Stage 21 – Oviedo to San Juan de Villapañada, 31.7 km

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

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
This entry was posted in Camino de Madrid, Camino de Santiago de Compostela, Camino del Salvador, Camino Primitivo and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Stage 21 – Oviedo to San Juan de Villapañada, 31.7 km

  1. Margaret Gardner says:

    Maggie as always your photos are a delight but your raindrop photos are exquisite, you clever girl.


  2. ingridfolkers says:

    Maggie sounds like a grand spot..gonna be Grado for me, since I’ll be hospitalera there. Happy Mother’s Day.


  3. Brian says:

    Oh Maggie… I’ve just finished a monologue on Tiffany and their jewels and they have absolutely nothing on your dewy cobwebs – if ever nature’s inspiration surpasses human creation you’ve nailed it!!! (and I love the arachnid string of laundry over the dining table…) Keep it coming,
    Brian 🍷🎶🍷


  4. Sally says:

    Awesome photos. Such an interesting post. The rain seems to be largely avoiding you. Well done! x


  5. Mary Lynch says:

    Maggie the photos of the rain dropped spider’s web are wonderful. Your albuergue sounds fantastic tonight. Such attention to detail by Domingo. Love the photo of the washing strung across the kitchen. Shades of my childhood. Much love and buen camino xx


  6. Mike says:

    Wonderfully descriptive. Feel as though I’m sharing the journey with you.


  7. Renate says:

    not many words from my side…but I am enjoying you every day!!!


  8. Sue Lyons says:

    I’m absolutely loving your blog, interesting and funny observations with great photos, you sound so upbeat and your enjoyment shines through..thank you for sharing


  9. Janice Tyler says:

    What am interesting post today. I did laugh at the thought of he various socks and pants strung up across the kitchen! One good turn deserves another and you had the strawberries then gave your supplies away to those in need. Well done xx


  10. Buen Camino Primitivo!


  11. meg says:

    I am enjoying walking with you so much Maggie…..such marvelous pictures….and the horse with the cowbell—-LOL….just loving it!!!! Thank you Thank you!!!!—-walk safely!


  12. JoAl says:

    Hi Maggie,great pics and great blog. Stage 21 big walks and no rest days you are doing so well. Stay healthy. JoAl x


  13. Jeannette says:

    Dear Maggie it’s an enjoymento to read your descriptions and look at your artistic pics.
    Happy Mother’s Day and Buen Camino!


  14. Along with everyone else, I love the rain drop lace photos. Thanks for taking the time to stop and record these. I sometimes get so caught up with putting one foot in front of the other, that I don’t take the time to stop and smell the roses. What sort of camera do you use? A fancy one? Mel


  15. maxpatbuch says:

    Your raindrop photos are fantastic. What kind of camera are you carrying?


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