"I can scarcely tell you what they are, as I have never seen them; I believe they are seven hills which we have to cross, and are called bellotas from some resemblance to acorns which it is fancied they bear. I have often heard of these acorns, and am not sorry that I have now an opportunity of seeing them, though it is said that they are rather hard things for horses to digest."

"For Giyon and Oviedo!" replied the crone; "many is the weary step you will have to make before you reach Giyon and Oviedo. You must first of all crack the bellotas: you are just below them." "What does she mean by cracking the bellotas?" demanded I of Martin of Rivadeo. "Did your worship never hear of the seven bellotas?" replied our guide.

I should have starved if I had not sometimes plucked an ear or two out of the maize fields; I likewise gathered grapes from the parras and berries from the brambles, and in this manner I subsisted till I arrived at the bellotas, where I slaughtered a stray kid which I met, and devoured part of the flesh raw, so great was my hunger.

A blazing fire in the posada soon dried our wet garments, and in some degree recompensed us for the fatigues which we had undergone in scrambling up the bellotas. A rather singular place was this same posada of Muros. It was a large rambling house, with a spacious kitchen, or common room, on the ground floor.

It is a great comfort, in my horrible journeys, to think that I am travelling over the ground which yourself have trodden, and to hope that I am proceeding to rejoin you once more. This hope kept me alive in the bellotas, and without it I should never have reached Oviedo.

Martin of Rivadeo The Factious Mare Asturians Luarca The Seven Bellotas Hermits The Asturian's Tale Strange Guests The Big Servant Batuschca "What may your business be?" said I to a short, thick, merry-faced fellow in a velveteen jerkin and canvas pantaloons, who made his way into my apartment, in the dusk of the evening.

"Holy men might lead a happy life there on roots and water, and pass many years absorbed in heavenly contemplation, without ever being disturbed by the noise and turmoil of the world." "True, your worship," replied Martin; "and perhaps on that very account there are no hermitages in the barrancos of the seven bellotas.

There are seven of them, which are called, in the language of the country, Las siete bellotas. Of all these, the most terrible is the midmost, down which rolls an impetuous torrent. At the upper end of it rises a precipitous wall of rock, black as soot, to the height of several hundred yards; its top, as we passed, was enveloped with a veil of bretima.