My second day in Asturias was just as busy and fun-filled as my first. The first stop of the morning took us to an estuary called Ria de Villaviciosa, for a cruise down the river and out to the Cantabrian sea. Our skipper was a charismatic Asturiano named Carlos, who warmly greeted us, then cracked a few jokes; putting us at ease right away. We were about to take a small boat into (what I deemed) rough waters and since swimming is not my strong suit, having someone like Carlos by your side makes you say “Oh, what the heck”, and go along with it.
As we set sail, Carlos gave us a tour of the estuary, shouting over the roar of the boat’s engine and the choppy waves sloshing against the sides. Not wanting to fall head-first into the chilly waters with my DSLR around my neck, I planted my butt on the nearest bench and snapped photos from the safety of my seat. The estuary is beautiful; filled with all sorts of flora and fauna (if you’re into bird-watching, apparently this is an excellent place for it) and surrounded by green hills.
As the river meets the ocean, some big waves roll in, making this area a draw for surfers. As I looked out over the water, about 10 wet-suit cladded figures bobbed up and down in the water, chasing waves with their boards.
Carlos owns a business called TRAMPALONES that offers not only these cruises and sailing equipment, (not as extensive as yachtmailchandlery in the UK) but kayak rentals, fishing, diving, and even classes of “Kayak-Surf”, which is essentially surfing the waves in a kayak, not on a board. If you’re in Asturias, I highly recommend you stop by–the prices are budget-friendly (river cruises are 6€ per half hour, and kayak rentals are 8€/hour) and it’s a great way to do something active and different in a largely unknown part of Spain. Besides, who wouldn’t want to hang out with a Santa Clause look-alike, who’s just as jolly?
He’s also in the process of remodeling this boat to offer for rentals for small families and couples. He gave me a tour of the inside, which is fully-equipped with showers, beds, a kitchen and more. I particularly loved the Asturian touches he put on the outside…Asturias has a lot of myths and legends, which he utilized in the decor. Isn’t it a beaut?