goes into some  very tasty home cooked food – you’re getting the gist of why we were keen to stay.