42 – Awesome! April 29, 2015

It is called la ruta de Cares or la gargantua del rio Cares – the Cares path or the River Cares Gorge. It is awesome, it is regarded as one of the great walks, if not the greatest in this country of magnificent walks.  Awesome!  I walked farther than expected, I was waiting for the first bridge, I thought it was somewhere in the middle of the 12 km distance. But according to the signs, I walked 19 kilometres, the first 2 or 3 kilometres involving an ascent of 500 metres.  After that it was primarily a pathway cut into the side of the cliffs by engineers and lots of manual labour about one hundred years ago to harness the hydroelectric potential of the river.  I was wobbling by the end – that 500 metres of ascent over a few kilometres was translated into 500 metres of descent on what was at times a very tricky surface, a descent when I was running out of energy and strength.  I am going to let the photos tell the story.  Caín is the village at the other end, and, Bill, at All That Jazz, I simply was not able to make it.













Yes, that is my path on the right, with a small very necessary man-made section.



That’s the railing of the short bridge across the very deep chasm!



There is only going forward, there is no choice.



From a window in one of the tunnels.


In the left foreground is a man-made retaining wall, part of the extensive system of channels (the third photo) to collect and divert the water downstream to the hydro plant.  I can’t imagine the working conditions 100 years ago, 500 men, donkeys, basic equipment, sledge hammers, dynamite, injuries, death, starvation wages…..



And finally two short videos, the soundtrack?  the river, my constant companion throughout the long day.

Vertigo?  I felt it primarily on the steep descent of the final 2 kilometres, my eyes were naturally looking down, I had to keep checking carefully for safe spots for my feet on very jagged sections, and I was clearly tired, wobblier and wobblier was I.




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