Total distance 419.9 km
Daily average 27.9
Today’s accumulated uphill elevation 337 m
Today’s accumulated downhill elevation 320
The standard communal supper was served at the albergue last night – lentil soup (which I would not normally touch, but always find it quite tasty on Camino) followed by pasta, with yoghurt for dessert. It was fine. I took myself to bed fairly early and caught up with a couple of episodes of ‘The Archers’ (BBC Radio 4 soap that has been running for 65 years). The albergue was very comfortable, the beds are solid and don’t creak and the hospitaleros kind and attentive.
I set off this morning, under extremely dull and cloudy skies. But although the streets were wet from rain during the night, it was actually a dry start. I left with Gunter and we kept pace all day.
The walking was on dirt tracks for the first 8 km, which was a welcome start. The area is famous for its ‘bufones’ (blow holes) and although the sea was too calm for any of them to be spouting, we could hear one of them rumbling and roaring beneath our feet.
To begin with we were once again walking close to the coast, but somehow it wasn’t quite so exciting without the blue skies and sunshine.
We were following the route for the GR E-9 sendero rather than the official Camino which largely follows the N-634. After passing through the first village with no bars open yet, there was a steep climb and then a long stretch on gravel track climbing higher and higher above the coastline. I was amazed on checking my GPS to find that we were only at a level of 144 metres, whereas it had felt that I was climbing a small mountain!
We eventually dropped back down to sea level at Llanes, a holiday resort with many beautiful period properties, some very faded from their days of glory, and others immaculately presented. It must have been a playground for the rich in its day. We stopped for a mid-morning (14 km) snack before continuing on our way on a mixture of roads and country tracks. It was probably half and half today, which is a great improvement from recent days, with many glimpses, and full vistas of the coastline and sea. But as the sky was completely grey, and so therefore, was the sea – just a wash of dullness – but dry dullness. And to be honest, my shoulders and calves had burned a bit over the last few days, so it was good to have a rest from the sun.
I had planned to stay in Villahormes which would have given me a walk of around 28.5 kms, but as we passed by the bay of San Antolín, we were approached by a man promoting his casa rural in a town called Nueva, 3 Km’s further than Villahormes. He told us that there was absolutely nothing in Villahormes, no bars or shops. I thought he was probably exaggerating in order to encourage us to use his accommodation, but as it turned out, he was absolutely right, the tiny village had only a few properties and nowhere to buy food.
So we carried on our weary way and were actually very glad that we did. Nueva is a charming town with beautiful properties and plenty of choice of bars and shops. I am really glad we stayed here at Casa Principado in the centre of the town. There appear to be three rooms available, one twin and two double. I have happily settled in the twin all to myself, have had a nice shower with towel provided, and have handed my washing to our host. All for 12.50 euros – I would definitely recommend it – tel 672 394 427. And there is an additional bonus to staying here – I have met my first English person on this Camino – a really interesting and determined woman from Yorkshire.
Possibility of more rain tomorrow and strong winds – let’s see…