Itinerary: Soto de Agues-Puente del Retortoriu-Foces del Llaímo-Cruz de los Ríos.
Distance: 14 km. 200m (there and back)
Duration: 4h.40 min.
For its beauty and easy walking, the route of El Alba has become one of the emblematic elements of the National Park of Redes, as well as being declared Natural Monument in 2001.
Soto de Agues is a beautiful town of hórreo, corridors and balusters of chestnut wood, at only two kilometers of Rioseco, municipal capital. The route takes a wide path of restricted access to non agrarian vehicles.
This path was used in the past by farmers wanting to reach the neighboring valley of Aller.
Once it has passed the fish factory, the path follows the Alba River. At both sides, the hills are covered in chestnut trees and some oak trees. On the top of the hills it is possible to see, at down or dust, some chamois, one of the most characteristic species in the park.
Soon the path reaches the Campurru, the ruins of the mine of El Carmen, situated on the hillside of Pandanes, on the Llaímo Mountain. Duro Felguera extracted iron here from 1922 to 1967. This mineral was transported on this path to Rioseco, and from there to Laviana on a mining train, property of the company, and now dismantled. After less than half an hour from here the path reaches La Vega, a crossing of paths, where the track ends. Take the narrow path straight ahead which leads into the Foces del Llaímo (gorge of Llaímo). From here the path runs between the high vertical walls of quartzite first and later limestone. Passing caves excavated into the rock on the side of a torrential stream that has waterfalls, some nearly ten meters high, rapids and deep pools like the one of El Covallón, El Calvu, Les Lleroses or La Sapera. At both sides of the path, within the rock formations there are numerous beech trees, yew trees and other vegetation. If you pay attention it is possible to find, on the rock walls, a carnivorous plant, easily recognizable by the insects that are stuck to its leaves: the tirigaña.
Throughout the route, the path crosses two small bridges, built out of limestone with their arks leaning on the rock: First the Pontona, and the bridge of la Resquiebra, after. The path ends at the end of the gorge in the Cruz de los Ríos, the landscape, suddenly open on to fields characterized by the density of the beech tree forests of EL Llaímo and the height of EL Retriñón, border between the parishes of Aller, Caso and Sobrescobio.