The walk out of Oviedo wasn’t too long or at all industrial and along the way we bumped into Dave who we hadn’t seen since around day 4. If you want breakfast, don’t leave it too late when exiting the city. Once you are in the countryside there are extremely few options for refreshment (unless you have provided your own).
There was early morning low cloud and mist obscuring the view, but the mountain tops protruded through the gloom. The weather was still and dry, perfect for walking, but a heavy downpour was forecast for late morning. I took joy in playing with my camera and the raindrop opportunities that were provided by the rain during the night.
I made the most of several animal interactions, including a charming grey mare who trotted alongside the fence whenever I started to walk away – an attention-seeker if ever I met one! I met an albino cow who could barely see, various dogs and cats, and even a couple of sunbathing turtles.
As I was passing by a couple tending their plot, the woman rushed over to me indicating the basket she was carrying. She insisted I help myself to a handful of freshly picked strawberries – how kind-hearted – and how delicious they tasted.
There was a fair amount of road walking, but plenty of lovely tracks through woodland and farm pastures. Quite a lovely day. And the weather just produced a few spits and spots of rain. Perfect!
I lost Marilyn along the way and we have ended up staying in different places tonight. But we have been in touch and will land at the same place tomorrow.
Tonight I am staying at a delightful albergue in San Juan de Villapañada, 20 places, no reservations, lovely kitchen/dining area, and garden with views over the countryside to die for. Domingo, the hospitalero does a communal wash and as the weather is a bit (lot) iffy tonight all the laundry has been strung across the kitchen – such a variety of pants and socks floating above the dining table!
We are a very mixed bunch here, pilgrims from Peru, Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Netherlands, UK (Dave and me), Belgium, and there could be more. The albergue is situated in a miniscule hamlet with no shops for miles. It is necessary to buy supplies for supper as you pass through the reasonably sized town of Grado (where Marilyn is staying), which I duly did, but was not so desperate for an evening slurp that I was prepared to slog 5km uphill with a bottle of wine. So imagine my delight when I arrived and a very kind Dutch man offered me a glass from his bottle of red that he had slogged uphill with. And then imagine my further delight when I discovered that Domingo keeps a supply of wine, beer and cider for very reasonable purchase, and there is also a vending machine. It is a lovely situation and even though it is almost a kilometre off the camino, it is well worth the extra distance. Domingo keeps the place spotless and it is an absolute credit to him. There is no wifi, and poor phone signal from my mobile provider. Breakfast items are provided for a donation and the cost to stay the night is 5 euros.
I was able to help out a couple of pilgrims who were suffering. To the Dutchman I gave my knee strap that I have carried for four years without using it for its intended purpose (although I have used it for plenty of others), and to the Spanish man with a huge blister on his heel I gave iodine, gauze and tape, and some hikers’ wool for the morning.
All in all a most pleasant start to my third camino of this trip – the Camino Primitivo.
Today’s distance 31.7 km
Accumulated uphill elevation 440 m
Accumulated downhill elevation 463 m
Total distance 566.7 km
Average per day 27 km