Day 16, Camino del Norte – Nueva to La Isla 30.2 km

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Trompe l‘oeil in a corner of Vega

Trompe l‘oeil in a corner of Vega

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.

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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.

About magwood

Trepidatious Traveller - camino blog is about preparing for and walking the Camino de Santiago. Many future pilgrims have found the blog useful and inspiring, and many who have no plans to walk the camino have simply enjoyed the dialogue http://www.magwood.me
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20 Responses to Day 16, Camino del Norte – Nueva to La Isla 30.2 km

  1. Janice Tyler says:

    Lovely scenery and thank you for the grest pix as always. I am a bit worried about your boots though x

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  2. David Wolfe says:

    Lovely pictures and nice to see the people that you have been walking with and referring to in your blog. It’s good to see a close up picture of you looking so well and happy. You may have to buy new boots and bum bag (waist pack) if you can find a sports shop. I hope that you have another pleasant walk today. D xx

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  3. lynharrison4wind says:

    Satisfying and interesting to put faces to the names of the fellow Camino walkers that your tales take in. Thanks. Ruddy booots!!!! Aren’t they Ecco? Our neighbour’s son is an executive at the company. If you confirm I’ll link him to this blog. He needs to know.

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    • magwood says:

      Hi Lyn, yes Ecco. Thought they would have done better. Would be great to have a direct line to the ‘management’. Thank you. Will email xx

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  4. Buen camino! Hope the boots and waist pack last the rest of the trip!

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  5. Jeannette Burgos-Rigó says:

    Dear Maggi, no words to describe you, you’re my inspiración right now, you’re amazing!!!!, you have a very good eye to find this wonderful flowers, your notes are a perfectly presented and written in way that my fear started to go away. Thanks a lot , I’ll to meet you one day!

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  6. mary lynch says:

    Dear Maggie your photos are getting better and better! You are getting into your stride now. Go girl, you are playing a blinder and I’m loving every minute of sharing the journey with you and your companions. Great to put faces on them. Buen Camino xx

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  7. Danielle says:

    Thanks Maggie for the great blog and photos!! My two favorite today is the first scenery bottom right corner, almost a painting and the fern, from underneath, so original!!! I hope you don’t need to break in a new pair of boots while walking, not a pleasant thing…
    One step st a time!
    Buen Camino!
    I also enjoyed putting a face to the names you mentionned…

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  8. Good weather. Spectacular pictures. Oh no, about your boots and waist pack, but especially the boots. Thank you for sharing. Hope your walking gear holds up. Interested to hear how that goes.
    😀

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  9. terrygriffiths says:

    Don’t be too concerned about your boots.
    When needed buy a pair of running shoes, one size larger than you normally wear, (not goretex), and you’ll soon realise how suited they are for the camino.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Jenny Heesh says:

    Hi Maggie – I hope that all is continuing to go really well and that you’re enjoying every moment. The photos are so beautiful – gosh, you’ve captured some wonderful moments – eg the dog splashing about at the edge of the water – don’t dogs just love to do that!
    Your legs must be super strong now with 450 kms walked.
    Terry’s idea of the running shoes is great and the bonus is they’re lightweight.
    Camino hugs to you –
    Jenny xxx

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  11. La Isla was the stopping point for so many of us peregrinos this summer. Between recovering from bedbugs in Comillas (not me) to injuries to illness (that one was me!)…I think it was cursed! It’s so fun reading your entries again now that I’ve done these etapas. Angelita is straight out of Almodóvar 😀

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  12. Jeannette Burgos-Rigó says:

    Hello Maggi, so happy to see your page today in my e-mail. My Camino Portugues was excellent and my month and a half volunteer job at the Pilgrim Office was amazing!!!!. Looking forward to go go back again in the near future, I’m thinking of Camino Primitive next, what about you?
    Big hug

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    • magwood says:

      Hola Jeannette, so nice to hear from you. I’m glad to hear that you had an excellent camino and such a long stint at the Pilgrims’ Office. It must have been such a busy time. I went to the office twice, once early and once at the end of the day, and both times the queues were so long that I didn’t stay. So no compostela this year. It would be great if we coincided on the Primitivo. I am planning the Madrid, Salvador and Primitivo for 2017. I will probably set off mid to late April, so might reach Oviedo during the first or second week of May.
      Keep in touch x

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