Another clear and sunny, blue sky day. After leaving Santoña there is an approximate 3 km walk to the headland that rises steeply between two beaches. There is a very steep, very rough, very narrow and very close to the edge, track that climbs to the top and then something similar that leads down to the next beach. Not for the faint-hearted, and I can’t say I would recommend it if it is raining hard, or has been so as it is likely to be muddy and slippery, and most definitely not for anyone who suffers with vertigo, but on a still and sunny day it is definitely a bit of an adventure.
After reaching the other side there followed a 3.5 km stroll along the beach to the town of Noja. There is a point where it’s necessary to ford a small stream that runs across the beach and it was glorious to remove boots and socks and thereafter paddle along the water’s edge.
After that it was all about the roads. Small roads, country lanes and agricultural tracks all the way to our destination – a further 15.5 km. There was a fair amount of elevation but nothing too strenuous.
Not many photos today apart from the glorious first 8 km along the beach and over the headland. After that the scenery was very lovely – rolling green and pleasant hillsides, very lush. Of course agricultural scenery is accompanied by agricultural smells – and there have been plenty – but they are probably a little less offensive than the fishy smells in Laredo and Santoña.
It was very hot today, no clouds at all to interrupt the sun and walking along the road I could feel the heat rising from the tarmac.
We arrived at the very special donativo albergue in Güemes just in time for lunch. Pilgrims are so well cared for here. There will be a diner cooked for everyone this evening also. I shall gratefully decline though as I still have a stash of healthy food in my bag that needs to be eaten.
If you want to know more about the ethos of this lovely place, here is what I wrote when I stayed here before in 2016 –
You may have noticed that my dear camino friend Marilyn is no longer included in our number. Very sadly we lost her company a couple of days ago. She had previously suffered an injury to her foot for which she had been prescribed antibiotics. Unknown to many is that strong sunlight can have a bad reaction to antibiotics and she had a continuing horrible burning sensation to her hands and scalp. She reluctantly decided to bring forward her flight home to South Africa and is currently in Madrid for a few days before her new flight. We are so sorry to see her go. We will miss you terribly Marilyn.