ASTURIAS: THE BEAUTY AND THE BEAST


FACTS

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++ Bigger, Better, Bizkaia ++
++ THE camp for all advanced paddlers ++
++ The finest Atlantic swell ++
++ The most beautiful surfing beaches ++
++ Phenomenal cliffs and rocks ++

COST: 1250 CHF
Excluding kayak-rent*, travel to and from the destination, accommodation and food.

*You can hire a kayak from us for 150 CHF.

Surcharge if fewer than 5 people attend: CHF 100

LEVEL: BLACK
What is my level?

04.–11.06.2022

DETAILS

    • Intro
      Asturias: beauty and the beast... Nothing could describe the coast of this fabulous area in northern Spain better. Seductive and incredibly beautiful. And at the same time – don't be lured into confusing this with beginner's territory. When Neptune plays his muscles and sends the swell thundering against the cliffs here, you can even feel his power from out on the land. Fortunately though, he usually means well with us and gives us top-class swell, which on the gentle premium surf beaches and rock gardens of the region gives us the most beautiful sea kayak conditions that you can only imagine.

      The idea behind this new course camp for advanced paddlers is similar to that of
      Big Tide Week on Jersey: a week spent based at one campsite on the coast, from which we launch off on day trips and course units along the most beautiful stretches of coast in the area, choosing our destinations in accordance with conditions on the day. And when it comes to beautiful coastlines, Asturias has plenty to offer. Here, over many thousands of years, the breakers of the Atlantic have produced one of the most beautiful and impressive coastlines there is. Miles of vertical coastal cliffs; bizarre, mystical rocky islands looming out of the mist; long, lonely premium surfing beaches – all of this is a lot more reminiscent of Ireland than it is of the Spain that most of us recognise: often cloudy, majestic, lonely, raw, relatively cool and green and just indescribably beautiful – one of the best places for an advanced kayaking camp, where pretty much everything we do revolves around swell and breakers. This means that this week for advanced paddlers is the perfect complement to our two course weeks on Jersey, where, as you would expect, it's all about tides and currents. Here in Asturias, we will also have a tidal range of about four metres – but compared to the swell, which regularly reaches heights of 2m or more, currents are relatively insignificant. Because of all this, here in Asturias, we will be dedicating a lot of time to the topic of breakers (starting, landing, surfing). One (of many) perfect beaches for this task will be right below our campsite. And right next door is where the long, majestic stretch of coastal cliffs begins. Kayaking along here, up and down the long, rounded swell of the Atlantic is an experience without equal. And, of course, a coastline like this also (depending on the swell) presents wonderful opportunities for rock hopping sessions – and all of this is to be had just around the corner from our campsite!

      During this week, we'll also be practising rescues in the surf and towing in the swell. Scenarios with this level of complexity require a certain degree of group coordination, skill, and some previous experience and confidence in dealing with your kayak, all of which are prerequisites for taking part in this course (see below). The experience which you gain here will round off your profile as an advanced paddler nicely, and you will learn and practise things which will be extremely useful to you in difficult situations or on more challenging expeditions. And – as all those of you who know us will already have come to expect – there'll be plenty of fun and enjoying the finer things in life during this week too!
    • Day 1
      Arrival (Saturday)
      As we will all presumably be making our way to Asturias in all manner of ways, we have a rough meeting time of Saturday afternoon on the "La Paz" campsite, Playa de Vidiago. We'll work out all the details as a group, as soon as we have a rough idea of how everyone is going to be travelling and when you'll be arriving.

      Our fantastically well-positioned campsite is on some hills which are right next to the sea (steps down to the beach), just outside the hamlet of Pendueles. It is only around a 20-minute drive from here to Llanes, with its beautiful old town centre. Here, there are all sorts of shops, as well as cafés, bars and restaurants, which may come in handy for celebrating the odd successful landing or which, if need be, are just the thing for riding out on a rainy day in style.
    • Day 2–7
      Day 2 to day 7
      Different day-trips every day, depending on the conditions (we'll do the planning together the night before):

      From Llanes, we can reach such premium spots a Playa Ballota, Playa de Torò, and the beach of Po (which is sheltered from the swell) and the cliffs of the offshore islands here. Setting off in the other direction from our campsite, and driving for about 20 minutes, we'll arrive at the jungle-like river delta of the Rio Deva, and we'll be able to explore the impressive cape of Punta de San Emeterio in our kayaks. Between these spots, and beyond: cliffs, rocks, beaches – and the endless ocean.

      If we drive just a bit further, other trips are also a possibility (Ribadesella etc.). But there's no need to overdo it, because we actually have everything we need right outside our front door.

      During this week, as always, Neptune will have the last word: if the forecast says the swell will be above 2 metres, or that the wind will be in excess of 6 Bft, our kayaks will have to stay on dry land. The aim is to expand your comfort zone, not to get your bones broken or trigger a maritime search and rescue operation. All of our activities are devised and carried out within the framework set by our ISKGA-certified safety and planning system. Once we are on site, they are constantly reevaluated. This means that our plans will change in accordance with current or forecast conditions as well as the needs – and the limits! – of the group.
    • Day 8
      Day 8 (Saturday)
      Travel back (independently organised)
    • Mehr Infos
      More info
      Group size: Min. four participants, max. eight.

      If required, we will be happy to provide you with the necessary paddle and safety material, consisting of a paddle, buoyancy aid and spray deck as well as a neoprene long john, shoes, paddle jacket and a helmet. Please bring your own functional underwear (wool or tight-fitting fleece, NO cotton!) And swimwear with you.

      Boat rental: If you arrive without your own boat, you can rent one of our kayaks for 150 CHF for the duration of the course.

      If you like, you can also rent a drysuit from us. Cost: CHF 120

      The kitty:
      As always, in Asturias we will also set up a kitty for meals. In fact, there will actually be two: one for food (€100 contribution per person) and one for alcohol (depending on how much you consume, or your best guess at it). Nobody is obliged to pay into the kitty, nor to eat together with us. But cooking and eating together after a strenuous day's paddling is just good fun, and not only does it help to strengthen our tired muscles; it also helps us to create a sense of community. Find more on this topic here.

      Weather:
      As you might expect, we can't make any guarantees in terms of weather or sea state. In order to ensure everyone's safety, our guide will decide how to carry out the planned programme locally on a daily basis, and whether to do so. As experienced sea kayakers, we know that Neptune always has the last word.

      Accident insurance is the responsibility of the participants.
      We also strongly recommend that you obtain travel cancellation insurance. Please read our GTC on the topic of cancellation fees, cancellation deadlines etc.
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    PARTICIPATION REQUIREMENTS:

    ++ Must be able to swim ++
    ++ At least 20 days of sea kayaking experience on the sea (unless you are a whitewater kayaker who fancies trying something new) ++
    ++ You are confident in a kayak when there are waves and you can control your boat in tight situations (between rocks etc.) ++
    ++ Starting and landing in breakers of max. 1m ++
    ++ Experience of windy conditions (4 Bft or more) and currents ++
    ++ Familiar with the use of safety equipment such as tow lines etc. ++

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    CLICK HERE TO RESERVE YOUR SPOT


    How to get to Playa de Vidiago, Asturias:

    • Aeroplane

      ++ You'll be best off flying to Santander (cost: from CHF 320 return) ++
      ++ From Santander, catch the ALSA bus to Unquera (70 km, 1hr 35min), where we can then pick you up. ++
      ++ Alternatively, there are also very cheap flights from Zurich to Bilbao (Swiss, from about CHF 200 return, flight time 1hr 55 min). From Bilbao, however, it's still a 170 km (3hr 15 min) bus journey to Unquera. ++
      ++ If a few of you get together, it may make sense to rent a car at the airport (around CHF 120 or more for a week). This will shorten the journey from Bilbao to about one-and-a-half hours and will take you straight to the campsite. ++

      ++ We can talk about travel details and get things organised closer to the time, as soon as we know how everyone is going to be travelling and when you'll be arriving. ++

    • Rail

      ++ Travelling to Asturias by train is something of a world tour – but it can be done via San Sebastian, Bilbao & Santander ++

    • Road

      ++ Car: carshare from Switzerland ++
      ++ From Santander stay on the "Autovia Cantabrico (A8)" and then take the Vidiago exit; signs will point you to the campsite ++
      ++ Where possible, we'll do what we can to coordinate carshares ++

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