Stage 20 – Pola de Lena to Oviedo, 35 km

Another dry start to the day. The walking was on the road or the first 8 km, once out of Pola de Lena the road was quiet, but what traffic there was whizzed by at speed. The worst offenders seem to be the buses that barely give breathing room when they pass. Car drivers are much more considerate and the occasional lorry slowed right down and gave a wide berth.

We made a gradual descent and swapped the road for a riverside path that was much in use by local walkers. We stopped in the town of Mieres at 13 km for a hot drink, and when we got back on the road the fun began with a continual and steep ascent of almost 400 m over 3 km, by which time we had walked over 20 km entirely on asphalt. There was then a brief respite of 500 metres on a soft track and then back on the road for a few more km, descending even more steeply than we had gone up, and then, would you believe it, we were back on the up and up, and up even more, and then down, and then back up and down (just take a look at today’s elevation profile!)

My body heat matched almost identically the rise and fall of the walk. Stripping off and covering up depending on the exertion required. The rain came and went and came and went. In the end I just remained stripped down to sleeveless T-shirt and enjoyed the rain as it cooled me down. And the benefit of rain is my opportunity to take some raindrop pics when it stopped and the sun came back out.

Overall probably 7/8’ths of the walk was on hard surface and even some of the tracks were also on hard stones, so a bit of a slog. But on a positive note the blisters have abated and my feet are generally feeling good.

We arrived at the albergue in Oviedo after 31.8 km. It was a bit of a surprise to find the huge albergue behind an anonymous ‘hole in the wall’ type door where we rung a bell and the door was magically opened by a hospitalera some 50 metres away. The Albergue de Peregrinos de El Salvador is huge with 50 places spread over various rooms, some with multiple bunks and others with fewer single beds. We two mature peregrinas were allocated a room with two singles and our very own wash basin. There are separate male and female loos and showers, plenty of each, a dining room with fridge and microwave and utensils provided, and a washing machine and tumble dryer. 6 euros.

As we have today completed our second camino, the San Salvador (from León to Oviedo) we could claim a completion certificate, a Salvadorana. This is available either from the albergue or the cathedral. We opted for the cathedral and the normal entry charge of 7 euros(!) is waived for pilgrims, but there is a charge of 4 euros for the certificate and protective tube.

Just after we left for the cathedral the heavens opened and emptied their contents upon us. Our first real soaking in the 500 km since we left Madrid. Not bad going.

We bought food (and cava) for supper and I ate a lovely healthy salad to compensate for the rather less healthy alcohol intake.

We’re expecting more rain tomorrow, but we’re hoping that the forecast is wrong again. No harm in wishful thinking!

Today’s distance 35 km (including walk to and around the cathedral)
Accumulated uphill elevation 515 m
Accumulated downhill elevation 607 m
Total distance 535 km
Average per day 26.7 km

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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12 Responses to Stage 20 – Pola de Lena to Oviedo, 35 km

  1. nikirath says:

    such lovely flowers 🙂

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  2. Dave says:

    Congratulations! See you on the road tomorrow, perhaps. Let’s hope the rain holds back til the evening.

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  3. David says:

    A lovely cathedral and a nice certificate. It’s a shame that you got a soaking. The albergue looks very clean and another private room long may your luck last. Good pictures and I do so like the raindrops. I hope that you’ve enjoyed your healthy meal and bottle of cava. Sleep well after your hard day. x

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  4. Janice Tyler says:

    What an impressive undulating walk today!

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  5. lynharrison4wind says:

    Oh me god! That is the most peaky up and down I’ve ever seen on your elevation profiles. The four Caminos before this one were clearly just to warm up on. Child’s play. Amazing you had enough excess energy after that to delight us with raindrop pictures, though the rain gods certainly meted out their punishment later for such presumptuousness!

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  6. That was some day! What a pleasure to have such a civilised albergue at the end. The gods weren’t being kind giving you a soaking as you left the cathedral, the sun was supposed to shine on you both!

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  7. Mary Lynch says:

    I’m filled with admiration for you Maggie. Another hard day but you persist, well done. Trepidatious is such a good and suitable word for you. much love and buen camino xx

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  8. sounds amazing. so you went further down than up!!! 😉 not sure which is worse…I find it easier to walk uphill…although it does give the old heart a workout, than going down which I find rather slippery. thanks for the update. the alburgue sounds nice. I’ll keep it in mind for when I do the Frances route (which has gone from I won’t to be doing the France route to when I do the Frances route LOL) – reading all the blogs and seeing the scenery and towns is persuading me to make the attempt….perhaps in 2021 Oh and hey congrats on the certificate. I never heard of that before? I must investigate. thanks. and safe journey. Buen Camino

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  9. Siepi King says:

    You are truly blessed with a great spirit and are an inspiration. Going the extra mile in more than one way. Thank you . God Bless!

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  10. caminojakke says:

    Great pics! Greetings from Salamanca

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  11. Margot Collins says:

    Maggi, must say with the passing of each day I am more impressed (shocked!) at your fitness levels – physically and mentally – not to mention your spirits. You make it all sound anything but difficult. Some of those descents .. Oh my knees! You are such a great storyteller too. I enjoy so much each post. You seem to take very few breaks – correct? Hope the weather conditions improve. Take care! Till tomorrow!

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  12. Judy blight says:

    Beautiful pics

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