... in LaredoMay 30, 2017 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C
I started at 7, which seems to be my norm these days. There were going to be decisions to make, like whether to stick to the side of the national highway instead of adding 7 or 8 km by following the arrows. And then later on, whether to add a few more in order to take the coastal path, which would of course involve ups and downs.
The first ten km were nice, through small hamlets with nice views. Cloudy and cool, just perfect walking weather. But then just as the camino dipped down into the forest along the coast, I had a goat standoff. Not my first, as Dana will remember from our first Norte, when I was startled by a wild looking goat and took a lot of ribbing for a few days. But this time is was a whole bunch, several with big curly horns, blocking my way. I clacked my sticks, cajoled, yelled, and sang, but nothing worked. They just stood there looking at me and wouldn't move. Finally a tall Australian came through and just walked on confidently, with me cowering on the side. He did tell me that goats have been known to charge, but fortunately he only told me that after we had walked through.
In Islares, the route goes on the side of the national highway. It's not as bad as it might sound since most of the cars now take the new "superhighway." But there was enough traffic to make it unpleasant. About two kms along, the arrows went off road. I knew that staying on the highway would be quicker by about 8 km, but I hate walking on asphalt.
So I turned off, and for the first 5 or 6 km I was on asphalt. Grrrrr. Now not only was I on asphalt but I was walking 8 more km on asphalt! Finally, in the small hamlet of La Magdalena,I turned a corner, the road ended and up I went through a eucalyptus forest. For a couple of hours the surface was dirt and lovely on the feet. Then a steady drizzle started and I had to put on my rain poncho (well, actually it's Dana's -- thanks Danagrina!)
From the top came a descent into a really pretty valley, and then the asphalt started again all the way into Liendo.
In Liendo, there was another decision. Take the straight shot on the side of the highway or wind around and up and down along the coast. How could anyone pass up the coast??? It was quite pretty, probably not as spectacular as some of the other parts but far far superior to the side of a road.
By 2 pm I was in my room at Hotel Ramona with a 29 € rate I had snagged on booking last night. But then came the bad news. Big red splotches and bites all over my arms. Looks like bedbugs again, though I'm not sure. As luck would have it, I was planning to take a short day tomorrow to the albergue in Meruelo, where my dear friend Helena is helping out. I called to explain my predicament and was told to buy a couple of things here in Laredo, and they would take care of me tomorrow. Bedbugs are a very common phenomenon on the Camino, wherever you stay or however clean the place may be. I am so lucky to be a day out of Meruelo and Helena's TLC.
The town of Laredo has a nice old part, which I think we missed somehow last time, so I will make sure to explore after lunch.Read more