Thursday, 12 July 2012

The path to the Santa Marina Chapel

The stream running by the path

A couple of years after buying the hotel and farm we realized there was an old stone track at the bottom of the farm running parallel to the “Rio Chico” or small river. At that stage it was totally overgrown but from the road on the other side of the river we could just about make out the course of the track along the edge of the rocky outcrop. After some exploration and a lot of fighting with gorse and brambles we realized this track was most probably the original track which led from the church beneath the hotel to the village of Bodes passing by the small isolated chapel of Santa Marina.

The isolated chapel of Santa Marina

Because of the importance of the track we asked the town hall if they would help clean it or if there was some type of grant to help us restore this track. The answer was no, so we decided to clean the track ourselves.  With the help of a neighbor “Tito” we set forth clearing the gorse and brambles, quite a mammoth job.  As the job progressed we were amazed to see just how well constructed this track was, particularly in the initial section where the track runs high above the river.  There are carefully placed cut stones providing a secure edge and with a width of about 3 meters it was obvious that this track used to be used by horses and carts. Along the route we also discovered three ruined water mills but these are now mostly lost in the undergrowth.

Cut stones on the edge of the track.

The track by the side of the stream

After a few hard weeks work we had cleaned the track all the way to the path which joins the hamlets of Andeyes and Bodes by the small chapel of Santa Marina.  

Canches one of our neighbours in front of her house in Andeyes

Views from the hamlet of Andeyes

It was a lot of work, but what a reward; a superb footpath starting from the hotel running through beautiful woodland scenery along the side of a very attractive stream. For much of the route you feel as though you are lost in a fairytale landscape. As well as being a nice easy circular walk from the hotel to Andeyes and the chapel, this path also allowed us to offer our guests a route to the Sueve Mountains and Mirador del Fito without having to go along any major road. 

The recently cleared track passing though a small wood

Sign back to the hotel along the walk

The track does require some maintenance as very few farm animals graze it, so once or twice a year we pass along the path with a pair of secateurs or the strimmer. Having said that, just recently a lone goat has decided to make the path her home. It’s also nice to see that as well as our guests a local occasionally enjoys the walk along the path.  

The goat who has decided to make the path her home

Here you can find more information on the circular walk from the hotel to the Santa Marina Chapel  including maps and  GPS tracks.  Happy walking.


Ian Hicken said...

We must make an effort and at the track at some point - it looks lovely.

Veronica said...

Wow: you did a great job and how beautiful it came out!!!!!


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.