Llanes to Ribadesella: A Little Rain & a Lot of Mud

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Camino de Santiago del Norte
Days 16 & 17 of our Adventure: Stay in Llanes

Sunday September 17, 2017

Llanes – NO Walking today!!

Llanes is nestled between the coast and the Picos de Europa. Beaches (on the Bay of Biscay / Golfo de Vizcaya) are the major attraction. It is a bustling summer resort with a tiny port ~ its entry is barely one boat wide.

We had such a fun time with my cousins, who drove 2 hours to see us again and have dinner on Saturday night. Mike had made such a big deal out of them giving me a lovely bracelet and earrings, and giving us a gift to take to my Mom (but nothing for Mike) last Saturday, that they gave him a choice of 2 caps. He chose one and wore it around Llanes the next day. Meanwhile, we caused a ruckus at the restaurant (Covadonga), laughing and talking very loudly…. We were very sad to see them go, but as I’ve mentioned, Mike has said that we can come back in 2 years.

On Sunday our first priority was to do laundry. We found the laundromat, which doesn’t require you to use your own laundry detergent. The washing machines dispense the soap automatically, and if you don’t happen to like the scent, well…. The important thing is that we have clean clothes. Thank goodness!!

Then we walked around the town with its small alleys and restaurants, had a meal of Fabadas Asturiana, a traditional bean stew (delicious), meat, and fish, and went back to our room to take a siesta. Boy did we need that extra sleep! We walked out to where people have painted large squares of cement – pretty cool! Later, we walked a few miles to find where the Camino started so that we wouldn’t get lost on Monday. And we climbed up a walkway, from where we could see our room. I always tell Mike to shut the blinds when we’re in a hotel room. Maybe now he’ll believe me when I say that people can see in!

Monday September 18, 2017

33km / 20 miles / 8.5 hours
Total Ascent: 492 ft.
Total Descent: 525 ft.
Difficulty Rating: Terrain 3; Waymarking 2
Scenery Rating: 3

Llanes to Ribadesella

I was awake half the night with a terrible head cold and sore throat, and when Mike said it was 5:00 AM, I just got up and got ready. We were on the road (in the rain) by 6:30, and we had to use Mike’s headlamp to find our way along a very muddy pathway. Smelled like cows, and hopefully it was just mud that we were stepping in (YUK!).

We passed by Playa de Poo, an unfortunately-named town…and a few other towns, none of which had a restaurant open. We also saw some beautiful beaches, as we are still walking along the coast. Our first stop was at 11:00, when we finally came upon a bar that was open for Café con Leche and some food. Have I mentioned that we’ve only had one day that has started with coffee? This has been a real issue for me, walking for several hours before my first cup of coffee.

I’ve included photos of some of the mud and puddles that we’ve been dealing with since we started our Camino. Mike laughed when my reaction was “Seriously???”, as if someone had placed that puddle there on purpose.

Ribadasella is located on the banks of the Río Sella at its exit to the sea. There are many grand houses from another era – tall and awkward with pointy roofs, towers, turrets, and gazebos. The river runs around the town to the open sea. The highlight of this port city is the Tito Bustillo Caves, where tourists can visit. Regular guided tours lead deep underground, through the stalactites, to a room filled with paintings 15,000 – 20,000 years old, depicting horses, deer, bison, and more. Tours are in the morning, so we won’t be able to take advantage of being here to see the caves. Another thing to put on our list for next time!

We had another lovely lunch before heading to our hotel. The soup of the day happened to be chicken noodle soup, exactly what I needed for my cold. Hotel Don Pepe is on the water, and we’ve gotten here early enough to enjoy the beautiful scenery. We’re going to skip walking on the beach, because today was a really long day, and our feet are pretty sore. Our walk to Colunga tomorrow won’t be as long, but it promises to be more strenuous.

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