We stayed in a most awesome private albergue last night, Casa Carmina. The owners had thought of everything that a peregrino might need, including a wonderful three course meal. They had a great coffee, a full bar, hot showers and clean sleeping quarters. It also gave us chance to socialize with other peregrinos we’ve met along the way. We had a delightful evening.
This morning we got up and continued our trek to Santiago–it’s getting closer but there are still many miles to walk.
I had no idea eucalyptus trees could get so big. Magnificent!
I loved the multi-colored vine covering the front of this house. And then there was the view:
Whimsical bird lover:
The coast kept popping into view today:
I’ve been impressed with the infrastructure throughout the north of Spain. This bridge that went on forever is a good example:
We were delighted to see this group on the Camino:
And off they went:
A little Camino Budda that made us smile:
A few pictures before entering the village of Soto de Luiña for the evening.
You can see the windmills on top of the mountain:
Our walk through the woods this day was quiet and peaceful. When we popped out of the trees I was able to snap a few pictures before we arrived at our destination.
About two hours later we crossed that bridge by foot. Even though there was a pedestrian walkway, I couldn’t look down and my only thought was to get across and put it behind me.
A very pretty city. Many cities and towns in Spain have one, or several, pedestrian plazas where the locals gather day and night to eat, drink, and most importantly in their culture, socialize! I snapped a few photos one evening of a particularly impressive plaza and since it was Friday night, the city was quite alive.
I love that the plaza is a place for families to gather as well. While mom and dad are catching up with their friends, kids of all ages are playing across the plaza.
Drinks on the plaza:
A couple of extra pictures from Avilés:
Leaving Gijon and onto Avilés meant traveling through a very industrial section. We decided to take a taxi that brought us almost to a rural area once again. The walk was a pleasant one along a wooded mountain ridge, peaceful but much of what we saw was tall brush and vast fields. Gijón was a delightful and lively city and would love to come back for a longer stay.
Saying goodbye to industrial Gijón:
A resting spot for peregrinos (pilgrims) at the top of a big hill:
I have not determined what exactly this plant is but it is quite striking:
A peregrino at rest:
This morning in Villaviciosa, Denise discovered that the few bumps she had developed the day before were not from her walk in the woods as she had assumed but instead a reaction to bedbugs . . . 🙀 We are not certain where she met up with them but she did know she had to be certain there weren’t any living among her clothes. So bedbugs, blisters, and a grumpy knee necessitated a bus ride rather than a walk to Gijon to address all three issues. Once we arrived in Gijon, Denise went straight to a laundery center and washed everything she had in her possession. We then walked to the beach so she could soak in the soothing saltwater. That, along with hot showers, feet soaking, a bottle of Albariño and some local blue cheese had us all feeling much better.
The healing beach:
The wine and cheese:
Oops, gone before I could snap a picture. 😉
Rain and fog limited the number of photos but here are a few I managed to snap before the weather turned on us.
The night before we left:
A chapel along the way with the my mother’s name above the door. She is the patron saint of the region.
Whimsical art on a village home:
Grain storage house:
Peeking through a eucalyptus grove to the sea beyond:
This handsome fellow was keeping watch over the town of La Isla:
Today marked three weeks on the Camino. We feel fortunate that despite our blisters and sore muscles we’ve all made it halfway to Santiago.
Views from our room in Ribadesella:
Views from the town port in Ribadesello:
You can get an idea of the tide differential in this photo:
We walked along a grassy path on our way out of Ribadesello.
Lots more rugged coast:
Our peaceful Camino path:
An old church or house along the way:
The tide is obviously out. Would love to have waited to see what it looked like full of water.
One of many small prayer huts along the way:
An old, apparently abandoned monastery:
Walking into La Isla:
We crossed into our third region today which entailed another beautiful coastal walk.
There is an extreme tide here which leaves sand flats and estuaries when the tide is out:
Our view from the cafe when we took our morning “cafe con leche” break:
And we walked on:
Much of today’s walk found us between the sea to our right and the mountains to our left:
Approaching the city of San Vincente de la Barquera:
We spent an extra day in Santillana del Mar to allow our muscles to rest and blisters to heal. The next day, feeling rested we walked about 23k to the resort town of Comillas. It’s a very pretty town and since it was Saturday, families and tourist were out in large numbers. Here are a few pictures along the way:
A tractor leading dairy cows to the next field:
A primitive sculpture on a 12th century church:
The long and winding road . . . or the path ahead:
Sweet friends we met along the way:
Back to the sea:
Stone walled roads and walkways:
Because there were several miles of suburbia and an estuary that could only be crossed by train, we opted to take public transportation out of Santander. We then walked to the medieval city of Santillana del Mar where we planned to spend an extra day to give our bodies a rest.
Waiting for the train:
He came to greet us.
On approach to Santillana del Mar: