Sunday, 26 September 2010

Tienda Ecológica Olea

Maria, Samantha and Joe outside the new shop in LLanes
Maria worked with us at the hotel two years ago and since leaving has been setting up a shop in Llanes specialising in organic products. Yesterday she had the inauguration of her shop and it attracted quite a gathering of people.

A good gathering of people in the inauguration of the shop.
The shop is called Olea Tienda Ecologica and sells all sorts of organic and fair trade products with a good range of food items including fresh fruit and vegetable as well as cosmetics, cleaning products and even organic seeds and fertilizers.
Fresh fruit and vegetables on sale
The shop is nicely decorated, the products are very well presented; Maria is as helpful and pleasant as ever, so it makes a lovely place to do your shopping. You can find the shop by the harbour in Llanes.

Maria helping a customer.
From all of us at the hotel we wish Maria all the best with her new venture and encourage everyone in the area to go along and visit the shop

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

The Asturian Coast line

Whatever way you look at it, it is beautiful. There are sandy beaches, rocky coves, gusty headlands and sheltered harbours. One of my favourite estuaries is the river Niembro in Barro, there is a beautiful church and cemetery hugging the river, something you see in paintings and wonder where it can be…
The church at the Niembro river estuary

On from the village there is a lovely coastal path leading you to the beach of Torimbia, a golden shell of sand with gentle waves, I love it in the winter when you can be alone with the seagulls and your footprints in the sand.
Torimbia beach

There are many paths along the coastline some better than others, but most have magnificent views, from above Torimbia you can see the Picos de Europa snow topped mountains, it is wonderful to look 360 degrees and take in the sea , the headlands and the mountains, turn again it is real. Walking on from here you reach the river Bedon, and then on to a pebbly beach, San Antolin, here in the mouth of the river lie the remains of an old monastery with its hidden history. There is a tale of a rich nobleman in the 11th century who killed a young couple in anger, because he was in love with the damsel. Later he regretted this and built the monastery, then spent the rest of his life as monk. The monastery became abandoned in the 17th century for unknown reasons.
Rugged headlands

Walking on along the headlands and across fields, sometimes a little prickly with yellow gorse, you stumble across Gulpiyuri an inland treasure, a unique inland beach, it has beach and sea surrounded by rocks, grass and shrubs, with the sea entering through a hidden tunnel, it is a very strange feeling to sit there and not see the big open sea.
The inland beach of Gulpiyuri

Continuing along the rugged cliff tops you reach Playa La Huegla an inlet with a magnificent rocky arch as though protecting this little bay. The first time I saw this I paddled across the river to the beach on the other side walked around the corner as the arch came in sight I let out a Whew! Nature in all its splendor. We go to see manmade buildings and gaze and marvel but this must be truly marvelous too…
Joe at Playa La Huelga

Another favourite beach is Cuevas de Mar, I think the name says everything, but this is my starting point, I wander over the headland which on a stormy day can have some incredible blow holes, the rush of the sea below, the whistling of the air and the drawing in of the sea only to be released a minute later with an enormous spray of water, many times we are surprised by the force of the air and get a surprise soaking. Up ahead is the small Ermita (chapel)of San Antonio, where lies the remains of the family of Conde de la Vega del Sella, a lovely place to rest, occasionally with goats grazing nearby.
Blow holes!

The coast has many variations from cliff top walking to beautiful green meadows that seem to stretch out its hands to the sea, I love to see the cows slowly plodding along or ruminating on a feast of wild flowers and pasture with the seagulls flying overhead. There are 483 kms of coastline in Asturias from East to West, so there is a lot to discover from fishing ports, to Lighthouses standing as giants to warn the sailors of the nearby coast, not forgetting the dinosaur footprints which hold many a tale of adventure, and perhaps a little imagination.
I could talk and talk about this wonderful coast, but perhaps it is time to stop and go for a swim……………………………Splash !

Blog entrance written by Joe

Sunday, 12 September 2010

No Car Holiday

In this day and age where the use of a car is a daily necessity for many people, the opportunity to leave the car keys on the side table and forget the traffic queues is something to be relished. Over the last couple of years we have been working looking at different walks, outings and activities which can be done whilst staying at Hotel Posada del Valle with out the need of a car.
The path along the stream beneath the hotel.

We now believe Hotel Posada del Valle makes a very good base for a relaxing holiday without a car. There are excellent walks in the surrounding countryside of various grades that start and finish directly from the hotel. The walks focus on the surrounding hills and valleys enabling our guests to visit some of the local villages where it’s possible to get a feel for the rich culture and rural life of Asturias.

Granary store or “Horreo;” typical rural scenery.

With a little more effort (or the with the help of a short taxi ride) it’s possible to walk along the Sueve mountains, a coastal mountain range with stunning views of the coast and surrounding mountains – with it’s semi-wild horses and rich fauna and flora, the Sueve is a place to let life slow to a gentler pace. It’s also possible to walk from the hotel to the coast along the Fito hills where the views never fail to impress. A taxi can be taken for return to the hotel if required.

Views from the Sueve Mountains

Walking from the hotel to the coast

The range of walks can be extended by the use of public transport from Arriondas where it is possible to get the narrow gauge railway (FEVE) or use the bus service (ALSA). The public transport isn’t that frequent but with good planning there are normally sufficient services. Arriondas is 3 kms from the hotel and can be reached either walking directly along the road taking about 40 minutes or by using the more scenic route “La Senda Verde” which takes about 1 hour 20 minutes. There is also a good taxi service between the hotel and Arriondas the journey costing about 5 Euros.

The FEVE narrow guage railway

By use of the public transport from Arriondas it’s also possible to visit Oviedo the capital of Asturias with its art museum, cathedral, pre-romanesque churches and shopping centre as well as the coastal towns of Ribadesella and Llanes, with their fishing ports, beaches and old town centres.

The old town in Ribadesella

Finally we shouldn’t forget the hotel has 2 lounges and a terrace for relaxing as well as its own 20 acre organic farm with an interpretive trail, places to sit and relax and depending on the time of the year, walks and strolls around its wild flower meadows.

The hotel farm

Guests who come without a car should realise that it is difficult to get in to the higher mountains such as the Picos de Europa as there is no public transport service, except in the very height of summer. We do however promote a car-sharing scheme but find that it is not always as successful as we would like it to be. We hope to develop this in the future.

To reach the hotel by public transport see the link on ‘non flying travel options’ under the Travel Arrangement section of our web page.

The feedback from guests who have chosen a no-car holiday and have set realistic goals has been very positive, taking a slower paced holiday and spending quality time in a focussed area being the highlight and positive aspects of their trip.

The cross on the “Pico Moro” or Moors Peak which can also be reached walking straight from the hotel.

Friday, 3 September 2010

Let’s gather together at the Earth Pilgrims Retreat!

The first smell of autum is in the air and natures harvest hangs heavy on the trees and hedgerows. On the 23rd of September a full moon will light the night of the Autumn Equinox, a peak time to celebrate our sense of change and transformation, a reminder of our cyclical belonging to Gaia. A week after, as the moon wanes on the 30th of September, it will be a time for Earth Pilgrims to Retreat, and while we do, the trees will start to loose all attachment to what earlier on in the year was their source of power and richness, the beginning of a natural period of meditation and tranquillity. A moment of silent transformation in nature. As it is, we will come together on the Earth Pilgrims Retreat to partake in this reflective and creative moment of life.

Earth Pilgrims can choose to live their life as an open inquiry into the wholeness of nature. Wondering the world of existence without destination, but full of freedom and a powerful sense of belonging that unfolds a sense of service and commitment to the Earth. The World is a place full of meaning, where every moment is a glimpse of the existential dialog of life, or as Father Thomas Berry felt it; - we are living the dream of the Earth.
During our time together we will listen to the gentle words of nature. Each Earth Pilgrim will have a chance to remember and deepen their awareness of the different beings in this land. Signs of life in a planet that is both our mother and our grand children; reflections of our soul that each day become more detailed and perfused with subtle qualities. Let us join an exploration on how nature is the most profound source of meaning within each one of our cultures and why without nature the awareness of our own culture would dissipate into its own voidness.
The event runs from Thursday evening 30th of September to Wednesday morning 6th of October. Satish Kumar (two full days), Sebastian Burch and Hotel Posada del Valle's Community invites all earth pilgrims toretreat with us during this special occasion.
Blog entry written by Sebastian Burch


Hotel Posada del Valle is a small hotel in Asturias Northern Spain surrounded by its own organic farm and where we are passionate about organic farming, food, and sustainable livelihoods. In this Blog those of us who live and work at Hotel Posada del Valle open a door to share with all of you who are interested in what we are doing.