There are two principle events. One is the International descent of the Sella river and the other is the Descent of the Sella in a canoe. This last one gives life to the first all year long, and attracts many sportmen and people keen on this exciting event. It also prepares everybody for a trial celebration where the most important guests known be the successful,- those who overcome the highest levels and the most difficult rapids of the river.
Descending the Sella is relatively cheap, and only depends on being fit. Anyway, there are extra reasons to participate: enjoying the landscape and the views, swimming in or even having a picnic on the banks of the river. It is also possible to find rivals to make the descent as faster as possible and to get more fun from it. The Sella river always provides many different types of people’s enjoyment for all who go there. It can also be a tranquile place or, on the contrary, somewhere to enjoy a competition.
The cost per person is about 18 or 23 euros, depending on the season. Descending in groups is cheaper and it is possible to get reductions for commercial adventure groups, companies tourism ventures..
The descent usually lasts between 4 and 6 hours. There are 15 km- between the Arriondas’ bridge and the municipality of Llovio [Ribadesella]- this last place is well known for its natural beauty.
The first step begins in the offices of the commercial adventure groups above. There, in their dressing rooms we can change our clothes for something more suitable for the river. Then we are given the paddles, a lunch bag, water and a waterproof box to make save the rest of the things we should also take in the expedition, are kept dry. This box should also be used for the rubbish on our trip, so that no damage is made to the enviroment. And it is also taken for granted that we do not damage the Sella river in any way.
Before the canoes begin their journey monitors explain how to use the paddles to control the canoe correctly. And the monitors will answer any question. The monitors emphasize the importance of how to swim and how much important is to wear a life jacket.
When everything is ready, the new adventure starts… Little by little we learn how to control our canoe. Then we cross the first rapids of the river: La Raíz. This is an easy one rapids. After that we reach the Remolina’s rapids, the division and the Fuentes’ rapids. Then the tranquile waters of the Pozo de Arco, and after that the Picu la Viella’s rapids… Then we reach the heights of Toraño. This is a quiet place under the bridge, where many have a swim and something to eat on the shores to recover their energy. There is always somebody who jumps from the bridge to the Sella and this always makes us laugh.
The after lunch is not really for long and we go to the Cantabrian Sea. In a short while, we reach the Rabión del Diablo, one of the most spectacular points of the river. The water gets faster between the rocks. It is not dangerous as it is not very deep here, but it is important to wear a life jacket.
After that we cross La Requexada, the longest straight passage on our trip. This is one of the principal points in the International Descent mentioned in the second paragraph. After that we reach the Santianes’ dam, and once more the pulse quickens due to the fact that in this part the river goes much faster. And, finally step by step we arrive at the end. On the shores of the Llovio, the monitors will be waiting for us and they will drive us back to the changing rooms.
There would be much good talk about this special trip. It is certain to become a beautiful memory and something to live again and again. And the Sella river will always be waiting for us when we return.
The whole course of this river which is about 60 kilometres and it has opened up other possibilities in nature for new adventures. The landscape is most suitable for this. In the heights above the river, we can enjoy rock climbing or cave exploration. Going down to Cangas de Onís, we find the beautiful landscape of the Peaks of Europe which offer many routes on foot or by 4×4. The course of the river in this place is good for what’s more rafting. Even less than down, in Arriondas, if we have gone up by canoe we can begin going down walking through Sierra del Sueve. On the coast, in Ribadesella we can find sea sports to try if we want to. Also there is the possibility of biking a quad or riding a horse along the coast line, the valleys and the surrounding hills and beaches…
In the river we can fish if we are keen on this, the Asturian salmon is one of the provinces secret treasures.
Everything is possible in this priviledged place. The Sella river started to going across the province thousands of years ago. This encourages us to enjoy sports and make life much enjoyable.
Traslation by Rebeca Couto.