Camino del Norte, Villaviciosa to Pola de Siero 28 km

I’m seem to be working my way through my companions. First of all Marilyn fell by the wayside, then Renata chose to walk shorter stages, and now Paul has decided he needs a rest day! I have to admit that the second half of yesterday’s stage was quite tough in the heat and with the elevation. However a few hours into the morning Paul phoned to say he had changed his mind and would take a short stage today and possibly catch up with me tomorrow.

The only other Pilgrims I have seen today were a group of five in front of me who continued on the northern route whereas I took a left fork for the Primitivo. If anybody wants to check out my previous walk along the north coast from Villaviciosa to Ribadeo you are welcome to check out my blog from 2016.

I’ve just walked the longest hill imaginable from a starting point of 54m, rising constantly and topping out at 390m, over 5 km. I think that equates to a slope of around 7% which doesn’t sound too ferocious but believe me, it felt like it. And throughout the whole of this climb I was accompanied by the most delightful young Spanish woman called Veronica and we talked and talked as she pushed her bike up the hill. It was a real challenge for my Spanish as I had to think hard for my vocabulary at the same time as puffing like a train. No sooner had we bade each other farewell than a little man stopped me to talk about the Camino – all in all what could have been a very difficult experience was made a great deal more pleasurable by the company of charming people.

What started as a fresh and cooler day this morning has already, at 11 am, become quite warm. I find a fountain to wet my scarf and soon after find a bar for a cold drink at La Carcavá at 15 km and there are more bars at 17 km in Vega de Sariego.

This stage was almost entirely on asphalt or concrete with a couple of short stretches on uncomfortable gravelly track during the first two-thirds of the way and a nice longer dirt track towards the end.

It became really hot again as the day wore on but I was well prepared with plenty of water and kept dousing my scarf to cool me down.

I was a little concerned that the eighteen beds at this well appointed albergue might be taken by the time I arrived at around 16:00 but there was just one Brazilian woman who had arrived not long before me, and that is the way it’s stayed. The building is large and impressive with a huge garden. There are separate bathroom facilities, but no kitchen that I have seen. The town of Pola de Siero seems to abound with apartment blocks and when I went out to find a glass of wine earlier almost all the bars were closed – a large town but a little strange

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 Santiago de Compostela, Camino del Norte, Camino Primitivo. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Camino del Norte, Villaviciosa to Pola de Siero 28 km

  1. Nina says:

    Oh how tough todays climb must have been! Was it something like the climb up to Moclin on the Mozárabe?
    I notice that you write ALMOST all bars were closed, so I believe you did find a glass of wine 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • magwood says:

      Maybe not quite as steep but it seemed a lot longer. And I did indeed find a glass of wine at a bar used by all the town’s teenagers – but there were puppies so I was happy – wine and puppies, perfect combination! 😘

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Christine says:

    Enjoying your blog!


  3. Michael Smith says:

    Wow! You had me for a moment. 38km was a lot longer than I recall for that stage and I wondered where you wandered. It took me a few minutes to figure out it was a typo and you already fixed it before I could ask. I remember that albergue and I hope it’s been aired out over the past few years. When I stayed there, one pilgrim arrived too late to shower or wash his clothes… much to our dismay all night long.


  4. Lynn Kriedemann says:

    thank you for your blog and the lovely photos! I am reading it with interest as my husband and I are starting from Irun on 2 July, and also taking the primitivo after the split. We have previously walked from Le Puy in 2015 and loved it, though it was an eye opened once we got to St jean pied de port and came across all the pilgrims starting there!


  5. randlk says:

    Loving your blog and the photos! My husband and I are meant to start the Norte from Irun in July, and we will be transferring to the Primitivo too. Getting very excited! We did the via podiensis/camino frances from Le Puy in 2015 and are looking forward to hitting the trails again.


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