Small campsite in the village of Valle de Lago up the bendy, winding mountain road from Pola de Somiedo. Unless it's changed since summer 2008, it consists of a large, flat. Let's call it. Field where the tents pitch. You have to carry your stuff in the *thoughtfully* provided wheelbarrows from the carpark area at reception to wherever you want to pitch, or seeing as there are no defined pitches, wherever you CAN pitch. Though in the back of my mind, I have a vague recollection of there being one or two electrical points for tents down by the wall, don't bank on it as most tents have to do without.
Facilities. Let's see, there is one block which is divided up into the reception/bar/shop/restaurant area and then the shower/toilet area, and outside the sinks and washing machines. The bar/shop/restaurant is small but adequate for most things and the staff are, on the whole, friendly and helpful, should you require assistance or just tourist info about the area. The toilet/shower area was exactly the same in 2008 as it was in 1997 when we first went. And therefore, unless they've improved it since, looks a bit tired and in need of a facelift, BUT it is usually clean.
BBQ area set aside from the camping area on the other side of a channelled stream and a small play area for kids, comprising of a few swings and a bit of space to run around in. Which doesn't sound much but you have to take into account that this campsite is used as a base for hikers as it is a beautiful area to go walking in. It's ideal for people wanting to take in some spectacular scenery, go hiking, see the teitos (thatched shepherds' huts), birdwatching (griffon vultures, Egyptian vultures, kites, kestrels, eagles etc etc), visit the Somiedo lakes. Or just sit in a usually quiet campsite where the only noise that's likely to disturb you from your peaceful musings on life is the sound of cowbells or goats coming down the mountainside, or the horn of the breadvan. Beware the mists that often roll down the valley mid-afternoon, shrouding the campsite in a ghostly silence and confining you either to your tent or the bar if you want to avoid the damp. Till you emerge later when night's fallen and find that you are in heaven. That's how it feels as you look up and see the mist has gone and you're so close to millions of stars you feel as if you can touch them.
Beyond the campsite, the village of Valle de Lago consists mainly of privately owned cottages, some rented out to tourists. And a hotel and restaurant or two, but not much else. If you want a bit more action, you'll need to go down the road to Pola de Somiedo where you'll find a few more shops, bars, restaurants and a little tourist office that will give you information on hiking routes and other things to see/do in the area.
You need to be prepared for all types of weather. We last went there in the middle of summer 2008 -can't remember if it was July or August exactly- and woke up one morning to find ice on the outside of the tent. Luckily the heat of the new day soon melted it and all the humidity soon evaporated. On other occasions, during the day, it was very hot and sunny though much cooler and damper at night.
All in all, though I found the campsite to be a tad expensive for the facilities it offers (we paid more than 20 euros a night, small tent, two people, no electricity, back in 2008), it is in a superb location if you don't mind the hairpin bends in the road up from Pola and is great for hiking, wildlife, photography or just peace and quiet.
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