Monday, November 17, 2014

Cozyville, España (Day 8??? Mioño to El Pontarrón)

I'm sitting in Bar El Pontarron, between Castro Urdiales and Laredo, Cantabria, basking in the glow of a wood-burning fireplace and getting a few hours of work in so tomorrow I might take the day off.  Compared with yesterday's 40k bike path death march, today was a walk in the park.  The Camino snaked its way through a few villages before plunging down to the sea, and for most of the second half my only companions were grazing sheep and goats and a beautiful view of the Cantabrian's azure waters.  It's during moments like these that I sometimes let out uncontrollable yelps of joy, that every kilometer walked in the rain, that every moment making a superhuman effort to not scratch the bug bites that are degrading my sanity, become absolutely worth it.  It's moments like these when the Camino far exceeds my expectations, and I sometimes find myself pausing once, twice, or three times to take in a view and berate myself with the question:  "Are you fully appreciating this?"

When I got to the town where I am right now the albergue said to get the keys from the bar where I'm currently nestled in.  I asked the woman if there would be pinchos or food later, and she said yes.  After a quick rest in the empty shelter and a walk around the "town" (which with more than 50 steps invariably consists of a walk out of town), I came to the bar and settled in, marveling at the comforting powers of the wood burning fireplace and the tranquility and comfort that reigned in the establishment.  When I noticed there didn't seem to be any food being brought out, I asked the lady if there might be anything to snack on.

"I could make you a sandwich," she said, "or some eggs...."

At the mention of eggs I perked up visibly and she must have noticed because she went on to say, "I could make you some eggs, some french fries, maybe some sausage?"

I almost did a back flip.

The next thing I knew I was living my personal nirvana, a delicious plate of hot food before me and the warmth of a fireplace next to me.  Spain in November doesn't get much better than this.

I plan to go to bed early tonight (other than staring at the wall in the dark there's really not much other choice) and get up early tomorrow so I can attempt to walk to Santander, the capital of Asturias, in two days.  I think it's entirely doable.  Maybe about 60-65k of walking.  The weather over the next few days looks great so I'm going to give it a go.  After all, once I'm in Asturias it means the next province is Galicia, and Galicia is home to the town this whole walk is named after.

So bye for now.  Here are some pictures from the last few days, leaving the Basque countryside and descending into Bilbao, and finally walking north/northwest in the rain to Cantabria and beyond.

Hasta pronto.
Peregrino's special

Descending into Bilbao

Leaving Bilbao: bike path of death.  


Where were you when they built the ladder to heaven?

Happy goats

Castro Urdiales: candidate for favorite town so far

Offshore at Islares

Solitary surfer

Classic don't know what face to make face (59k to Santander!)

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