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La Vega de Orandi

In search of the sacred source

La Vega de Orandi

In search of the sacred source

We set out to make this evocative route of the holy place of Covadonga, near the cave of La Santina, from which emanates a spectacular waterfall from Orandi, more spectacular depending on the season of the year in which we find ourselves; and in whose backwater the prayers and desires of the believers are concreted by throwing coins.

The intention of this route is climb Mount Auseva in search of the water that feeds the waterfall of this totemic place of prayer.

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Follow the course of the fountain of Covadonga, which is lost between chasms under Monte Auseva, forces us to a small detour to get to find the exact point where the water mysteriously enters the mountain.

La Vega de Orandi It is one of those magical places of Asturian orography. Evocative in name, it refers ultimately to a nearby arcadia. The same name of Orandi resonates divinized among the rocks of the Picos de Europa, furrowed by the river Deva, which etymologically supposes the personification of water in the celestial divinity of the same name. Water that heals, vivifies, animates, purifies, cleanses, and germinates. And next to the river Deva, Mount Auseva, perhaps of the pre-Roman root: "mount on the divinized water."

The excursion is a kind of walk through the landscape near Covadonga, does not entail large differences in level and does not extend beyond four kilometers. To reach the beginning of the route we must continue from the sanctuary the road that leads to Los Lagos. At kilometer 3 we find ourselves with a wide curve, to the right of which part a path in good condition of about 2 meters wide. This will be our starting point, called Moferos.

At the beginning the path is paved and ascending and runs between natural hedgerows of hazel trees, thorns and mixed forests. A few meters before reaching the Bastañar sheepfold we will find on our way a porthole through which we have to pass. Between Bastañar and Les Llaceries, a second flock, the road continues in good condition with about 2 meters wide and almost completely paved. Here the forest it is filled with holly, ash, cherry. There are also isolated specimens of beech and a large amount of scrub.

Once we arrived at La Campera Les Llaceries, we crossed the small meadow in a westerly direction, leaving behind the fountain on the right and the path of Collado Argonal on the left. The road becomes a narrow path with a lot of stone and a slight ascent that accesses the Collado Jou los Cestos. From the hill, the path passes through a forest of beech trees and turns south. We reach "La Cueñe" Les Porciles from where we can observe the Retortoriu forest, a beech forest of great importance, and we begin to descend in a southerly direction, towards an area of ​​natural grassland called the pandal. At this point, it begins to descend in a westerly direction towards the Les Mestes - Orandi river, reaching the Vega which has a set of huts for livestock use, stables and mowing meadows.

This vega is a dream place of intoxicating silence that we have achieved without much effort. If we continue walking another little north (right) following the stream, we will reach the cave in which the water disappears to sprout in Covadonga, from where we have left and where we will return, by the same path, once we have satiated ourselves ancestral tranquility of this place.

Text: © Ramón Molleda for desdeasturias.com

Total distance: 8322 m
Max elevation: 728 m
Min elevation: 219 m
Total climbing: 771 m
Total descent: -745 m
Total Time: 03:48:44
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