Ribadesella and Jaw-Dropping Prehistoric Cave Drawings

Palaeolithic carving on both sides of the horse head in the Tito Bustillo museum

Ribadesella, Asturias, Spain

Ribadesella from the walk to the Virgin of the Guide Chapel

Ribadesella from the walk to the Virgin of the Guide Chapel – a day on our 18 days in Northwest Spain itinerary

A walk out the Camino a La Guia on the bluff separating the estuary and town from the sea had beautiful views of Ribadesella. Our visit to pretty Ribadesella was impromptu, the morning in Cangas de Onis looked like it would rain so we opted for a drive to the coast instead of a rainy Picos hike.

At the end of the Camino above the crashing waves is a small chapel dedicated to the patron saint of sailors called the Ermita de la Virgen de la Guia (Virgin of Guide), along with several old canons directed out to sea. We descended from the bluffs above to the pedestrian walk along the estuary which was marked with amusing and interesting large picture placards describing local myths, with descriptions in Spanish and in the Basque language.

But the highlight of the day was a visit to the Tito Bustillo Cave to see the jaw-dropping prehistoric cave drawings (no Photos allowed). The wonderful paleolithic drawings and artifacts of ancient man date between 22,000 and 10,000 BC. It’s mind-boggling to think how old these drawings are, and here we saw them just by the good luck of bad weather! Our timed entry to the caves was for later in the afternoon, allowing plenty of time to see the terrific museum first. That worked well – if we hadn’t seen the museum first with it’s English language descriptions, we wouldn’t have appreciated the fantastic drawings in the cave as much as we did – the cave tour is only in Spanish.

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