The Asturian coast has surprises constantly, such as the so-called buffoons: an authentic joy for the senses. The sea is heard breathing, bellowing, we see it jump over our heads in a cloud of tiny drops, with a snort or final snort that is shocking and that makes the cliffs vibrate under our feet.
These waterfalls they are something different from the typical action of the sea breaking in great waves against the coast. In this case, the water takes advantage of well-defined chimneys and cracks in the limestone to spurt out to the surface imitating the geysers, forming jets that can reach more than twenty meters high.
What are buffoons?
This phenomenon unfolds its full force when the Bay of Biscay is brave. The combination of high tide and swell It is the best option to see the jesters in all their splendor. On these occasions, however, we must show ourselves fearless and very respectful, observing the show at a prudent distance. The danger is real if we get too close, because the force of the jet can drag a man.
If the sea is calm, the vents are limited to expelling air, but in the days of strong swell the jesters are transformed into a spectacle that produces admiration and fear. The deep moans of Bramadoriu, as they are locally called, they are heard kilometers away. A natural rumble that has traditionally been used as a meteorological indicator: «When you feel the Pría well sound, take firewood for another day».
The unique image of these jets can only be enjoyed in well-located areas of the Llanes coast. In these places of the coastal rasa are given some unusual geological features. The formation of buffoons is based on the disintegration of limestone, its dissolution in contact with rainwater that penetrates through small fractures up to sea level. The erosive action of the swell favors the enlargement of these original cavities. With the passage of time, a cave forms in communication with the vertical conduit. The waves cause the air or water that accumulates in the cave to compress and come out under great pressure to the outside.
Where can we see them?
In Llanes we will find several fields of buffoons, although only three have been declared a Natural Monument:
The Arenillas It is located in the vicinity of the village of Puertas de Vidiago, just less than a kilometer from this village. The route is easy from a path that starts from the same town. At the edge of the cliff we will enjoy one of the most beautiful views of the Llanes coastline and a good number of jesters.
The Santiuste it is situated in the proximity of Castro de Santiuste. The access is made from the N-634, leaving the vehicle at about 3 km from the town of Buelna, where we take a path that reaches the cliffs 500 meters beyond. The waterfalls in this area boast of being the most spectacular.
Bufones de Llames. From the village of Llames de Pría we take the paved road that leads to Guadamía beach, a practically fluvial beach. From there, take a path to the right that leads to an extensive field of jesters and a magnificent view of the eastern coast of Asturias.
Guided excursions to the Bufones de Pría
It is an extraordinary and unusual spectacle, and in this fabulous landscape we introduce ourselves to the knowledge of marine communities.
We can also see several species of shorebirds such as gulls, cormorants, and other smaller birds that inhabit the pasture and scrub, in the area known as coastal rasa, such as redstart blight or common stonechat. Already on the beach, we will enjoy the recognition of invertebrates: «lamps», periwinkles, sea urchins, mussels, anemones, starfish, etc.
More info on Guided tours: Magic Land.
Photo report of Go with meText: © Ramón Molleda for desdeasturias.com
Information of interestPrecautions to observe the jesters
When the storm rages the buffoons are extremely dangerous, must be seen from a distance to avoid accidents
It is preferable to make this excursion without children, or have them controlled at all times since there are numerous cavities in the limestone without protection of any kind. Parking: It is currently forbidden to park in the area of the jesters of Llames de Pría, from the inhabited area to the beach only residents and vehicles with the appropriate authorization may pass. There will be controls by the Local Police that will ensure effective compliance with the norm. This restriction, throughout the year, is complemented by the provision of two dissuasive parkings in the vicinity of buffoons. The one at La Rotella, with capacity for 250 and 300 vehicles, entered into operation the 2017 summer and the Garana, which has a space of 2.400 square meters.