In the Tabardín river, in its upper basin, several mountain streams come together that will follow their path as a single current until they end at the Güeña. Between the towns of Demués and Gamoneu de Onís, the Tabardín gives us a dream section. It is easy to understand the strong roots that these lands arouse, full of traditional mills so that life can flow in harmony with the natural environment.
The water mills
Traveling through these places, the rural world of yesteryear comes to be close and enviable. And that unusual industry that allowed us to transform cereals into flour, with its millstones carved on granite stones, never ceases to captivate us. The water mills, present in the rivers, streams and streams of the most humid Asturias, add up to a fortnight along the Tabardín. At the time they were used to grind cereals, mainly corn, and were pioneers of the cooperative economy. Most of these mills belonged to the residents of the area, which were half with the maintenance costs. The private mills were run by millers who charged for their services with the traditional "maquila" (keeping a percentage of the ground).
The water mills supplied flour to all corners of Asturias until well into the XNUMXth century; although time has passed, it is only regrettable that the great majority of them have abandoned them.
Routes such as the Tabardín River help to enhance this pre-industrial heritage. In addition, in Onís this legacy has its own nuances, as they are found close to the streams and gullies of mountains as "pindian" (steep) as those that make up the Picos de Europa.
The route of the Tabardín river
Idyllic and pastoral, Onís means "profitable land", and for this reason our walks along its paths will also be beneficial. This one in particular is a simple and ideal excursion for families. Offers lots of shade, and it is ideal to enjoy it in summer, where we can get wet at ease in the waterfalls and pools that we find (always with due caution).
We can lengthen the route a little more if we wish, reaching up to Gamoneu de Onis, a village that gives its name to the cheese par excellence of the sheepfolds. Gamoneu Cheese (smoked and made with three milks) is, together with Cabrales, the most popular dairy product in Asturias. On our way we can also get a good wedge in one of the cheese shops in the area. In the same demonstrates without going any further, a village that marks the beginning and end of the itinerary.
We first descend along a cobbled path that leads us to the river. Before even crossing the first bridge we already came across the first mill. We then advance between hazelnut and chestnut trees leaving two more mills on our right. They are easy to recognize: buildings with a rectangular floor plan and small dimensions, built with stone masonry and -when they still preserve it- a wooden gabled roof.
We follow the route following the indications, leaving behind another wooden bridge, crossing the road and continuing along the path, which now runs parallel to a wall until reaching the Trillón block. In front of it are the remains of another mill and very close to a beautiful waterfall. At this point we have the option of returning along the same path or ending our walk with an extra promotion to the town of Gamonéu de Onís, taking the first ascending branch that comes out on our right.
Start and end of the route: Demués
Length: 4 km or 6.7 km (if you go up to Gamonéu)
Approximate time: 2 / 3 hours (if you go up to Gamonéu)
Type of route: Circular
Ascent difference: 255 m (440 with optional ascent to Gamonéu)
Descent drop: 255 m (440 with optional ascent to Gamonéu)
Maximum altitude: 423 m (Demués) or 468 (Gamonéu)
It is recommended to bring enough water for the entire route, since there are no sources of drinking water during the tour. There is a fountain in Demués, where the march begins.
It is essential to carry a walking stick to go down from Demués, slippery even in summer (don't forget your bathing suit on very hot days!).
Text: © Ramón Molleda for asturias.com
Maximum height: 466m
Minimum height: 279m
Ascent slope: 387m
Descent slope: -393 m