GR202 - Ruta de la Reconquista - Stage 2
Poncebos - Vega de Comeya (Lago Enol)
Poncebos - Vega de Comeya
On reaching the road, the route turns to the left and shares the path with the Cares route, ascending for a short stretch to the Jaya pass, where we start a descent and continue along the route, which carves into the vertical walls above the Cares river, adjusting to the roughness of the slopes, which are criss-crossed by small streams. We advance through a territory where vegetation is becoming scarce and erosive processes are the protagonists. Dejection cones and boulders accumulate on the slopes until you reach the emerald-coloured riverbed, as described by Lueje. We soon reach the La Viña farmhouse, on our left, where the La Raya channel from Ostón flows into the river. Meanwhile, on the opposite slope we can see the Sabugo canal.
We are now at the Culiembru sheepfold, which was inhabited centuries ago, according to a text studied by Guillermo Mañana Vázquez, from a manuscript for Martínez Marina's Historical Dictionary of Asturias, in which he gives evidence in 1801. It is also recorded that in 1757, after being hidden in some trees for some years by shepherds, the image of San Julián, whose church was dedicated to him, was moved to Camarmeña and remains there, next to the tomb of the hermit bishop Francisco Ardavín, who was a native of Villaviciosa.
Here we leave the Cares route to take a path that goes off to the right and passes over the canal. As soon as we pass it, we come across a fountain in an area populated by walnut trees where we should fill our water bottles, as it is very likely that we will not find water again until we reach the Arnaedo sheepfold. From this point the path begins a steep ascent that soon leaves the walnut trees below us, passing by the Gonzonera fountain (which may not have any water) and heading towards the funnel on the right to reach Posadoiro, so called because it was the place where the locals used to stop to get strength to climb the steep slopes of the Culiembru canal.
At this point, on the right is the Posadoiro cave in the middle of the wall, which can be accessed via a path built on a stone wall. Little by little, the path climbs upwards through the narrow channel, where it is worth stopping to contemplate the Pandu Culiembru path on the other side, the Piedra Bellida channel and the Cerreo pass, where the Arabs are thought to have fled to Cantabria. After resuming the walk, you reach the bottom of the canal, where the funnel opens up and the route turns to the right to reach the meadows where the Ostón sheepfold is located.
Ostón was an inhabited place before the 17th century. There was a census of nine neighbours who divided the land and rented it out to private individuals. It was later depopulated, passing into the hands of the house of Los Cebos de Bulnes, or inherited by the villagers, according to some court rulings of the time. La Majada de Ostón is located in an incomparable place with its huts built on a kind of crag overlooking the impressive Cares gorge. It sits on a terrace or landing with an elegant prow, called the Pica de Ostón. There is a spring nearby, but it is not in Ostón but in Valdelafuente, about 7 minutes from the sheepfold, to the right of it, which we reach by following the cattle trails. The route continues leaving the huts behind us and sticking to the stone wall on the right, when it makes a sharp turn to the right, we must turn with it, entering a small valley with a ruined hut, When we reach it, we turn left again to go to the slope in front of us and once there we turn left again and ascend through an area of meadow where there are rocky areas, crossing the valley of La Texa towards the pass, from where we have an exceptional view of the path we have taken with the central massif in the background.
As soon as we pass the pass, next to a small watering place, the esplanade of Los Corros and Vega Maor opens up before our eyes, with a small mound in the middle, with stone walls and shepherd's huts, many of which are in ruins; and in the background the Camplengo col, on the right, and Sierra Buena, towards which we have to head. As soon as we enter it, we have a small lagoon on the right. We continue straight on towards the mound in the middle of the plain. Once past the mound and the huts, head towards the pass on the left, passing by the Pozo de los Texos. The Pozo de los Texos was explored for the first time in 1963 by the Oxford University Cave Club and later by OJE and GE Palermo in 73. Later a group from Barcelona, the SIE, managed to link it with the Pozo Cabeza Muxa, which was found to be 907 metres deep and in the direction of Culiembru, near the Cares. The sinkhole was explored by the Northern Pennine Club (UK) in 1988, who dived to a depth of 28m. The connection of the Texos-Cueres-Muxa-Culiembru system is confirmed - Information taken from the Grupo de Espeleología Gorfolí website.
Once we reach the pass of Sierra Buena, flanked on the left by Cabeza La Xatera (1,503 m) and on the right by Cabeza Cayarga (1,528 m), it is a privileged viewpoint from which to admire the numerous peaks of Los Llerosos. A softer landscape appears before our eyes, where the limestone stone stands out against the greenery of the meadows and meadows, and in the background the Cuera mountain range, an antechamber to the Cantabrian Sea. We descend along the narrow path in search of the wide meadows of the Arnaedo sheepfold, passing by a watering place at the bottom of the sheepfold, at the foot of the slope.
A little before reaching the huts, we can refresh ourselves in the water of the spring that we find on the right, next to some crags. Once past the huts, turn right to pass by a small cleft in the rocky outcrop. Right here we can see an engraving on a crag dating from 1890, in the name of the shepherd Aurelio Fernández Sueros. We continue along the meadow towards the east to skirt the peak on our left and continue towards a pass above the Parres sheepfold.
At this pass we have two options to continue with the route, one is to go down the narrow valley on the left and the other is to continue to the right towards the Parres huts and cross the limestone crag, where it joins the other alternative. From here we continue northwards in search of the Mantegas sheepfold.
We cross the sheepfold passing by cattle chutes, used to enclose the livestock, and enter the Jorcau del Cantón at the foot of Cantón de Texeu.
In the middle of the narrowing there is a path to the left, which is the one we have to take. It descends steeply towards the Llampazas first and then to the Vega de Comeya.
Texts: Antonio Alba Moratillas (Editorial Prames)