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Discovering the herdsmen

Brañaseca Experience

The history and the landscape of the Asturian Mountains could not be explained without knowing the world of the “vaqueiros de alzada” (herdsmen). A social group marginalized over the years, by nomadic way of life and geographical isolation. His way of life was the livestock, especially of the asturian cow where it comes from the name of herdsmen; the "de alzada", means that varied his residence twice a year.

Fran, a Bachelor's degree in Geography and lover of culture and nature of Asturias, proposes with Brañaseca Experience, a path for understand better to these herdsmen, their land, their customs and their myths.

The tour starts in the curious Church of San Martin de Luiña, built in the XVIII century on another of medieval origin, to accommodate the pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago. There we have some of the theories (for the most part false) of the origin of the herdsmen and some details that prove its marginalization, as that they were buried in the local groups and especially an inscription in the floor where you can read "not passing here to hear mass the hedsmen".

Although now produces the opposite direction, and it is a pride and a sign of purity of the breed the asturian be of origin “vaqueiro”, but who are currently the herdsmen? These and many other questions will be answered in the path that we go forward, going up to the mountains from the in the days more clear we can see a large portion of the interior of Asturias and the Cape Peñas, in unique views that make already worth the visit.

Once referred to the views, we come to the village where we made the small path. Brañaseca, has been chosen by Fran, for being one of the best preserved and one of the few who still continue with the activity.

By the way we view the stories, culture and way of life of the herdsmen, to which we can imagine them moving by these mountains until those of Cangas and Somiedo and, in which the work and life in general would very hard and isolated.

The tour ends in a typical house of herdsmen. On your private balcony or terrace with views to the mountains and the Cantabric Sea, enjoyed some ciders accompanied by local cheeses and cold meats; while in the wood stove, is finishing the meals based on “pote asturiano”, “frixuelos” and some other surprises, that we quietly on the inside of the house where only hear the sound of the hens of the poultry.

A trip in which they can enjoy both the asturian that we are, to know something more than our region, as for the rest of visitors whom will enjoy the views, a environment and a gastronomy truly unique.

Phone: +34 620 619 00