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Posted on Apr 24, 2013 | 6 comments

Hidden Gems of Asturias I – Playa de Portizuelo

We’ve recently drawn up a new action plan, a mission to visit the hidden corners of Asturias, all those places we’ve been meaning to visit but have never quite made it happen.

At times the biggest challenge is simply to find these places. Often there is a lack of signs and due to remote locations not even many people to ask directions! You need to plan ahead and be persistent. We checked out many places beforehand, during the daytime, with no expectations of taking any decent pictures but to be fully prepared when returning at dawn or dusk.

We planned a 3 night camping trip in western of Asturias, with a list of new sites to explore and hopefully photograph. Although we’ve explored this region many times, the area between Luarca and Cudillero has somehow escaped us.

First was the Playa de Portizuelo and fortunately only a 10 minute walk from the campsite. We set an early alarm, staggered out the of tent equipped with head-torches, camera and tripod, headed through the village in the dark and descended the cliff path. We enjoy walking in the very early morning, starting out in complete darkness and watching the changing light of the sunrise. Each one is different and we should make a effort to experience more.

These pictures were taken on the second morning.

Playa de Portizuelo, Asturias #1
06.52am. Shortly after we arrived.

Playa de Portizuelo, Asturias #2

Playa de Portizuelo, Asturias #3
07.36am. There was a 25 minute period when the colours appeared weak.

Playa de Portizuelo, Asturias #4
07.50am. As the sun emerged to hit the rock face, everything changed again.

As the tide lowered we managed to clamber over some rocks and get a closer position.

John at Playa Campiecho
The morning session comes to an end and it’s still only 8.10am … In desperate need of coffee

…. And the otter

As we made our way back across the beach, we spotted tracks in the sand. They looked a familiar size and shape, but surely it couldn’t be an otter. We followed the tracks back to a stream which led into the sea. The footprints led all the way up the banks of the stream, which eventually joins the Río Negro.

One in a long line of otter tracks along the beach.

Otter spraint on one of a group of 3 rocks, close together. The rocks were sheltered underneath an old mill and protected from the elements, so the markings were well preserved. We’ve never seen such a concentration, the ground was literally covered old and fresh spraint, which clearly contained fish bones. An ideal place from the Trail Cam.

All Rights Reserved – © John Shackleton

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  1. This beach is really amazing and I am obsessed with that rock, do you happen to know if it has a name? The beauty of this beach is that its 2 halves are so different, you reach the beach and have the impression it’s just like any other beach in Valdés and then you go past the rock El Oleo and there you are! In a cathedral of rock, surrounded by almost vertical walls and the sea… beautiful, beautiful and unique place!

    • Hi Lucía. Thanks for the comment and link on your facebook page, greatly appreciated. Yes, this is an amazing beach. We recently visited there again for 2 sunrises and 2 sunsets. We were a little unlucky with the tides and light but still worth the effort. I will post the new photos on Flickr over the next few days –

      • You have great pics there, mind if I share some on Facebook once in a while?

        • Sure! There should be some more from Portizuelo tomorrow 🙂

          I’d prefer if you shared directly from Flickr to your Facebook page and not copy the image and upload. I’m not a fan of Facebook’s policy on images rights! Cheers, John.

          • I would have done so anyway, thank you ! 🙂

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