Gunderson Experiences

Doing all the things

Proaza, Spain - Where Limestone goes to Heaven

Jun 21, 2023

June 26, 2023

Proaza, Spain - a hidden gem in Northern Spain. Tucked in the Valle de Trubia in a deep canyon nestled amongst towering limestone cliffs. The climbing is endless, the beauty relentless, and the people generous. We discovered another spot in this world that could easily be called home.

Our AirBnB. Fully remodeled on the inside. Carla, our host

Helping with dishes, Proof!

Inside the house there was a clear landing off the stairs. Modern and super fun to surprise people below with silly faces.

The Start of tons of climbing photos!

Saraya's first lead climb

Soren's First lead climb too!

So many limestone caves!

SIDE STORY - Unfortunately we did not take a picture of the road. But if you can see from this picture, once in villages high in the mountains, the roads become well, less like roads. Our first day in Spain, we immediately went to seek out a crag. Any climber knows that often you are using a mix of some guys interpretation of the parking situation in a guidebook made 20 years ago along with Internet discussions (now a days) and possible, some google mapping. Well, I won't go into detail on how we eventually found ourselves driving up the narrowest road in the world, but there we were. I was out of the car running up the road to make sure the car could actually fit. Jansen was driving. I gave him the signal to drive up towards me and BAM! He had not seen that the road immediately dropped off on the right down a few stairs to someone's front door. I screamed, naturally. Jansen stopped, naturally. The front passenger tire was suspended in air. Luckily the car fell onto the part for the jack. It was just sitting there. Jansen got into the car, put it in reverse. I pushed as hard as I could from the front. The old Citreon engaged AWD and Shazam - it was able to reverse, all 4 tires on the ground! But the story does not end. Because that did not stop us. We proceeded higher on these narrow roads. Do not judge! Until finally a man came whipping down in his tiny Spanish car. He got out, assessed that he was dealing with determined, but likely somewhat dumb Americans and told me that we should turn around immediately. We eagerly accepted the advice, slowly made our way back down, never to return!

Quiros. One of the most popular crags. We saw about 4 other climbers! Shhhh. Do not tell

"Give me a swing and all maturity goes out the window."

Rope Swing

Bike Rental Day! There was a great path over 40km of bike path that paralleled the road but was completely separate. It even had its own tunnels. Saraya and Jansen rode a tandem. training for Lotoja tandem. They will crush

Oddly enough, there is a caged bear on the trail. There are wild grizzlies in the Valle de Trubia. We saw scat on our trails. But there is a refuge for bears who need medical attention or have been rummaging through garbage. Instead of shooting the bear, they have this refuge which is a wild refuge of hundreds of acres. The bears do like to come down to where people can see them thus they look "caged"

We did attend Proaza's local party for the Summer Solstice. It was quaint, full of kids and adults. Traditional Basque music and dance were demonstrated. A large bomb fire was made to symbolize a new beginning. You are to give 3 wishes for the next year and let go of 3 unwanted memories of the previous.