Camino del Norte Day 28: Time warp in lovely Galicia

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Hannah, Dale, me, and Detlef
October 28, 2015
Lourenzá to Gontán, 14.5 miles

This was our hilliest, most challenging day since the mountains of the Basque Country, with 740 meters (~2400 feet) elevation gain.  Fortunately, we are much more conditioned now, almost one month later, and while the hills weren’t easy, they weren’t cruel either.

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Camino del Norte Day 27: “It’s Galicia”

October 27, 2015

Ribadao to Lourenzá, 16.5 miles

Throughout the hike, even as we moved closer to Santiago, the end still seemed very far away.  Now that we’ve entered Galicia, however, our walk feels less like a random hike through rural Spain and more like an actual quest.  It’s all coming together.

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Camino del Norte Day 26: An important milestone and an awesome bridge

October 26, 2015

La Caridad to Ribadeo, 16 miles

Today’s destination, Ribadeo, isn’t just any old city on the Camino del Norte.  It’s the point where we leave Asturias and enter Galicia, the region of Spain that’s home to Santiago de Compostela. Every pilgrim, no matter which of the many Caminos they are walking and no matter where they started, ends up walking through Galicia, and by crossing into it, we would start the final leg of our journey.

And then there’s the bridge….

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Camino del Norte Day 25: On simplifying

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The ruins of the Church and Cemetery of Santiago, from around the tenth century.

 

October 25, 2015

Luarca to La Caridad, 17.5 miles

Today was a long but relatively unremarkable day.  Tomorrow will be our last day in Asturias; when we cross the border into Galicia, we will be entering our last Spanish region and the one where the city of Santiago de Compostela sits.  We are getting closer, a fact that is finally starting to feel real.

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Camino del Norte Day 24: Luarca

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October 24, 2015

Cadavedo to Luarca, 10 miles

Guess what?

After days of forming expectations about the Camino–either, “Today’s going to be terrible,” or “Today’s going to be easy”–and getting it wrong each time, we finally learned our lesson and tried to have no expectations.  And it was a great day.  Despite some rain and some asphalt, the walk was pleasant, mostly through forest and countryside, and the length was short, about 10 miles.

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Camino del Norte Day 23: Don’t get cocky

Climbing those hills
Climbing those hills

October 23, 2015

Soto de Luiña to Cadavedo: 14 miles

Downhill from here?

When we started this morning, we were feeling pretty confident.  We were tired from yesterday’s monster walk but knew that, at twelve miles, today would be “short.”  We marveled at the fact that our perspective had changed so much that we considered twelve miles to be a short day.  In the morning before we started, I had visions of sitting at a cafe sipping tea and writing blog posts all afternoon after rolling into Cadavedo around lunch.  Easy peasy.

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Camino del Norte Day 22: The longest day

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Hipster peregrinos

 

October 22, 2015

Aviles to Soto de Luiña, 23.5 miles

Today was all about endurance.  It was going to be our longest day yet.  Earlier we’d had two long days (21 and then 20 miles), but both times it was because we’d had to hike further than we’d expected to find shelter.  Today was a planned long day that would help us get back on schedule after our rest day and several short days earlier in the month.

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Camino del Norte Day 21: Refocusing on our goals

October 21, 2015

“Travel is not supposed to be comfortable.”  —Quote from a travel blogger we enjoy reading

“Boy is she right about that.”  —Dale

 

We decided to take a full rest day today and bus ahead to the city of Aviles, thus skipping what was considered by our guidebook to be the worst stretch of trail on the Norte, due to heavy industry and significant road hiking.

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Camino del Norte Day 20: Mudville

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How we started our morning: with a view of the ocean. Ribadesella is in the background. The trail out of the city took us along several kilometers of coastline.

October 20, 2015

Ribadesella to Colunga, 12 miles

The trail took us along beautiful coast and through green farmland, yet despite how pretty it was, we found as the morning progressed that neither of us had the heart for hiking today.

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Camino del Norte Day 19: Waterlogged

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I risked the life of my phone to get this photo, one of the few that we took today.

 

October 19, 2015

Buelna to Ribadesella: walked 20 miles + bussed 14 miles

 

What a day today was.  Yikes.

It started out normally enough.  There were twelve of us at the communal breakfast in the Buelna albergue that morning, and the hospitalera, an older woman named Victoria who’d hiked the Camino multiple times, was full of hugs and enthusiasm and love for us us peregrinos.  It was a nice way to start the day.

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