Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The bufones of the Asturian coast (Spain)

Deze post in het Nederlands: Klik hier.

As promised in the previous post, the turn is now to the bufones of the Asturian coast. Because of the rain and splashing water of the waves and the bufones, most pictures failed or are of a poor quality, but I think I still have been able to make a reasonable selection. By the way, we went back last weekend with some very spectacular results, especially regarding the Bufones of Pría, but these photos will be addressed in the near future.
The bufones are holes, crevices or even small potholes that are connected to the sea through an extensive cave system which is open towards the sea. When the waves fill the caves the air inside is compressed and violently blown upwards through the fractures with a loud bellowing. So a bufón is a fracture which exhales air with great force and noise. This sound is what has given the name to the bufones because "bufar" means "el resoplar con fuerza del toro ", or "the hard and fierce snorting or bellowing of the bull". When the swell of the sea is great the bufones can be heard miles away, but also during summer and insignificant swell most bufones will blow. The big difference is that if there is a considerable swell, the bufones also expel high fountains of water. A Bufon in action is truly an amazing spectacle, and therefore it is astonishing that outside the province of Asturias it is almost an unknown phenomenon. I live only about 140 kilometers away from the bufones and in my village the bufones are practically unknown.



Waves entering the bay of Llames, the cliffs are here about 25 meter high and the waves around 7 meters. 

Just to the right of the bufón there stands a person, compare the size!

Several bufones simultaneously in action. It was a Tuesday and this was also the first wave front to arrive at the Asturian coast, that´s the reason why there are so few people. But when after an intense weather-campaign of the local news the second wave front arrived at Saturday, it looked like a fairground (will be covered in the next post).

On this side of the bay the cliffs are about 30 or 40 meter high, but it is still very unwise to stand close to the edge.

At the background there are several bufones in action. The wind and the spray are coming this way forming a considerable flow of water.

We´ve changed of place, we are now at the 25-meter high cliffs of Cuevas del Mar, but still we had to keep a safe distance to the edge. It is very dangerous to go where the rocks are wet and barren. For a slight and careful approach to the edge it is highly recommended to take your time observing the waves, because every now and then there comes a very big one!

The bufón of Cuevas del Mar.

The next stop was by the Bufón of Santiuste, one of the highest bufones of the entire coast. Just at that moment the sun shone through the clouds which caused this nice rainbow​​. At the foreground the water is flowing back to the sea.

The Bufón not only expels spray but also vast amounts of "solid" water. This bufones are quiet dangerous too, not so very long ago an imprudent person was suddenly seized and hurled into the air for dozens of meters, with a fatal outcome. 

But given the strength and the bellowing with which the bufón blows out the water, it is almost unbelievable that someone dares to come so close.

For me it was impossible to leave without looking back. This particular bufón can reach a height of more than 50 meters.

The bufones and the coast of Arenillas, proclaimed a Natural Monument some years ago, were our next destination.

The bufones of Arenillas are smaller but very active, they are also working with a relative small swell.

The 25-meter high cliffs just before a big wave......

......a big wave which splashes well over the edge of the cliff.


  1. Mijn hemel Marius wat woon je toch in een mooi land. Zelfs sneeuw waar jij woont. Hier geen spatje zelfs.
    Prachtige foto's
    Een fijne week gewenst.

    1. Bedankt Marijke, ja, sneeuw in de bergen en vrij zacht bij de kust, op een kleine afstand van elkaar.

      Ook een fijne week, hoor!

      Groetjes, Marius

  2. Replies
    1. Bedankt Annemarie, ik ben blij dat je genoten hebt.

      Groetjes, Marius