A Walk in the Fog: La Mesa to Grandas de Salime

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Camino Primitivo
Day 25 of our Adventure: WALK!!
CAMINO Day 17
Tuesday September 26, 2017

Expected: 17km / 9.3 miles / 5 hours
Actual: 14 miles / 5 hours
Total Ascent: 2133 ft.
Total Descent: 2700 ft.
Difficulty Rating: Terrain 5; Waymarking: 1
Scenery Rating: 4

La Mesa to Grandas de Salime

We started our day with a taxi ride back to where we ended yesterday, at La Mesa. This was great fun, because we were able to see our prior walking route from the comfort of a car. The driver stopped for Mike to take a few shots en route.

It was a really cold morning; we’re guessing about 43 degrees. Our hiking “uniforms” are more suited to warmer weather. We both wear T-shirts, and I usually start out with a lightweight windbreaker that lasts until about 15 minutes into our first ascent. We knew we’d have a steep climb right off the bat. We were fortunate to be well above the fog, and the sun felt wonderful! We took a “selfie” of our long shadows.

During our challenging day yesterday I was really pushing for us to make it to La Mesa. We had an option to stop 3+ miles earlier, but I knew that today’s walk would be tougher, and I wanted to get that last ascent finished before another challenging day today. As we were climbing (and climbing, and climbing), Mike said, “When we get to the top, I’m going to kiss you. So get ready!” This guy makes me laugh all the time. He was just so happy that we’d gotten that last part of the walk finished yesterday. I got my kiss (but no kissing selfies!), and we continued on our walk.

The guide book says that “this walk – dropping 2625 ft. in 3.5 miles – has the potential to devour tired knees.” Another true statement.

Once we started our long downhill walk, we saw a sign that said Desvío Provisional (Provisional Detour). There were devastating fires in April of this year, and apparently a part of the Camino was affected. We believe that the detour was a lot longer than the Camino route. It was miles and miles of a steady and unrelenting downhill. Down through the fog we went on what seemed like a never-ending trail. While on the top we could see a dam in the distance. I said, “oh, dear God, I hope we’re not going down to that road!” Ha! And we continued our descent, walked across the dam, and then started a long ascent.

The [dammed] Río Navia “shines like an over-sized sapphire”, according to the guide book. It was brilliant! We forgot to charge our camera last night, so we didn’t take many pictures of the river. I’ll post some on Facebook (from my Android) when I get a chance.

We made it to Hotel La Barra in Grandas de Salime only to find that 1 of our suitcases (Mike’s) didn’t make it. The owner of this little hotel spent a lot of time on the phone with the travel group, and after several hours they finally located the suitcase…. In Lugo, about 70 miles away. A group from France was at our hotel this morning, and they took Mike’s suitcase by mistake. We’ve had this routine when we arrive at each hotel: Mike takes a shower while I download photos and start to create our daily blog. Today we’ve switched roles, and Mike has been working on a “guest blog” for tomorrow while we patiently wait for his luggage to arrive.

This is our last multi-night stop. Mike looked at one of my early spreadsheets and said that he wanted to insert multi-night stays every so often. This final 2-nighter comes after three tough hikes, and before additional grueling and very long days ahead. We have about 115 more miles to go!

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