Bizkaia & Burgos

Another how-much-can-we-do-in-24hrs trip – starting once again on a Saturday afternoon and with a bit of a long drive considering, using an AC Area we’d read very good things about as our base – in Lanestosa, Bizkaia.  This pretty town is literally just over the border from Cantabria, heading south from Ramales de la Victoria (and its wonderful caves), we’d driven through before, but never stopped.

We arrived late – they always say you should arrive to your overnight in daylight, but to be honest, when you know it’s a proper AC Area, and a quiet one at that, we weren’t bothered.  The only slight surprise was the tight squeeze down a thin cobbled road to get into the area, and the sharp turn off the main road to do so – but even in the dark we managed it, and there were bigger ACs than us in there, so they obviously had too!

And yes, a very well run and well maintained area.  Shower, toilet, full water services, and electricity if you went to the bar or tourist office and asked – we didn’t bother.  We had a nice evening walk around the town, although most places were closed and there didn’t seem to be anywhere to actually eat, just a few bars.

We had no real plans exactly for the Sunday, so we made use the next morning of the info board in the AC Area which told us of a circular walk, the Ruta de las Cuevas, taking in caves and old mining tunnels.  We liked the sound of that!  A lovely sunny morning, and off we strolled, up above the town to the main cave, Kobenkoba, which was closed (we later found out at the tourist office on the main road, that you can visit, just go see them first!), but had a great viewpoint over the valley.  Further on there are several more open cave mouths, some huge, as well as various mine entrances to explore in the mountainside.  The walk finishes up following the river along the valley floor back to the village.  We enjoyed some pinxos in the bar on the main road (check out its toilet!), before heading back to Berta.

And then we popped off to find a spot for lunch.  We had no idea where we were going, but headed south into Burgos and ended up slightly randomly in a field kinda overlooking the Lagunas de Antuzanos near the village of Gayangos – it was a nice enough spot, with a wander down to the lakes, and lots of swallowtail butterflies around, so there we ate.

After lunch and a little siesta, we decided to check out a Romanesque church we’d seen on the map in the small village of Butrera.  It’s a bit of a gem this one, and we turned up just in time for a guided tour by a rather forgetful but very charming old villager.  The church, Nuestra Señora de Septiembre, has great corbels, a few erotic ones, both inside and out, and is definitely worth a visit if you’re into the Romanesque like us.

After that we had the idea to get in a dip at what seemed to be the local swimming hole on the river in the village of Torme, however it was instantly invaded by the local summer camp kids, so we decided to give it a miss and grab an ice cream in the bar instead!  And a quick look at a further Romanesque church there in the village too – bonus.

River swimming spot

We then drove on through the sunflower fields to Villarcayo, a town I’ve never had much of a soft spot for, but it just happened to have an antiques market going on in the main square, so we stopped for a gander.

For our last stretch on the way home, we decided to head up the Manzanedo valley once again, and stop off firstly to check out the rock hermitage of San Pedro alongside the road near Argés, worth a stop and a look.  And then a little wander around the village of Manzanedo itself – pleasant but nothing to write home about.

San Pedro hermitage

And that was it!  Quite a lot packed into 24 hours this time – but nice driving and interesting finds!