Stage 9 ~ Castro-Urdiales to Santoña

Short story: I’m a stubborn idiot sometimes. Reason: 23.5 miles again today, partly to have a shorter day tomorrow.

Long story:
Today’s stage is listed in the book as 30km. Not quite sure if that is for the long way (the traditional route) or the short way (via the highway, which I mostly did), but if by going an extra few km ended up at 23.5 miles, I don’t want to know what the long way would have been!

I also don’t understand why the route needed to take 3kms to walk to a locked church, walk around it and then turn at such a sharp angle so that we then the second street arrived at the main road, I was a mere 4-5 blocks further down the road than when I had turned off to head to the church! The route seemed to wind through that city (Liendo) forever! At least I had another nice expert asking a man for directions. He was pushing his grandson in a stroller and the baby kept leaning over to look at me as the man walked me to the corner to point me in the right direction. Today I am grateful I can understand 2 step directions in Spanish!

Back to the beginning of the day. We had discussed ending up here in Santoña because we need to take the ferry as part of the Camino and the ferry doesn’t start running until 9am. So, if we stayed in Laredo, we’d have to wait to leave and get going, and Laredo to Guemes is another 30km. So, I was aiming for this albergue, as I figured that is where I would see everyone.

Tash set out first because she was ready. I’m the slow kid, so I left next. Petra and Niko passed me after a couple of miles and I saw Vittorio walk by as I was looking for a good potty spot. I didn’t see any of them again the rest of the day.

While wandering (on the path, of course!) through some awesome gardens and pastures, the 2 German men also caught up and eventually passed me.  Shortly thereafter, Fernando (Spain) came up and asked how I was doing. I told him my foot hurt and he made sure to stay with me until the road split. So kind. He would look back and then wait for me if I fell even a little behind. His English is worse than my Spanish, but it worked for today.

Asci said above, I took the road/highway variant of today’s stage. I stopped at a roadside park for lunch after about 4 hours and had walked a little over 10 miles. So, a better average (2 and a quarter as opposed to 2 flat) than when in the hills, but still not very fast. Just as long as I get in by dinnertime, I’ll be happy.

Despite being on the road a lot, it was a pleasant walk. And the flat road was better for my sore arch, anyway. It feels better tonight than it did last night, but still a bit sore.

Blisters are better, bug bites, too. No new ones, so infestation contained!

But I digress. The afternoon dragged considerably, but at least the road was straight so I could get a little psalm reading in. The scenery was quite nice, as well. Weather was a bit odd – chilly in the morning, then warm when away from the ocean and in the sun, then cold again when not between buildings or rocks.

The walk down into Laredo was taxing, to say the least. Steep cement path, then lots of stairs. I didn’t bother going to the square where the stage ended/began. Partly because I lost sight of the arrows. But, also because I knew I had to walk along the beach for a long time and I knew I could find the beach!

It was pretty, but would have been better had my feet not been hurting. And a storm was brewing. And I had to pee, again. Hard to pee in the woods when you are in the city, so I paid to use the toilet for the first time ever. Fifty Euro cents. And then it said I had 15 minutes. It was kind of Luke peeling in the woods, however, because I didn’t want to sit or touch anything. Plus, it did not have toilet paper, so good thing I had packed some!

I needed to catch the ferry and therefore needed to walk down the entire boardwalk.  As I was walking, the clouds began to gather and grow thicker and darker. I worried I would not outrun (walk) the storm, but I did. And made it to the planned hostel. Niko and Petra showed up about an hour after I did (we chatted through WhatsApp to meet here as this albergue has WiFi) but no sign of Tash and Vittorio. Hopefully tomorrow in Guemes!

I ate a large dinner and will hopefully sleep well tonight! Only 3 in the room tonight, so hopefully less snoring!

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1 Response to Stage 9 ~ Castro-Urdiales to Santoña

  1. MJ Kurdys says:

    Praying God will strengthen your foot, friend! Be sure you are stretching it regularly!😃
    You are doing just great!!! Hang in there, just one foot infront of the other!!


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