Fierry dogs and invisible cantabrian bears

  the cantabrian brown bear

 Looking for the crag described in a guide-book can sometimes be pretty adventurous. Especially, when the access is not translated, or poorly described.

You end up everywhere else. 

There’s definitely more salt in the soup, when you have at the back of your mind that bears and wolves share the same environment as you while you are everywhere else than you should be.


In europe, seeing a bear run across your trials is something unusual. It isn’t something that you would encounter each day, or at all. They stay invisible, but they are there, especially in Asturias/ Cantabria. They are probably waiting for you behind the bush, the boulder or when you step out of your car. I never saw one, and would have probably loved the idea of meeting one. Or maybe not.

Sometimes, while you are busy getting lost, you encounter shrubs of thorny bushes, jungle terrain, a cliff impossible to surpass, or cows with almost shiny, samurai  sword looking horns ( but they do have beautiful eyes!). Or you find a flock of sheep ahead, grazing peacefully under the sun. They are so fluffy, so cute. And they always run away from the tourist holding a camera.

I fumbled for my camera.

At the corner of my eyes, a sheep flashed its teeth. This animal was ready to jump on its prey. I looked again. It was no sheep, It’s a Kangal herding dog!! He looked like a sheep, with the same fur coat color. He must be around 60 kg. He wore also an intimidating collar  full of protruding nails. No wolf or bear would be able to bite through his neck.  He wasn’t as fluffy or cute as the others. And oh so much teeth!


When she peered into my window, my heart jumped. In some ways I was glad, that there was a door between her and I. But she was actually far more interested in my sandwich.

When she peered into my window, my heart jumped. She was actually far more interested in my sandwich.

It started to bark furiously at us.

You can’t imagine how fast I ran, away from the white flocks of cuteness.

No, we were not going to be good friends. I have big respect for them.  The dog was doing his 9-5 job. They wander independently together with their sheep. No Shepard nearby can be seen.

I still remembered clearly our last encounter in the outskirts of Berga, in Catalunya when a similar dog was snapping inches away from my calves .We were passing by a farm-house after climbing. They have a huge responsibility to keep wolves or bears away, and are not amused when colourful mountain tourist idiots try to catch and pet a sheep.

Spot the odd one out

Spot the odd one out

Bears, are also known as Oso pardo or just Osu in Asturias. It would scare the shit out of me if one of these teddies would appear out of the bush. I googled  the net to find how I should be responding if I ever met a brown bear, and came across this amusing encounter from Kathrin. (In german)

There are about 250 brown bears running around freely in the Natural Parks in Asturias and Cantábrica. There are chances that you won’t see any. But roaming so secludedly away from civilisation, I sometimes think my chances could be good.

Neverthless, I saw none. I told you, they were invisible.

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