Comillas to Unquera (in the rain…)

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Camino de Santiago del Norte
Day 14 of our Adventure: WALK!!
Friday September 15, 2017

27km / 17 miles / 7.5 hours
Total Ascent: 1444 ft.
Total Descent: 1132 ft.
Difficulty Rating: Terrain 3; Waymarking 2
Scenery Rating: 3

Comillas to Unquera

The day started out as several before: in the rain. Thank GOD for our ponchos! The good news is that we had an easy walk for the first 4 miles. During our training we walked at a 3.5mph pace. Our Camino walks have averaged 2.5-3mph (due to rocky trails, LOTS of hills, and ~ did I mention mud???)…. We walked the first 8 miles at a 4mph pace this morning. Wind, rain, and flat pavement are great motivators!

And then there was a rainbow! And then a double rainbow. Such a treat.

On our way to walk to San Vicente de la Barquera , we walked through the Santa Marina golf course before heading for a long uphill climb. In San Vincent, the 13th century Gothic church of Santa Maria de los Angeles supposedly plays Schubert’s ‘Ave Maria’ in the church’s bell tower every 15 minutes. (Exhausted locals suggested that this was the work of a town enemy.) This may have been old information, since I definitely would have recognized the Ave Maria. My Dad used to sing it in the shower….

After stopping for a soda and to rub tired, sore feet, we walked (in the rain of course) past a railroad track, through plenty of mud, before reaching our destination for the day, Unquera (“a minor shopping town with little to see” according to the guide book). Turns out there’s a terrific restaurant, Casa Sein, about half a mile away, where we had a delicious meal and a lovely bottle of Ribera del Duero Tinto (Red).

In the distance you can see glimpses of the Picos de Europa. The last time we were in Spain (2003), we went to a little town called Fuente de, and stayed at the Parador there. I hope that we won’t be climbing too many of the steep hills in the Picos de Europa on this journey. We took the funicular up to the top in Fuente de…. No need to climb up those mountains on our own power!

Hotel Canal is a decent stopping-off point, from which we’ll make our way to LLanes tomorrow for a 2-night stay. Really looking forward to that!! Hoping to find a store that sells Fitbits. Mike’s stopped working last night, probably because it got wet as we walked in the rain. Also hoping to find a laundromat….

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