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March 2011

February 2011

Shellfish Farm near Rinlo

Shellfish Farm - Rinlo 
Over the weekend we visited the old Shellfish Farm near Rinlo. Rinlo is about 30 minutes from Granero del burro and is a beautiful spot for a drink, lunch or just a relaxing wander. The Shellfish Farm is a few minutes to the West of the village and is well worth a visit. It is just over a 100 years old and the main building housing all the tanks has the most incredible roof. There is also some interesting graffiti inside.

Interesting graffiti 
Outside you can see the natural pools where the shellfish were kept although years of being battered by the sea have taken their toll. There are a couple of small islands just off the rocks and it is wonderful place to watch the waves crashing onto the shore. There were Cormorants and Shag together on one of the islands, and Turnstones, Grey Plover and Redshank on the other.

Shellfish Farm, Rinlo 

Beaches in Galicia

Os Castros beach at high tide 
On Sunday we decided to go out for lunch as the weather was fantastic, so we headed for the coast and a nice place called Yenka. It is a fantastic place in the Summer to have a drink outside after a day on the beach. However, it is open all year round, and although it doesn't look much from outside (or inside!), the food is very good. We had a wonderful Fish Soup, some nice Braised Lamb and a tasty Cheesecake. All washed down with wine and coffee for 12 Euros each! This bar restaurant is about 30 minutes from Granero del burro.

View towards Ribadeo 
After lunch we went to Las Islas beach which is one of three beaches next to each other. The others are Xuncos and Los Castros. Have a look here for more details. The waves looked fantastic and we had the Islas beach to ourselves. There was a pair of Black Redstarts playing on the wall next to us, and lots of Goldfinches on the telegraph wires above us.

Las Islas beach

Spring has arrived at Granero del burro

Primroses at Granero del burro 
This weekend the weather was beautiful with temperatures up to 15 degrees, and there were signs of Spring everywhere around Granero del burro. Just below the barn there was a beautiful Firecrest in the hedge as well as the male Cirl Bunting singing his heart out from the top of a bush. There were also a pair of Jays messing around in the trees and our resident Long Tailed Tits were playing around as well.

Cirl Bunting 
All the trees have got buds on them, the Cherry trees are out, and there are Catkins and Pussy Willow everywhere. The grass is growing like crazy, the sheep have got their lambs and even the local goat has got a baby kid. The primroses at Granero del burro are all out and due to the good weather, we planted our Sweet Peas at the weekend.

As is often the case, when you think Spring is here, the temperature plummets. Today it is 9 degrees!!

Beaches in Asturias

La Paloma beach 
Yesterday was a beautiful day so we decided to go and visit some of the fantastic beaches in Asturias. The Asturian coast is only 20 minutes from Granero del burro.

The first beach we stopped at is a tiny one called La Paloma. This is near Tapia de Casariego and yesterday was idyllic. There was no-one there and it was so warm you could have sat and had a picnic.

Serantes beach 
The second beach we visited is Serantes beach. This is nearer to Ribadeo and is a bit bigger. Here we had a picnic in the sunshine and watched all the Gulls splashing around in the water. In the Summer there is a bar at this beach.

Penarronda (3) 
The third beach we called in at is Penarronda. This is a huge beach and is extremely popular in the Summer months. Yesterday it was deserted except for one family. There were Zitting Cisticolas all over the place as well as a pond full of frogs calling. In the adjacent fields there were both Cattle and Little Egrets. Here there is also a bar in Summer.

Arnao beach 
The last beach we visited is Arnao beach where there were Curlews and Golden Plover flying around overhead. This is in the mouth of the Eo estuary and sits on the opposite side to Ribadeo. It is a steep walk down to the beach but well worthwhile. There are some fantastic huge caves in the rocks. About half a kilometre away is a great picinic area with built in barbecues, chairs and tables. Once again in Summer there is a bar here!!

All in all a fantstic day and hard to believe it is still February. This is worth bearing in mind for holidays during the Winter months - you can enjoy wonderful beach days even at this time of year.

Granero del burro - luxury self catering holiday accommodation in Northern Spain

Artist impression - Granero first floor 

If you are looking for a luxury self catering holiday in Galicia or Asturias, then Granero del Burro is the perfect location for you. Located in Galicia in a picturesque valley near the village of Trabada, it is only a few kilometres from the border with Asturias and 20 minutes from Ribadeo. You therefore have the opportunity to explore two provinces of Northern Spain, whilst only being just over an hour from Asturias airport, or three hours from Santander ferry port. Granero del burro is open all year and is perfect for a beach holiday, watching wildlife, indulging in Galician and Asturian gastronomy, walking, having fun with some of the regional cutural highlights, or just relaxing in a lesser known part of Spain.

 Artist impression - Granero ground floor 
The accommodation sleeps four people in two bedrooms. Downstairs there is one twin bedroom (zip and link so can be used as a double) with ensuite bathroom and ramp access. There is an open plan kitchen and dining area with a utility room and toilet. Upstairs there is an open plan lounge and second double bedroom with ensuite bathroom. Outside, there is space for two cars as well as a terrace area with dining table and chairs.

The accommodation includes:

HD 42" Panasonic TV with Blu-ray Disc Player (can play CD and DVD as well)

Wi-fi internet access

Wood burning stove with wood supplied in addition to central heating

Island kitchen with state of the art gas hob, flat grill, oven, dishwasher, double sink. Separate preparation area, fridge/freezer and espresso coffee maker. There is also a washing machine and drier.

Collecting Sea Urchins in Asturias

Collecting sea urchins - 20th February 2011 
On Sunday we went collecting Sea Urchins near to the Arnao beach. They are something of a delicacy in Galicia and Asturias although it is forbidden to collect them in Galicia. You can collect small quantities of them in Asturias if you have a licence (can be arranged). The rocks were fairly busy with amateurs collecting for their Sunday lunch but there were plenty still to be found. Armed with some wellies, a bucket and a metal hook, we managed to collect a few kilos of them.

Sea urchins 
They can be eaten raw, boiled or in a mousse. We had them boiled and they are very tasty - quite rich but addictive! Have a look here to learn more about them.

Barn update

After a year of waiting for licences and the necessary approvals, work restarted on the barn in November 2010. In November 2009, one wall had completely collapsed and the roof had only been partially completed.

Granero first floor 
Since work restarted, much of the structural damage has been fixed with the help of a lot of concrete. The lower floor height has been increased by well over a metre and we now have a first floor. Downstairs there will be an open plan kitchen and dining area, with a toilet and utility area. There will also be an ensuite bedroom downstairs. Upstairs, there will be an open plan lounge with a balcony to the upstairs ensuite bedroom. There are beautiful views across the valley form the 2 large lounge windows.

View across the valley 
The current works should be finished by the end of March and then the rest of the internal works can start. It is hoped to finish the barn by the end of October, so it will be ready to let from the beginning of 2012. Our availability and booking system will be uploaded in the Summer but please e mail us if you have any questions or wish to make a reservation before the system is live.

Granero first floor (2) 
Granero del burro will be the perfect place to spend a luxury self catering holiday in Northern Spain, providing the ideal base to explore Galicia and Asturias. Whether you are looking for beaches, walking, gastronomy, wildlife, culture or just a relaxing holiday, it is worth coming to this lesser known corner of Spain.

Walking in Galicia and Asturias

Cascada de Cioyo 
The area around Trabada is fantastic for walking at all times of the year. If you are staying on a luxury self catering holiday at 'Granero del burro' then you have access to many wonderful walks in both Galicia and Asturias.

In January we went to the Cioyo waterfall - cascada de cioyo. There are 2 nice waterfalls and lots of deep pools which are nice to swim in in Summer. It was however, beautiful in the Winter, and deserted. Get directions here.

Small waterfall at Cioyo 
On the way back from the waterfall you can stop for a drink or lunch at the Casa Jano in Pianton. It serves wonderful tapas (free) on Sunday lunches. We had whole grilled Langoustines!!


Oviedo - Asturias

Oviedo - 3rd December 2010 010 
Oviedo is the capital of Asturias and is well worth including in your plans when you come for a holiday in the North of Spain. It is about one and a half hours from 'Granero del burro', but only half an hour from Asturias airport (Easyjet from/to Stansted).

Oviedo - Christmas 
Around Christmas is a great time to visit Oviedo as the Christmas lights are very good. There is also a Christmas market with lots of regional food and crafts - and of course roasted Chestnuts in the street.

Oviedo - Christmas lights 
Oviedo is also a great place to eat out. One nice place is Traslaburra which can be found here. They do an excellent take on grilled Octopus but using a barbecue to grill it. This place is great for lunch and has a nice terrace where you can eat outside. Another well worth visiting is La Goleta which can be found here. The decor is unusual as it is designed like the inside of a Spanish galleon. The seafood is wonderful, especially the grilled Clams. You can find a comprehensive list of restaurants here.

Oviedo - cathedral 

Castropol - Asturias


On a windy but pleasant October day we walked from Figueras to Castropol and back (about 8 miles). Figueras is about 20 minutes from 'Granero del burro', Castropol slightly less. They are both on the Eastern side of the Eo estuary which forms the border between Asturias and Galicia. If you do the walk form Figueras you can have a nice lunch in the port area of Castropol - Rison is a lovely little restaurant to eat in.

The Eo estuary is a fantastic place for wildlife and during the Winter months there are thousands of ducks - Wigeon, Teal, Pintail and Mallard. In October there were a few Spoonbills, lots of Little Egrets, Whimbrel, Grey Plover, Spotted Redshank, Black Tailed Godwit, Greenshank, Mediterranean Gull and a few late Sandwich Terns. It is always worth a look as there are lots of birds that turn up here on migration

Eo estuary