Ever since this quaint rural village came on my radar this summer, I have been obsessed with seeing it. It looked so beautiful on Google photos, so rustic, so me. Now that I have finally been paid and found myself with an unexpected day off that coincided with a rather sunny day, I hit the road to neighbouring province and comunidad autónoma Cantabria, hoping to find some beautiful autumn foliage that is still somehow eluding me mid-November. Spoiler alert: I still haven’t found it. I think I’m wanting too much colour!
I previously wrote about Cantabria this summer, but I am always up to discover new places and possibly a new meravella. Unfortunately, today was not the case. I had built up Santa María de Cayón wayyyy too much in my head beforehand, and while beautiful, it was not what I had expected.
I caught the 9:30 bus this morning from Bilbao with no problem, and the bus actually left and arrived on time. Congratulations, ALSA! I was planning on chilling a few hours in Santander, but I saw there was a bus to Sarón, two kilometres from my ultimate destination of Santa María de Cayón at 11:30. I figured I could catch that bus and hike into Sta. María de Cayón, have lunch and return to Santander on the 16:38 bus to catch a 18.00 bus back to Bilbao.
Sarón is a small village without much to see, but it was happening for being small and rural. I had my café con leche before setting on my hike, noting a restaurant in town. The two kilometres to Sta. María de Cayón have some beautiful scenery but follow the main road. I’m sure there are many more beautiful trails, but this was a “I need an escape” last-minute sort of trip, so I did what I knew wouldn’t get me lost. I played with some nice burros (donkeys) and saw lots of cows and sheep and even a duck on the way to the village.
As people are prone to do on short 2 km hikes, I arrived at my destintation in short time. Santa María de Cayón has a nice town hall (ayuntamiento) and an old Roman Church, but there is little more to see.
What it does have in plenty is beautiful scenery of the mountains and the River Pisueño. It’s worth a stop if it’s along the way to other destinations, and the natural park nearby has got to be amazingly beautiful. Still, I would have been better off if I had a car to make a series of stops in this beautiful area, or to have gotten up earlier in the morning to go hiking from village to village.
You live, you learn. I spent some time contemplating the small river before heading back to Sarón.
Sarón had a variety of restaurants, and I found a Menú del día for only 8,50 at Mesón Alquilara, which had a great decor and great food.
Melón con jamón, pollo asado (roast chicken) con patatas and tarta de whiskey for dessert. I’ll be headed to the gym for sure tomorrow.
In the end, I managed to catch an early bus back to the Capital of the World, Bilbao to reflect on a gorgeous day and a much-needed escape. Even if I thought it would be more, it was still a beautiful, remote place, which I find I am falling in love with more and more every day.
Cantabria Infinita indeed.