Tuesday, May 31, 2016

del Norte - Day 30 (1-June-2016): Tapia de Casariego to Ribadeo (12.0km)

We were looking forward to walking along the coast for one last day - and what a beautiful day it was!  The day was short (only 12km or about 7.5 miles) on nice paths away from traffic and mostly in view of the ocean and we passed in sight of three picturesque beaches - Playas Tapia, Santa Gadea and Penarrondo.  
Today also marks entry into Galica, the fourth and final autonomous region of Camino del Norte.  We crossed the river into Ribadeo and Galicia on a 600m long freeway bridge - fortunately the pedestrian walkway was safely separated from the traffic.

Ribadeo is an old and historic city with examples of "Indianos" buildings.  Indianos refers to Spaniards who made their fortunes in the new world and returned home (mid 1800's), building homes in a certain colorful style, often with palm trees in the yard. 

Long shadows in the morning on typical pathway for the day.

Cindy with signpost on the right.  Red & white stripes mean "GR E-9" and yellow arrow means Camino!

This is a lavadoria (aka old school "laundromat").  Water from stream would be diverted into middle and "washers" would stand on sides and pound clothes on sloping stone surface.  I think these may have been used into the 1950's.

Stone granary in the style of Galacia.  These have replaced the square wooden structures of Asturia and Cantabria.

Beach at Santa Gadea - what a lovely day!

Cindy enjoying coffee - see her view below!

Playa de Penarrondo

View of the mouth of the river - on opposite side from Ribadeo

We crossed 600m long bridge on not-too-scary walkway alongside freeway

Yellows building in center is Hostal Linares - our hotel for today.  Our room is on left side of building.  Nice double room with bath & breakfast included for 42 euros (~$46)

The square (Plaza Espana) in front of our Hostal and in the background the landmark building of Ribadeo

Monday, May 30, 2016

del Norte - Day 29 (31-May-2016): Navia to Tapia de Casariego (23.3km)

Another leisurely start and left town around 8:30am.  The day's hike was level and mostly away from any busy roads.  Usual walking was on single lane paved roads with some farm tracks and trails.  We did not stop at the first bar as it was on a busy highway and not particularly interesting.  Thus, our first stop was after 10km in La Caridad where we had coffee and either tortilla or sandwich - a nice light lunch.

After lunch we walked 5km or so and then left the usual camino pathway to walk towards the coast.  We stayed on a one lane road within a kilometer or so from the coast and could see the ocean as we walked - after a total walk of 23.3km arriving at a small town (Tapia de Casariego) on the tip of a little penninsula.  This a fairly small traditional fishing and trading port.  There's a marina and a nearby beach where people were swimming and sunbathing.  Although we've bought swimsuits with us we've not have the energy or opportunity to use them.  We're staying at Hotel la Ruta, a simple hotel but quite adequate. 

Tomorrow we will continue along the coastline where we will rejoin the camino route at Ribadeo. 

View looking back at Navia - from opposite side of the river as we left town in the morning.

We did walk on a few trails today

Stone wall with roses and stone house in background

Another view of the same house. 

Stone walls on either side and trees arching overhead - pretty nice to walk here.

Fairly typical "trail" for the morning

Farms with ocean in background - beautiful!

The view from yard of the local Albergue - we did not stay here tonight but what a view!

Beach of Tapia de Casariego

Sunday, May 29, 2016

del Norte - Day 28 (30-May-2016): Cadavedo to Navia (23.8km)

We stopped for pastry and cafe and left town around 8:30am.  Today should be around 20km (turned out to be 23.8km - nearly 15 miles).  The camino has apparently been re-routed a bit so the expected stop at a bar for "second breakfast" did not appear so we walked onwards.  Most of the day was on one lane roads or farm tracks with a bit of somewhat muddy trails and only a little bit on highway.  We enjoyed the views of farms, fields and glimpses of the ocean on the horizon as we also passed through many small villages.  As we neared our destination of Navia, a strong shower blew over and we were glad that it ended after 15 minutes or so.  We stopped for a late lunch at a Sidreria in Navia.  Fried squid, brochettes of squid, shrimp and octopus.  The latter was quite interesting and delicious.  Of course, we had to have a bottle of sidra!  We found a room nearby at Pension Cantabrico and relaxed a bit after our showers.  Now we are (of course!) enjoying a glass of wine as we work on our journals.
Dinner was at Sidreria Antonin and quite nice.  A warm salad, plate of Chipirones Fritos and two bottles of Sidra.

View looking back into Luarca

We climbed up steep streets to exit the town

Ruins of tenth century church

Typical paths

Old church

We love the colors of the ocean - blue in contrast to the lush green of the fields and forest

We walked some today with a nice young woman from Slovakia

Flowers along road - storm clouds gathering

Interesting building - made from local stone

Little "granary" made from stone

The sign we've waited to long to see "Restaurante"!

Cindy walking across a field

View of freshly plowed fields, ocean in distance

We do love our Chipirones - asked for aoli to accompany these - and had two bottles of Sidra!

Saturday, May 28, 2016

del Norte - Day 27 (29-May-2016): Cadavedo to Luarca (15.8km)

We enjoyed our two bedroom apartment in Cadavedo.  The included breakfast was only instant coffee and packaged cakes but it was nice to enjoy it in our little kitchen. One of our guide books said the walking would mostly be on asphalt along the highway so we pleasantly surprised that most of the walking was alone one lane roads or trails.  The short day was nice and we arrived Luarca by 1:30pm and just before several rain showers came through.  We checked in to the very nice and old Hotel Villa de Luarca where we got a "peregrino special" on a wonderful room.  Dropped our gear asap and walked down the harbor where we had lunch a s waterfront sidreria.  Steamed mussels, fried small squid with aioli, a mixed salad and two bottles of sidra (cider). 

They brought a cool sidra pouring device to our table.  The bottle has a tube inserted and the glass sits on a bracket at an angle, push the button and sidra is siphoned up and pours down into the glass - aerating the sidra.  Custom is to only "pour" enough for a big swallow and drink immediately.  

After lunch, back to our room to shower and enjoy a soak in our large tub - quite a luxury after walking.  Now enjoying a glass of white wine after strolling around town waiting for restaurants to open - at 8pm or later.  Since sunset is late 10pm (sunrise is 6:50am) it's been a bit easier to get used to dining late. 

Cindy in front of the "apartmento" where we spent the night in Cadavedo

View from our apartmento - ocean in distance

Much of the day was on trails and lanes - sometime the trails were a bit muddy.

Abandoned granary along the path

Late morning snack.  Two small sandwiches and two cafe's for 6 euros.

Camino marker and ocean in background

Our first view of Luarca's harbor as we descend into town.

Our very nice room at Hotel Villa de Luarca

Cool sidra (cider) pouring device.  The glass sits on a bracket at an angle, push the button and sidra is siphoned up and pours down into the glass - aerating the sidra.  Custom is to only "pour" enough for a big swallow and drink immediately.

Plate of Chipirones Fritos and aioli.  We also had steamed mussels and "ensalata mixta" plus two bottles of sidra!

View of the harbor in Luarca

Our hotel is the building in the middle

Friday, May 27, 2016

del Norte - Day 26 (28-May-2016): Soto de Luina to Cadavedo (25.0km)

We had a weather forecast of no rain until later in the day but woke up with the sound of rain on our rooftop.  It eased up by the time we left.  We walked a short bit, had breakfast and then resumed walking along the highway.  Were advised to stay on the highway rather than leaving that to walk "on the mountain" due to some muddy paths.  Second breakfast was in a village after ~6km and continued on.  We met up with two women (Gabbie and Marigold) from Melbourne who we met yesterday and walked with them for the rest of the day. It rained enough to warrant donning our raingear and we continued on to a village with a bar and had lunch.  Onwards into a light drizzle that stopped eventually and after 25km reached our destination of Cadavedo where we checked into Apartmentos Casa Carin.  Earlier in the day we walked past a man in a parked car, the apartment manager, who gave us the information and accepted our reservation.  This is a small apartment complex, our unit has two bedrooms, kitchen, bathroom, washing machine, etc.  We might end up sharing with another couple but think that's not gonna happen.  All of this for 30 euros (~$33) and breakfast included.  The manager gave us soap for the washing machine so we did laundry and he sold us a bottle of red wine for 2.5 euros.  All is well as we finish the wine plus cheese, crackers and olives and watch our laundry dry outside.  There's even an ocean view - or at least a glimpse of the ocean on the horizon.  Unfortunately we need to walk half-mile for dinner and restaurant doesn't open until 8pm.  Ah, well!

Just so you know that it's not all "ocean views" - we spent quite of bit of time today walking along this road.  Fortunately, there was not too much traffic.

A bit of walking on rocky or muddy trails.

Relaxing with wine in front of our "apartmento" - we have bed, bath, breakfast for $35 - might have another couple in the unit's second bedroom but probably not.  Oh, the bottle of wine cost $3.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

del Norte - Day 25 (27-May-2016): Muros de Nalon to Soto de Luina (17.0km)

We had a pleasant breakfast at our Albergue Casa Carmina in Muros de Nalon and walking weather was  excellent. After 5km we stopped for second breakfast in El Pito.  A wealthy family had an interesting home and gardens - they gave a school and other things to the city.  The walking route was on small roads, lanes and forest tracks with much of that through areas that had been logged.  The path was pretty muddy in some areas but mostly pleasant.  We reached our destination of Soto de Luina after only 17km and by 1:30pm so it was a short and relatively easy day.  We found an intersting hotel, Casa Vieja del Sastre, an old home filled with furnishings of the family that had owned it.  We walked into the village center and had a nice lunch "menu del dia" at a Sidreria then back to our hotel in a rain shower.  After a relaxing afternoon we had dinner in our hotel.  

In front of our Albergue

After a walk through our village we began walking on one lane "road"

Foxgloves in the morning

The road passed through an old clear-cut - shortly afterwards it entered forest and was muddy in some stretches.

Wealthy landowners in El Piton had large garden in front of their house

Cindy with Nastursiums along the road

Back in sight of the ocean and beach - briefly

We ate dinner in our hotel.  My main course, pork shank, red cabbage and potatoes.  Cindy had fish with potatoes.  With a nice bottle of red wine.