Orienteering Tourist Route

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Orienteering Tourist Route. THE PR-AS-276 Route.

Map of the area

Map of the area

This Route was proposed by ARITUR, Ribadesella, a local association of rural accommodation establishments. A novel Route combining tourism with two “green” sports in full contact with nature: hiking and orienteering.

The Route, adapted to all kinds of hikers no matter their age of physical condition, aims to promote care for the environment and knowledge of the borough`s cultural and scenic heritage of Ribadesella. En route, you will discover steep cliffs, surprising rock formations, beaches, rivers, cart tracks, typical hamlets, cultural routes, monuments and traditional buildings all representative of the Asturian identity.

The Route was approved by the Asturian Mountain federation under the denomination: short hiking route PR-AS-276. As already stated, it combines hiking with the sport of orienteering. This sport consists in using a map and compass to find certain points marked with beacons. Each beacon has a secret code.
Besides being a sport, orienteering may also be considered a game or recreational activity.

Route description.

Tomasón`s cliffs

Tomasón`s cliffs

The route has six lecterns, oriented to the North, form which to locate the aforementioned beacons.
From the first two lecterns, you have to discover four beacons, respectively. At the other four, you must locate two beacons per lectern. To do so, each lectern has am amplified descriptive topographic map of the area where it is located, detailing the exact points where the beacons can be found. A compass is required to locate these beacons, although the route can be followed without the need to find the hidden points.
The start of the route, at Guadamía Recreational Area, is outside Cuerres. This area is situated in the easternmost part of Ribadesella, beside the mouth of the river of the same name above Castru Arenes cliffs. The first part of the trail between lecterns heads west parallel to the coast along a narrow path, in an area that offers surprises due to the unusual rock formations that are formed in these sheer cliffs. The path leads without any complication to the area of Tomasón, where the second lectern is located. From there, the trail heads south along and old cart track until reaching Toriellu. After crossing the FEVE narrow-gauge railway line, you come to the village square, where the third lectern is located.

San Mamés Church

San Mamés Church

Turning eastward again, take the road leading to the neighbouring village of Cuerres, where you will walk for short while along the Pilgrim`s Road to Santiago itself.
The trail continues on to the church of San Mamés (16th century, restored in 18th century) and to the beautiful pilgrim`s fountain, dating from the same period. This is where the fourth lectern is situated, from wich two respective beacons are to be discovered.
The route continues on through the village and, on the sharp bend to the right that takes you out of the village, leave the road to turn left (after crossing the railway line once again via a narrow bridge) and the go down to the medieval bridge over the River Guadamía, the border between the boroughs of Llanes and Ribadesella, where you will find the fifth lectern. Coinciding once more with the Road to Santiago, the route winds its way along Cuerres`lanes until reaching a road that ends in the Recreational Area. Before getting there, though, the trail leads down to the riverbanks, where the last lectern and the last two beacons are to be found.

Guadamía bridge

Guadamía bridge

Compass and topographic map.

The compass, together with the map, is the most important element for orienteering in any kind of unknown territory.
The compass commonly used in the sport of orienteering has two parts:
The baseplate. A rectangular part with rules and scales on its edges. It has a magnifying lens and a direction-of-travel arrow.
The dial. Situated over the baseplate, this is a graduated part that rotates 360º and indicates the four cardinal points. There is also an arrow to use as north and the magnetic arrow that always points north.(1)
A topographic map is the representation of the terrain with all its geographical features on a plane surface using conventional graphical symbols and signs. While the map always indicates geographical north (coinciding with the Earth`s rotational asix), the compass indicates magnetic north. (1).
Usage. Place the side edge of the compass on the triangle of the lectern map, which represents the exact point where the actual lectern is situated and from which you must commence the search for the hidden beacons. The aim the side in the desired direction towards each of the circles that appear on the map. Each circle represents one of the beacons to be found. Next, turn the dial until the arrow pointing north coincides with north on the map. The direction arrow indicates the direction to travel on the ring of the dial. On the terrain, while keeping the dial in the direction you have obtained, turn the entire compass (not the dial) until the arrow pointing north coincides with the magnetic arrow. You then only have to follow the direction-of-travel arrow.

Details of the Route.

Length, 7,8 km.
No difference in elevation. There and back. Average difficulty.
Average time needed: 2h 30 m.

Lectern Coordinates.

Lectern 1 Guadamía, 43º27’35”, 4º58`52”
Lectern 2 Tomasón, 43º27’33”, 5º0`13”
Lectern 3 Toriellu, 43º27’48”, 4º59`37”
Lectern 4 San Mamés, 43º27’50”, 4º58`03”
Lectern 5 Guadamía Bridge, 43º26’54”, 4º58`40”
Lectern 5 lower Río Guadamía, 43º27’23”, 4º58`55”

Approximate Distance Between Lecters.

Lectern 1 to 2, 2.100 m.
Lectern 2 to 3, 1.250 m.
Lectern 3 to 4, 1.200 m.
Lectern 4 to 5, 750 m.
Lectern 5 to 6, 2.000 m.
Lectern 6 to 1, 400 m.