Total distance 450 km
Daily average 28.1
Today’s accumulated uphill elevation 272 m
Today’s accumulated downhill elevation 335
Once again it had rained during the night but by the time we set off around 7:30 the air was dry and fresh with a bit of blue sky peeping through the clouds.
The day started well with a nice dirt track through a wooded area and through vibrant green countryside, and I received a toot and a big wave from the Feve train driver (and another when he was on the return journey). Then it was on the road until we reached the town of Ribadesella where we stopped for some breakfast after 11.5 km.
After another seven kms (I think pretty much all on road, although I can’t really remember), we came to the small village of La Vega de Leces. Just as we were approaching we passed a small house that was offering pilgrims refreshments. Someone was already there who matched the description of a pilgrim we had been told about (a very nice man, but one who snores and farts all night). I established that he was indeed the man in question, not by quizzing him about his nocturnal habits, but by asking his name.
As we were welcomed by our French hostess Marina, I realised that she looked very familiar. She said she had been walking the Camino prior to Bilbao, but I was sure that wasn’t where I had seen her. We eventually worked out that she had been hospitalera at the albergue of Don Blas at Fuenterroble on the Via de la Plata when I stayed there last year. What a wonderfully small place this Camino is. Marina is planning to open an albergue at the house over the next few months, so be sure to call in and see her there.
Whilst we were taking a hot drink, along came our French friends Gilbert and Pascual with Italian Zelinda. It was so nice to see them again after a couple of days absence. We had been walking more or less the same stages but seeing nothing of each other en-route.
The photo shows from left around the table Gunter, Zelinda, Pascual, Gilbert, new guy John and me. Many thanks to Marina for such a warm welcome and very good luck with opening the albergue.
She had advised us to take a walk along the beach, which Gunter and I did before climbing up onto a coastal path where we stayed for the rest of the day. It was fabulous, trees, green fields full of wild flowers and beautiful sandy beaches. Real camino magic.
We are now in the albergue at La Isla, an old school building with 25 beds. Separate wc facilities. The ladies’ has two loos and one shower. Washing machine for 1 euro, but no dryer. Very basic kitchen. One has to report to the hospitalera Angelita at her house to register and pay the 5 euro charge.
I was very alarmed yesterday to note that my boots are showing distinct signs of wear. The rubber has completely worn at the heels to show the material inside. This is the least important area of wear as far as I am concerned, but not at all what I would expect from a fairly new pair of quality boots with less than 700 kms on the clock. Also, my waist pack is disintegrating before my eyes. It is a perfect size but not made very well. There is very little fabric in the seams and they are just pulling apart. I shall have to get a needle and thread to it soon, before items start dropping through the holes.