Very close to Cangas de Onís, 12 km away, on the road that borders the Picos de Europa to the north and reaches Panes, on the border with Cantabria, is the town of Mestas de Con. Last August I was there A few days, staying in an apartment in Casería El Hondrigu, enjoying the landscape of the Picos de Europa. It was the first time that I went to this accommodation and I loved it as well as the Aldea de Con rural house in which I had stayed in other years. TOBoth houses are located, very close to each other, in the upper part of the town. They have impeccable facilities and their owners are very friendly and attentive to their guests.
In the town there was only one grocery store, on the corner of the road, Casa Luis, which is also a bar and tobacconist and where you can buy bread and the most basic things, although this year they have opened another store located further inland. from town. There is no butcher or fish market, but the proximity of Cangas de Onís makes this not problematic. There is only one eating house that is located on the same road, Casa María. A restaurant that was at the entrance of the town, the hotel restoresnte La Ruta, they have just left it as a bar, because apparently the economic crisis has also reached this far. A pity, because they gave an extraordinary pixin. In any case, there is still the cider house, where you can have the dish of the day, or a sidriña, sitting very comfortable in one of the wooden tables that are arranged in the meadow in front of the establishment.
From Mestas de Con you can make many excursions to eastern Asturias. You can go up to Los Lagos, visit Covadonga, go to Arenas de Cabrales, do the Cares route, or even go to the beaches of Llanes if the weather is good. But the excursion that I love the most and that I have already done twice is the so-called “Ruta de Pepín” in a very nearby town called Sirviella, which belongs to the neighboring council of Onís. Francisco Jose Díaz "Pepín", shepherd of tourists as a local newspaper calls him, has set up a route consisting of taking a didactic tour walking through the town in which Pepín explains what rural life is like in the region, how the landscape is configured, how grazing has evolved and many other things. Sometimes he even invites tourists to perform theatrical performances of common situations in the village. Thus, for example, once it was my turn to be the father of a young woman who took advantage of her stay in the town laundry to flirt with her boyfriend. After the tour and in a place he owns, Pepín shows you, between culín and culín de cider, how toe elaborates this and what is more important how is the culture of cider, its social roots and its meaning in friendship relationships to then show you at the La Torralla farm, which is where Pepín has his base, a variety of animals natives such as the Asturcón horse, the vermilion goat or the pita pinta hen. He also shows you a typical hut that he has rebuilt in his meadow, without a fireplace, like the one used by shepherds during the summer in the Picos de Europa to make gamoneu cheese. Pepín is an enthusiast of the pita pinta hen and has even collaborated with a Department of the University of Oviedo in order to prevent its extinction.
The visit ends in the La Torralla dining room with a tasting lunch of ltypical products of the area; Gamoneu cheese, either from the valley or from the peaks, which differ in that you always have the cheese from the valley and the one from the peaks only at the end of the summer when the shepherds come down from the mountains, the potato omelettes, the chorizos, the black pudding and of course the cider made in the sore of Pepín.
Before farewell the tourists often ask how and where they can buy the typical products of the area, especially the gamoneu cheese. Then Pepín, very kindly, provides the necessary information and the appropriate indications on where and when to buy the genuine Gamoneu cheese, that of the Picos.
Resources related to Mestas de Con:
- Photos Parador Cangas de Onís