How do I get there?
Vueling fly from Gatwick to Asturias OVD. In September 2022 I recommend flying out on either Sunday 11th for the retreat that starts on the 12th -18th or Sunday 18th for the retreat that starts on the 19th-25th. You would need to take the regular airport bus or taxi to Aviles and stay overnight there. The pick-up point on Monday 12th and Monday 18th will be in the car park next to the bus station in Aviles at 1pm. From there we will travel on in the transport provided.
Alternatively, Ryanair fly from London Stansted STN to Santander in Cantabria. It’s about a two-hour train or bus journey from there to Aviles in Asturias. If you are travelling to Asturias from somewhere other than the UK you will need to get yourself to the pick-up point in Aviles for 1pm on the Monday. You will be returned direct to Asturias OVD airport on Sunday 18th or Sunday 25th or dropped in Aviles if you are going on to another destination.
We will make sure you are returned to where you need to be at the end of the week. A simple orientation will happen at a nearby beach before we head inland to Somiedo and on up to Valle de Lago to settle in to your accommodation.
How much walking is involved?
Walking: We will be walking mindfully and at a gentle and slow pace so a reasonable level of fitness is required. Wee will be going up and downhill and staying out for several hours at a time. The walks are done as a mindful meditation and for obvious reasons it is very important that we stay together as a group. Please talk to me (Frankie) if you are unsure or have any questions. The walking doesn’t start early or run to a tight timetable as the idea is to completely forget about clocks, alarms and schedules. I want you to have a relaxing time and return home refreshed and strengthened.
What will I need to bring?
What to bring: First of all, please travel as light as you can as luggage space is limited. What you wear and when will depend very much on the weather. Layers of light clothing are best as the Somiedo weather can be changeable. You will need light protective rain gear, (top and bottom), good walking boots with ankle support, a water bottle, binoculars, (if you have them), a sun hat, suncream and sunglasses may also be useful. I suggest you bring a light back pack to carry what you need during the day, (not much), as it’s best to walk with nothing in your hands for the mindful practice. A hoodie or fleece for the mountain tops and evenings is reccomended.
* Please also bring something small but, meaningful from home as a symbolic offering. If you are unsure of what to bring just let your intuition guide you in picking up a pebble or any natural object that you are drawn to.
Food: Breakfast and lunch packs on the days that we walk are self catered. In the evenings you will have the choice of going out to local restaurants, cooking in your apartment or group barbeque as you choose. Eating out is very good value for money in Asturias. There are two small supermarkets that we will pass most days and will be stopping to pick up provisions as and when needed.
Alcohol: Walkinginspirit is not a retreat with restrictions on what you can eat and drink. I myself, enjoy a cold beer or cider at the end of a long walk and a glass of wine with my meal. I would just ask that, if you do drink, you do so in moderation and that you give anyone who chooses not to, due consideration… and vice versa.
Alternative diets: Rural Spain is not used to catering for alternative diets so it’s a good idea to bring some things with you if your diet is specialised and adjust expectations accordingly.
Free time: Wednesday or Thursday, (depending on whether the arrival day is Sunday or Monday), will be free time and I leave it open as to what happens. If some or all of the group want to go on an excursion I will happily accommodate that and, in fact so far, we have always done this. The capital Oviedo is a popular choice but I am open to other suggestions. At dusk on some days there may be an optional opportunity to drive somewhere nearby for a bit of bear watching. This will depend entirely on what information we receive at the time.
Spirit of the retreat: Group cohesion is vital for safety when walking in remote and wild places. This point is of particular importance. Walkinginspirit is a group retreat and participants need to be able to manage their own needs within the needs of a group without drama, particularly during the walks.
Cameras & phones: The mindful walks are the part of the retreat that have some dos and don’t attached to them. Phones and cameras must be switched off during the four walks. Frankie or another photographer will take pictures during the walks and share with everyone afterwards. Outside of the walks you are free to take as many pictures as you like. There is a good signal for mobile providers at our base, La Pińietsa and wifi is available in local bars and restaurants.
Valuables: Please look after your valuables. Somiedo is a very safe place but Walkinginspirit cannot accept any responsibility for things going missing.
Going home: You will be taken to the airport in or other drop-off point in plenty of time to catch your return flight or make your onward journey. Sometimes, this may mean an early start on the last day depending on flight times.
Disclaimer: In booking you agree to be completely responsible and liable for any injury to yourself or damage to your property that you may incur during your time on the retreat.I will be asking you to sign a waiver to this end.
Insurance: All retreat participants must be covered by insurance before setting out. This must cover you fully against the cost of medical care and repatriation should you be unable to continue with the retreat, and must cover you against the cost of any transport out of the area, should sickness or injury necessitate such a course of action.
Cost: The total cost of the retreat is 650 euros per person for shared accommodation and 800 euros for single occupancy, (single occupancy places are limited in number to keep the retreat viable). Walkinginspirit is an assisted independent travel opportunity, and the payment must be made in three parts.
- The first payment is for the suggested accommodation, and this acts as your deposit. The accommodation fee/deposit is 180e, per person for shared accommodation and 350e for single occupancy. Once this is paid your place on the retreat is secured. Payment details will be provided when you book.
- The second payment of 300 euros per person is for the retreat activities, mindfulness training and walk guidance and must be paid as soon as possible, preferably 21 days prior to the retreat. Payment details will be provided when you book.
- The third payment of 150 euros is for the vehicle hire and fuel costs and must be made in cash when you arrive.
The overall price includes the fee for the suggested accommodation, mindfulness training and guidance and vehicle hire share. Fee does not include flights.
Cancellations Policy: The first accommodation fee/deposit is non-refundable but will be held for you as credit which you can use for a later retreat if you must cancel. The second fee must be paid, ideally 21 days before the date of your retreat. If you need to cancel, the second payment will be refunded minus a 50-euro fee for administrative costs but please give us as much notice as you are able if you need to do this. In the event of us having to cancel the retreat prior to the event, all monies will be refunded to you minus transfer fees and 50 euros administrative costs. Please call me on 0034 677 041 495 or WhatsApp or email me if you have any further questions.
Cost is 650 euros pp, (based on two sharing one apartment), or 800 euros for single occupancy.
180euros deposit, (350 euros for single occupancy)
See “reservations” page for dates and information about the single occupancy supplement.