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Have you hiked the Ruta del Cares?

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Mar 14th, 2010, 06:17 AM
  #1
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Have you hiked the Ruta del Cares?

My partner and I will be touring Northern Spain in May. Living in Miami we especially appreciate the mountains and plan to spend a few days in the Picos de Europa. I have read that the Ruta del Cares hike is especially beautiful. We plan to drive to Cain and hike at least a portion of the trail and then return to our car in Cain. We are both in great shape and can physically tolerate this task. The problem is my fear of heights. How difficult will this be for me? Thank you for your insights.
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Mar 14th, 2010, 11:23 AM
  #2
 
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Take this as preliminary information until someone who was actually walked the trail gives you first-hand insight.

My hiking guide for Spain says that the Ruta del Cares is "easy" with regard to physical fitness. You will only have to "climb" 400 meters over the total length of the trail.
But certain parts of the trail require a head for heights. The path looks quite narrow in some areas and almost like carved out of the rock.

When you do a picture search for Ruta del Cares with Google, you can see for yourself if that is something you can take.
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Mar 14th, 2010, 11:19 PM
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The path is more than two metres wide all the way, but the drop is deep indeed. You can walk to Cain and back in five hours with a brisk pace, but usually it takes longer.
See the route description and a lot of photos of the route: http://www.topwalks.net/en/picos_europa/rio_cares.htm

Concerning vertigo, it is not very bad thanks to the wide and level path. You can try it for one hour for example to see, if you enjoy it, because it will not get any worse after that.
If you do not like it, try the route Bulnes - Pandébano - Bulnes. (Take the Funicular from Poncebos to Bulnes first).

Canal de Tejo - Bulnes route starting from Poncebos is similar to Ruta del Cares. Try that aswell, if you enjoy the Cares route.
You will find the route descriptions and maps in the above mentioned website.
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Mar 15th, 2010, 01:21 AM
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I´ve done it a couple of times and it´s fairly easy hike. You have to be a bit careful in some areas, but it´s basically a nice walk most of the way. And crowded, in weekends.
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Mar 15th, 2010, 07:52 AM
  #5
 
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Nice to see walknstick give a link to their own website yet again!
Here is a much better website for this walk.
http://es.wikiloc.com/wikiloc/view.do?id=113809
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Mar 15th, 2010, 08:17 AM
  #6
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Thanks to all for your timely responses to my inquiry.

I have looked at many Internet sites and read everything I can about this hike. There are photos of tunnels cut through the rock alongside rushing water that look especially interesting. We would be arriving into Cain from Leon about 11 AM on May 12 so there will not be enouph time to complete the round trip hike.

Starting in Cain how soon are we on the trail where the trail edge drops off to almost a cliff and there are no handrails? I think that is where my vertigo would start becoming a problem.
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Mar 15th, 2010, 08:44 AM
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the trail is wide enough so you can walk close to the wall, far away from the edge. But yes, it may cause some vertigo in specific places.

It may help you to compare the Cares route with the El Chorro trail in Málaga...closed but popular to many risk lovers.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXrVG7aoizc
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Mar 15th, 2010, 05:31 PM
  #8
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Mikelg, I have seen this video before, a vertigo nightmare. I'm sure it makes the Ruta del Cares hike look like a walk in the park! I will have to just try it and see how far I can get.
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Mar 15th, 2010, 05:58 PM
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The most important part is what Mikel said : it can be very crowded.
I have walked it a few times up and down since I was a kid, and I haven´t had a problem ( and I have a serious fear of heights ). Just try to get near the wall, and it will be fine.

Rgds, Cova
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Mar 17th, 2010, 06:05 PM
  #10
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Thanks cova, I am also planning on taking the cable car at Fuente D the next day. Any suggestions on other places to see in the Picos de Europa?
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Mar 18th, 2010, 01:46 AM
  #11
 
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You can do the Collado Horcados Rojos route from Fuente De. There is no danger of vertigo.

I like the walks with views over the Picos de Europa. For example the route from Puerto San Glorio to Coriscau offers fantastic views. The climb to the top may be a little bit difficult, but again it looks more vertigous than it really is. The path is rather wide and it is not dangerous. The top is flat and wide enough. You might like the challenge.

Urdon - Tresviso route is very famous starting from Desfiladero de la Hermida. The path up to Tresviso is scenic and again wide enough.

My friend with fear of heights was able to do and enjoy all these routes - Cares, Horcados Rojos, Coriscau, Urdon - Tresviso.

In Tresviso you have the chance to taste the excellent blue cheese "queso picon". The best cheeses come from Tresviso and Bejes.

You can visit the monastery of Santo Toribio de Liebana. It is a couple of kilometres from Potes. There is also one walking route with very nice views over the Picos starting from the monastery.
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Mar 18th, 2010, 11:04 AM
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I wouldn´t recommend the Horcados Rojos route to someone who is going there for the first time and on their own, without someone who has already been there.

The Cares is crowded, but easy to follow. Another easy one would be to drive to Sotres and then take the small road on the right side, drive up, park the car, and walk up to the collado de Pandébano to be able to see the Naranjo de Bulnes.

The walk up from La Hermida to Tresviso is another good option.

Among the walks on your site, I like this one because it is easy and have good views. We usually simply go up to La Triguera and then back to Fuente De
Fuente De - Majada de Bustantivo - Horcada de Valcava - Fuente De

Bye, Cova
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Mar 18th, 2010, 01:02 PM
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I loved to go from Covadonga up to the lakes of Enol and Ercina and hike on the paths there, very pretty and serene.
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Mar 19th, 2010, 07:37 PM
  #14
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after leaving our hotel in Cosgaya we plan to drive to the lakes of Enol and Ercina. From here we continue our trip to our next hotel in Ribadesella. It will be a busy day but I hope doable.
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Apr 1st, 2010, 07:51 PM
  #15
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Another question... I have read an internet sight that you can hike one way on this trail and taxi back to your car
"You can climb up the riverbed from Poncebos, overland to the village of Cain, a total distance of 11km (7 miles). Allow between 3 and 4 hours. At Cain, you can take a taxi back to where you left your car in Poncebos if you don't want to retrace your steps."
I am assuming you can also do this walking Cain to Poncebos. How much would this cab ride cost? It seems quite far.
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Sep 3rd, 2010, 10:04 AM
  #16
 
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I know this is not going to be helpful to the OP, who went long ago, but just in case others have the same question -- I did this walk with my family in 2004 or 2005. It was August, high season, and it was like a several hour march of thousands. It was just a steady nonstopping stream of people. Even though the crowds were probably at their peak, this would not be my choice of hike in the Picos de Europa region.
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Jul 9th, 2011, 08:32 AM
  #17
 
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Hi,
I am going with a family to the "Ruta del Cares". Since I have a small children I would like to go only one way and back by Taxi Service.
I would appriciate if any one can advice me about the side we should start and Taxi Service details.

Thanks,
Dor
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Jul 9th, 2011, 11:18 AM
  #18
 
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This is a beautiful sendero that we did sometime ago, it is not difficult/ if you have vertigo do not look down though.
One thing if you are staying in Leon I recommend the Posada Regia and its great Restaurant in Down town Leon. In the Picos if you are nearby also do not miss the food, or stay there even better of Hotel El Oso, in Cosgaya . good luck.
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Mar 4th, 2013, 12:17 PM
  #19
 
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hi InMiami,

Very Nice!

More info (history, route, photos, videos,etc) in official website:
http://www.larutadelcares.es/en/

and map track:
http://www.larutadelcares.es/map/
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Mar 4th, 2013, 12:26 PM
  #20
 
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mmm Interesting post above on a 3 year old thread.
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