September 2017
  • Day19

    Resting in Ribadesella. Where's the sun?

    September 30, 2017 in Spain ⋅ 🌙 16 °C

    Narrative to follow

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  • Day18

    Adiós, Llanes

    September 29, 2017 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

    And so ends another long walk in Spain. We fly home on Sunday and need some rest and recovery time before jumping back into work and our other commitments. So rather than walking 31kms to Ribadesella, we took the train and checked into a hotel for two nights.

    After a little stroll around the town, we indulged our new favourite Camino pastime - a long and leisurely menu del dia! We'll do some more exploring this evening and hopefully meet our Camino buddies for dinner.Read more

  • Day17

    Colombres to Llanes - 26.7kms

    September 28, 2017 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    The Colombres albergue turned out to be fine, and nine of us had dinner in the nearby Mexican restaurant last night. Good food, great company and a fun evening.

    We kind of underestimated today's walk. Compared to some of the previous days' exertions, the estimated 23kms sounded pretty easy. We set off with fairly basic food and water supplies, thinking that we'd reach Llanes by lunchtime and possibly even go a little further.

    When we saw that there was a GR coastal alternative to the 'official' route, we were delighted to take it. And what a beautiful walk it was, with spectacular ocean views and forest shade when we needed it.

    Things got a bit tricky on what should have been the final 4 or 5 kms. We continued to follow the GR arrows and went up, up, up, initially on the road and then on an off-road trail. The views were fantastic, but there was no shade whatsoever and although we could see Llanes far below, it didn't seem to be getting any closer. We eventually realised that we'd missed a right turn somewhere, but a quick check of the GPS maps told us that our trail would eventually join the road route to Llanes. It all turned out fine - there was even a shady glade and a covered church porch when we really needed to get out of the sun. And although water fountains seem more scarce in Asturias than in Cantabria, Damian spotted one on the way into town.

    We abandoned any plans to walk further and checked into the Casona del Peregrino albergue. It has private rooms and a washing machine. Life is good!
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  • Day16

    Colombres - a long and hot 28kms

    September 27, 2017 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 19 °C

    Today was a long day and the weather was hot, hot, hot! However, there were lots of pleasant distractions along the way.

    Reflecting on the past few days, the coastal alternatives were amazing and I'd do them again in a heartbeat However, taking a different path can lead to a disconnection from other pilgrims. And since we had already parted company with lots of folk in Bilbao, we've been getting to know a bunch of 'new' people over the past few days.

    As on the Primitivo last year, English speakers are in the minority on this Camino. We were delighted to meet J. from England this morning and to walk with him to San Vincente de la Barquera. He started in Santander and will cross onto the Camino Lebaniego today. He plans to continue on Vadiniense and if his money doesn't run out, he'll keep on walking - perhaps on the Salvador and Primitivo. What a wonderful plan!

    It was also a lovely surprise to see M. from Barcelona who we last saw in the albergue in Markina.

    We're in the Colombres albergue, along with almost everyone we met today. It's a forgettable kind of a place, but we were all much too tired to be fussy. There are about 20 of us here.

    Tomorrow we'll walk to Llanes or Poo. Our big priority will be to find a place with a washing machine!
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  • Day15

    21.5kms to Comillas

    September 26, 2017 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    It was good to do a shorter walk and to arrive in Comillas in time for a menu del dia. This turned out to be a marathon lunch, as they somehow forgot about our order and brought us a plate of patatas bravas as an apology. We then had the other three courses, plus the complimentary green teas to apologise again! All of this was quite funny as we hadn't actually complained - we were too tired and relaxed to notice how long it was taking to bring the food.

    Our accommodation choice today was based entirely on its proximity to that menu del dia. We're in a pension. I'm not even sure of its name. We'll walk around the town later and I'll hopefully have a swim.

    This was a pretty straightforward walk today. Nothing difficult or spectacular. I called into the San Pedro church near Oreña and the man there seemed delighted that someone took the time to visit. There's a sello and a Camino information board.

    Over the past few days I've seen quite a few posters about the Camino Lebaniego and a pilgrim in a bar in Santander was singing it's praises. So many Caminos .....,,,,,
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  • Day14

    About 31kms to Santillana del Mar

    September 25, 2017 in Spain ⋅ 🌧 18 °C

    We made it! This was a day of contrasts: mind-blowing coastal views, a calm forest trail and an awful lot of road-walking. It's good to have arrived. We've checked into a a cute little pension - Hospedaje Angelica. Nice double room for just €36.

    Looking forward to exploring the town and getting some dinner later.

    More details to follow.
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  • Day14

    Enjoying the coast

    September 25, 2017 in Spain ⋅ 🌧 19 °C

    We had dinner last night in the bar opposite the Posada de la Morena. It's right beside the beach and we listened to the waves crashing against the rocks. Although we could probably have walked this coastal option in one go, it was lovely to take a more leisurely approach and enjoy an overnight stop. The barman was very chatty and it turned out that he'd worked in Belfast for a few years! Small world.

    We left at around 8am this morning, just as the sun was rising. Another spectacularly beautiful walk.

    I'll have to edit these posts when I'm less tired - I'm probably using the same adjectives over and over again! Not to mention the inevitable typos 😊
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  • Day13

    Santander to Sota de la Marina

    September 24, 2017 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    We walked about 21kms today, along coastal roads and paths with beautiful views of the sea. As it was a Sunday, there were lots of people on the trails and at the beauty spots along the way. We expected this to be a quieter walk with no services, but there were a few cafes and even an ice cream van when we needed them!

    We got some strange looks in the seaside places today. Hikers with full packs are an oddity around here. The beaches are full of families and sun worshippers enjoying the good weather. We are an alien species among these beautiful people!

    We decided to stop in Soto de la Marina, rather than doing the thirty something kms to Boo de Pielagos.
    This is a nice little place and the Posada is very well located. I've just had what might be my favourite swim so far. Lovely little beach with big splashy waves.

    I'm not sure where we'll walk tomorrow. Boo is a bit too close, but Santillana del Mar may be too long a walk. As always, we'll figure it out as we go along.
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  • Day13

    Leaving Santander by the coast

    September 24, 2017 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    We took another coastal option today. Instead of following the arrows along concrete and asphalt, we walked along the promenade towards the beaches and the cliffs, passing through some very nice parts of Santander. I'm surprised that more pilgrims don't take this variant.

  • Day12

    Güemes to Santander

    September 23, 2017 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

    Sometimes it's great to walk long and fast, but it can also be nice to ramble along with no sense of urgency. Today's walk definitely fell into the latter category.

    We had breakfast in the albergue and left at around 8am. When we reached Galizano, we turned right to take the coastal route to Santander. This is a wonderful walk, and only a few kms longer than the road. It was mostly on natural trails with sea views to the right and fields to the left. We chatted to people we'd met last night in Güemes and to a young German guy from one of the many camper vans along the coast. The walk along the beach to Somo was definitely a highlight and I even had time for a little swim!

    The final 5kms into a big Camino city usually involves a long hard slog on concrete. No so for the entry to Santander - those final kms are by boat from Somo. I love this Camino!

    We haven't yet decided on our route for tomorrow. I fancy the coastal route, but I need to see how it fits in with our bigger plan to fly home on 1st October. Just 7 more walking days this time.
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