OUCC Proceedings 7 (1975)

Caves in the c Area

Bill Collis

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Llamigo Cave

A track is sign-posted from Nueva (east of Ribadesella) indicating Rienseña and Corao. This leads to Llamigo and is classic caving country. As one climbs up through Devonian sandstone along a wooded valley one can hear but not see a stream. Just before Llamigo the valley abruptly stops and one enters a large (several miles long) and flat polje in which various streams sink. The stream is clearly draining the limestone and resurges at the head of the valley where the limestone meets the sandstone.

Needless to say the difficulty is getting through the undergrowth to the stream. There is in fact the remains of a track if one can find it. Most of the water in the stream comes from a sumped spring. This sump can be free- dived - Jim Sheppard did it without even a wet-suit. However, there is no need to get wet as there is an alternative entrance, unfortunately there is only a few metres of cave until one reaches another, unbypassable sump. Another tributary on the right, carrying less water, comes from a fair-sized cave entrance some 6m high and 2m wide. A pleasant meandering stream passage continues with a short oxbow for about 400m to a chamber where water enters from a choke. All ways on from here, including a 4m pitch (free - climbed by John Forder) closed down rapidly. There was a decorated side passage also containing a small stream.

The villagers agreed that there were other substantial caves nearby but we were not able to find them. Most of the small streams sinking in the polje led to choked entrances. The locals again talked of caves and potholes in 1975, but no guides were found and only a couple of choked depressions and collapsed entrances were found at the northern end of the plateau.