When the winters are about to end, this braña is located 1500 meters It still usually retains part of the snow. The air is very pure, especially for those who yearn for nature. During the summer, cattle graze freely taking advantage of the fertile pastures of glacial origin. Formerly, the shepherd milked at dusk, slept in the braña and at dawn he milked again before bringing the fresh milk to the town of Urria. Furthermore, he had underground hatches through which the fresh water from the nearby sources circulated, something basic to cool the milk and make butter. Today, restricted-use trails and off-road vehicles make it possible to no longer need to spend the night in this sheepfold.
Trekking 5 days in Somiedo
Five intense days, with accommodation included, to visit the main attractions, peaks, lakes and brañas, of this natural park….
What are branes?
The council of Somiedo has about 130 brañas, classified into two types: equinoctial, close to the towns, where cattle graze in spring and autumn; and the summer ones, of which the Sousas braña is part. Here, the ancestral corros, circular stone huts, were covered with "tapinos" or vegetable cover for thermal insulation. In them the shepherds or brañeiros and the cattle also slept, because this way they were protected from the wolf and other dangers. In the braña de Sousa a total of 23 groups can still be counted, forming a set of enormous ethnographic value. A castreño-type architecture whose origins go back to prehistory and that is unique in Europe. The door jambs and lintels create beautiful shapes and each building has its own design, with limestone blocks expertly dry-fitted. The ring blends in perfectly with its surroundings, but conservation problems and measures to protect them are in the limelight year after year.
Lake Valley Route – Braña de Sousa
The route that leads to this pastoral area is simple, short and runs along a good path, suitable for all ages. A linear route that in just 3 kilometers of route, after saving 300 meters of unevenness, leaves us at the foot of the same braña. The duration: an hour and a half there and another hour back.
We start the tour in the town of Lake Valley. We crossed the river and passed close to the church. On the right hand side there is a branch heading south. The first section runs between meadow walls, and a little further on, when the path moves away from the town, we walk between hazel, oak, chestnut and beech trees. As we gain altitude, we begin to enjoy some great views of this valley of glacial origin, one of the largest in the Somiedo Natural Park, and at whose final head is the famous valley lake, the largest mountain lake in Asturias. Throughout the journey we enjoyed wide panoramic views of the beech forests and the mountains of Coto and Valle. La Braña de Sousas is located on the western slope of Peña Llana, at the bottom of a glacial cirque, surrounded by moraine. From there spectacular views of Altu'l Muñon and the head of the circus are obtained. Once in the braña, you can continue the excursion a bit, taking an ascending path, heading south, towards the Colláu del Muñón, where we can enjoy wonderful views of the Sierra del Rebezu.
Peña Furada viewpoint
during the return must not miss the visit Peña Furada viewpoint, quite a spectacle and, without exaggeration, one of the most surprising landscapes of our country. It is accessed by a path that begins a little below the Braña de Fuexo, braña that preserves in good condition a teito's cabin typical Somedan. From the gaze we discover the Enraimada Forest, a protected area with restricted access, where the brown bear has its refuge. On the right, we can admire that singular mountain that is the Peña Furada or Pico Castiellu, a rocky crag that has a natural window that makes it unmistakable.
After passing the viewpoint, we descend until we reach the main path to be able to finish the route at the starting point.
Text: © Ramón Molleda for asturias.com
Maximum height: 1458m
Minimum height: 1213m
Ascent slope: 314m
Descent slope: -72 m
Time spent: 01:35:25