Camino del Norte Day 12

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October 12, 2015

Liendo to Noja 14 miles

We had another glorious day, walking for much of the time along the sea.

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“I’m really sick of seeing the ocean,” said no one ever.

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El Hermita (hermitage) de San Julian, which dates between the ninth and tenth centuries
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Every single one of these sheep was watching us as we hiked by. What were they thinking about us??

We hiked on and off all morning with two fellow peregrinos, a Frenchman named Philippe who we had spent some time with in the albergue the past two nights, and a German fellow whose name I can’t remember.  We passed through the towns of Laredo and Santona, two beautiful beach communities, on our way to Noja.  We got rained on quite hard for several hours, and used that as an excuse to have a coffee and some pinchos at a covered outdoor cafe in Laredo that tolerated our dripping wet belongings; other that that, we unfortunately didn’t spend much time in either town.

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Taking a ferry across the bay between Laredo and Santona. Philippe is on the left, sitting, and he-who-shall-remain-nameless (at least until I track his name down) is standing next to Dale.

The last part of our day brought the only real challenge: hiking up and over a clay hill that stood between us and Noja.  The path wasn’t very long and it offered fantastic views of the ocean, but what should have taken at most 30 minutes ended up taking us over an hour.  The earlier rain had made the clay dirt as slick as ice, and so we had to inch down the trail as it descended to the beach, and we both sustained several falls.  We were utterly filthy and covered with red dirt by the time we reached the bottom.

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The view we had going up the hill, looking back over the general area that we had just walked.
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Struggling through the clay

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Fortunately, the day ended with a walk along the beautiful beach, and our hostel offered a private room and hot showers, something we never take for granted anymore!  Noja turned out to be another beautiful little beach town.  Perhaps someday we will come back and spend time in each of the little cities that we have breezed through on our hike.

Philippe had beaten us to the hostel, and we found him relaxing on the patio when we arrived.  We had dinner with him that evening.  He’s a photographer and writer and is working on a book about the Camino.  He completed the Camino Francais a few years back and is now completing a portion of Camino del Norte.  Unfortunately he had plans to leave the Camino and return to France in a few days.  We enjoyed spending time with this thoughtful man and were sad to see him leave the trail.

 

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Our reward after a challenging hike: a walk along the beach

We’ve written a lot about Camino del Norte!  Read more of our Camino blog posts here.