El Soplao has become the first fully accessible cave in Spain after finishing the adaptation works -although it is still pending to receive the AENOR certification that accredits it- and, in addition, it is advancing in its project to offer the visitor a ‘mining experience’ in this cavity, which is expected to become a reality in 2019.
This was announced this Wednesday by the general director of Tourism, Eva Bartolomé, taking advantage of the press conference to present the cycle ‘The concerts of El Soplao’.
Accompanied by the director of El Soplao, Juan Carlos Ruiz, and the director of the Nansa Tourism company, Jaime McLennan, Bartolomé explained that the accessibility works that were needed have already been completed, including the installation of a lifting platform that allows people with disabilities save around twenty steps, and, with this, and in the absence of official AENOR accreditation, the cave is now fully accessible.
To date, the catwalk tour was accessible for most of the route except for the obstacle of those 20 stairs.
The placement of a lifting platform and the architectural refurbishment in said area will allow, once Aenor issues the certification, visitors with disabilities to complete the tour.
Regarding AENOR’s accreditation, Bartolomé explained that all the documentation has already been sent. Now only the delivery of some courses on the subject remains, which will be in September and he hopes that after this the accreditation will be issued.
MINING EXPERIENCE IN EL SOPLAO
As for the other project, Bartolomé has advanced that El Soplao and the Government of Cantabria are already working on the project that will allow visits to the part of the old mine in the cavity.
The so-called ‘mining experience’ will be added to the double offer that El Soplao currently offers: the tourist visit and the adventure tourism visit.
which will serve to open the cave mine, the general director explained that since January the conditioning works have been carried out in the Plaza del Monte, where it is intended to open one of the mine entrances that will serve as the entrance to this mining route .
The project includes the demolition of some buildings in this area in poor condition and the conditioning of one of them that will serve as a reception for visitors.
The objective, according to Bartolomé, is to offer visitors an “authentic” experience in which they can put themselves in the shoes of a miner and learn under what conditions they accessed the cavity, located in Rionansa, and how they exploited it as a mine.
In this way, we want to turn this project into the \”third leg\” of the Soplao offer that accompanies the current tourist visit and the adventure and caving that are currently offered.
This project will be accompanied by an improvement of the road that serves as access from La Florida to the Plaza del Monte, for which an agreement has been reached between the Valdáliga City Council and the El Soplao Society to carry out the work.
The construction project is carried out by the Labarces Neighborhood Board.
The forecast, according to Bartolomé, is that the project will be completed “before the legislature ends” and the mining visits will be a reality in 2019.
It is expected that the cost of improving the accesses will cost around 230,000 euros, of which the City Council will contribute 40,000 and the rest will be borne by the El Soplao Society.
SANTANDER — 22 agosto 2019
FUENTE — Europapress.es