Day 13 & 14: Taramundi

Summary

We had two days in Taramundi which was one of the two main towns in Turia Valley that was partly in Asturias (county) and partly in Gailcia County.  It was a lovely two days of slow living in gorgeous green countryside. This time unlike Valles Pasiegos we were blessed with sunny weather. The good weather allowed us to go trekking in several villages of Taramundi.

Taramundi location in Northern Spain

Taramundi location in Northern Spain

Breakfast & marketing at Ribadeo

This was one of the rare morning that we decided to eat our breakfast out. From our stay we drove east enroute to Taramundi, as we drove we looked for a place to stop for breakfast. We did not stop till some 11.5 km later when we reached the town of Ribadeo. In Ribadeo we saw some some shops, hopefully one of these would be a good breakfast place.

Desayuna Garden at Ribadeo

Desayuna Garden at Ribadeo

We came upon Desayuna Garden Cafe that looked bright and airy so we went in to check it out. Just when we were wondering what and how to order (language barrier) we saw a promotion poster. It was a breakfast set for €3.50 which included a juice, coffee, croissant, biscuit and toast as depicted by the picture. So we ordered two sets. Our food came and each set was a glass of orange juice, a cup of cafe latte and a baguette with a piece of Spanish cured bacon.

Breakfast Desayuna Garden at Ribadeo

Breakfast Desayuna Garden at Ribadeo

The set was not exactly like the items shown on the poster but still sufficient for us. Eating baguette (bread) occasionally was fine with us but not on a daily basis! We missed our eggs and fruit!

After breakfast we did some shopping at a supermarket in town to pick up some grocery for the next two days. It was Saturday and we were not too sure about the supermarket operating hours in Taramundi. Most supermarkets closed early on weekends. Taramundi was a small town and its supermarkets might not have a wide selection of food stuffs too.

Taramundi

It was a short  37 minutes drive from Ribadeo to Taramundi for a distance of about 39 km. Since it was not a long distance to our next destination/stay for the night we were rather relax and slow going.

Route to Taramundi

Route to Taramundi

On the way we stopped at Playa de Os Bloques (1 km from Ribadeo town). It was close to 11 am and the weather was getting pretty hot so we did not stay long. We took a couple of photos and moved on.

Playa de Os Bloques

Playa de Os Bloques

We reached Taramundi town just after noon. We wanted to check into our “stay” (two nights) and dropped our bags before exploring the town. Unfortunately we could not find our “stay”. We finally contacted our host, she brought us to our “stay”  located 2.3 km from town!

Map of Taramundi

Map of Taramundi

Though Taramundi was one of two main towns in Turia Valley it was a small town with only a few roads/streets. The houses in the town were two/three levels high, neat and stylish. The roads were wide and clean with plentiful parking (free) on some of the side roads. In the town there were a couple of lovely cafes, restaurants, shops and small local supermarkets.

Street of Taramundi Town

Street of Taramundi Town

Taramundi was a very beautiful and picturesque town set in the middle of the Mountains of Asturais.  We walked in the direction of Hotel la Rectoral which was on a higher part of town. The road brought us uphill and at a higher elevation we were able to see the beautiful green mountain ranges all round us. A beautiful and peaceful scene.

Asturais Mountains surrounding Taramundi town

Asturais Mountains surrounding Taramundi town

On our second day after visiting several surrounding rustic villages of Taramundi we were back at Tarmundi town for our coffee break. We checked out a couple of cafes/restaurants and decided on Pontaramundi, the largest cafeteria in town. It was a bright and airy cafeteria.

Largest Cafeteria in Taramundi Town

Largest Cafeteria in Taramundi Town

We chose a table by the window that faced the townhouses  and ordered two cups of  cafe latte & two pastries. After a tiring day it was time to sit back and relax. We were so happy that the cafeteria provided free wifi as the data signals of our mobile phones were non-existence and there was no wifi at our stay. We were “internet-starve”!

Coffee break with free tapas

Coffee break with free tapas

Pantaramundi served free tapas too. A staff would come round offering us bite-size tapas on a big trays. Nice! We had two round of tapas!

Villages near Taramundi Town

Around Taramundi there were a few interesting villages that we had selected to visit. They were Mazonovo, Esquios, Os Texios and As Veiga.  There were trekking trails that reached all these villages but we checked google map and saw roads leading to all of them! Good!

Map of Taramundi and some villages around

Map of Taramundi and some villages around

Mazonovo

We thought Mazonova was a village/town so we expected to see village houses. But there were just a couple of huts and a Museum. Apparently Mazonovo was a former town but was now a Mills Museum.  There were 19 mills in this museum which was indicated in the signboard at the entrance of the museum. From the doorway of the museum, the mills looked interesting so we bought two tickets at €4.90 per person to entered the museum.

At the front of the Museum

At the front of the Museum

There were both water and manual mills that were used for grinding cereals. Some of the mills were reproductions while others were restored originals. It was an educational trip to walk through the museum.

The Mazonovo Mills Museum showed the technological evolution of different mills throughout history, with explanations on information panels. There were mills from different civilization like Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Chinese, Brazilian etc. We took about an hour walking slowly through the exhibits, reading information panels and taking photographs. For the prize of €4.90 per person, we thought the entry fee was pretty OK.

all sort of mills

all sort of mills

Esquios

After Mazonovo we took the right branch road to get to Esquios. The route to Esquios was 2.2 km and the drive took only 2 minutes. A trek would take at least 40 to 50 minutes as it involved a lot of up hill trekking.

Route from Mills Museum Mazonovo to Esquios

Route from Mills Museum Mazonovo to Esquios

We parked our car by the road side where there was a signboard pointing ahead to “Esquios, museum, knife craftsman, apartment rural etc” and walked up the road that led to a doorway piled with chopped woods on one side. We did not visit the museum as there again was an entrance fee and we thought it was not worth a visit. We went into the knife-craftsman workshop instead.

Entrance to Esquios museum, craftman shop etc

Entrance to Esquios museum, craftman shop etc

We looked through some knives. There were many designs – big and small, long and short  The Taramundi region was famous for its knife making skills. We did not really need a knife but bought one as a souvenir. There were several knife shops in Taramundi town, but it was definitely more interesting visiting a craftsman workshop to see the equipment involved in creating the knives and to talk to the people who made them.

Knife Craftsman workshop

Knife Craftsman workshop

Beside the craftsman shop and the museum was a uphill walking route leading to somewhere. We thought if we went up that way we would see more of Esquios village. But it seemed to lead to the backyard of a couple of small houses. Apparently that was all of Esquios, a “village” of one craftsman workshop, a museum and a couple of rural apartments!

OS Teixois

To get to Os Teixois we had to backtrack to Mazonovo and take the left branch of the road for about 3 km to Os Teixois. Esquios and Os Teixois were located on opposite sides of River Turia.

Route from Esquios and Os Teixois

Route from Esquios and Os Teixois

Os Teixois was definitely a larger village. We parked our car on the side of a road before the “no entry” sign. We proceeded on foot on the road which ran along the left side of a small pretty river with clear flowing water. The road/path crossed the river and we came to the start of the village.

Os Teixois

Os Teixois

On the left after the bridge was a sign indicating “€3”, which probably meant that the entrance fee was €3 per visitor for a walk about. We did not go left but went into a souvenir shop cum cafe nearby to explore.

Os Teixois

Os Teixois

We left the souvenir shop and took the walking path to another part of village. This path went up a slope with thatch houses on both sides. We passed a granary (hórreo) which we had saw a replica of it in the souvenir shop earlier on. We passed a huge wheel driven by dripping water. It was a lovely stroll and there was no entrance fee!

Lovely Os Teixois

Lovely Os Teixois

As Veigas

As Veigas was another village about 4 km from Os Teixois and the drive was a short 5 minutes.   As Veigas was the 4th and last village we visited before going back to Taramundi town.

route from Os Teixois and As Veigas

route from Os Teixois and As Veigas

This was another village in the middle of a forest with mountain ranges all round. Coming down the road, we could already see the village on the left side of the road and were captivated by its beauty. We parked our car and walked nearer to the village. We saw a restaurant and thought of going in for coffee break but there was nobody about so we left pretty soon.

Pretty "As Veigas"

Pretty “As Veigas”

Stay at Taramundi

We booked  Casa Rurale Verde Taramundi on booking.com. We wanted to stay in Taramundi town to be near to cafes and restaurants. We did not mind staying in town as we knew that Taramundi was a small town and it would not be a noisy place.

Unfortunately when we reached the co-ordinates/address given by booking.com we could not find a place that looked anything like the place shown in the pictures of the listing on booking.com. Before arriving at Taramundi, we did a google street walk and already had problem spotting the “stay”. We gave it a benefit of doubst as the google street picture might not be up to date.

It was on arrival that we found that the address was that of the managing agent office. The “stay” was 2.3 km away!

Casa Rurale Verde Taramundi was 2.7 km from town

Casa Rurale Verde Taramundii was 2.7 km from town

The “hotel” manager drove ahead and we followed her in our car. She brought us to a gate which she used a remote control to open.  Casa Rurale Verde Taramundi was a gated area with several houses, some two levels some one. Our “stay” was in a single level house which was divided into two apartments.

Our apartment at Casa Rurale Verde Taramundi

Our apartment at  Casa Rurale Verde Taramundi

Our apartment unit was very nice. Parking was just outside the front door beside our own patio. The unit had a sitting lounge, a dining table and a full size kitchen. Cooking utensils were provided too. There were two flat screen TV, the bigger one in the sitting lounge and the smaller one in the bedroom.

Our one bedroom apartment

Our one bedroom apartment

The toilet was in the bedroom and it was large and clean. The only item missing was wifi. The matter was worsen when out here our phones did not have any mobile signal! Overall the entire place was correctly depicted by the pictures in the booking listing the only error was that its location was inaccurate. I came expecting to stay in town with all the convenience of town.

Toilet in our apartment

Toilet in our apartment

There was also a common laundry room with two washer and a dryer, washing detergent was provided. It was great to be able to wash and dry our clothes. The cost of our apartment was €120 for two nights.

Shared laundry room

Shared laundry room

During our stay at the apartment we cooked two breakfast and two dinner. One dinner we had salmon that we bought from the supermarket in Ribadeo before arriving at Taramundi, the second was pizza.

I had learnt an easy way of making pizza. The pizza base was made from egg, coconut flour, butter and milk which I fried/baked like a thin pancake. Then I topped the pizza base with tomato slices, then covered with a layer of mozzarella cheese, a layer of bacon and more cheese. Put it in the oven for 10 minutes at 220°C. When the pizza was almost ready, I made a depression on the cheese top and cracked an egg over it. The done pizza was served with salad topping. All this did not take more than 20 minutes of effort. Yummy!

Yummy breakfast and dinner

Yummy breakfast and dinner

To reduce the amount of washing /scrubbing after meals, we brought along sheets of cooking parchment paper. We used parchment papers to line cooking pots/pans for oven cooking which prevent charred food stains on the pots/pans and simplified washing up.

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