Stage 14 ~ San Vicente to Buelna

Since yesterday was a stage and a half, today we decided to only do about 20k. Ended up about 15 miles. Doesn’t seem long on paper, but feels much longer after yesterday.

We asked Rob, the hospitalero in San Vicente, for a recommendation of the next stage and he suggested here in Buelna because it is new, not too far, and t g e albergue in Pendueles (1.5k later) is closed, so if we didn’t stop here, then it would be another long day. Which we didn’t want. Petra set off first, and Tash and I left a bit later. Vittorio went off on his own after he and Tash saw the albergue yesterday was closed, so we are down to 3.

We ran into Petra down the road, stopped for a coffee and then continued. Tash and I stopped for bread, then she walked faster than I up a hill so I joined her later for part of her lunch and she continued on While I stayed and finished mine.

Lunch was actually in Asturias! We crossed the river after the town with the bakery and left Cantabria behind. So, into region 3. I think we spent the same number of stages in both Basque country and Cantabria, but the section through Cantabria seemed to go much quicker. We shall see how Asturias feels.

Thus far, it is as the book describes, more rugged than the others. We are quite near the Picos Europas and still near the ocean. I am hoping to have much of the industrial cities behind and am so far enjoying seeing the adventure travel companies and random canoes and kayaks on the buildings. The French guys from yesterday are walking only a bit further and then turning inland to go rock climbing in the Picos. Seems like a ski area in places, too, based upon some of the signs I have seen.

Anyway, I got a bit turned around in Colombres, but found the church at last and also found Petra there! We walked the next 7 or so kilometers together and arrived at the albergue at half past 2. Our earliest day, yet!

So a relaxing afternoon commenced. Uploading blogs, showering, hand washing my clothes (especially necessary as I had no time or energy last night), hanging them to dry, drinking some cider, just relaxing. There are a few other pilgrims here but not so many as to be too crowded. The hospitalero was kind enough to only put a few people in each room. So 5 of us for 5 sets of bunks means no one has to worry about someone above or below moving too much.

It was also a good day to stop early because it began to rain again. A bit of rain in the morning, then overcast and a touch of sun. Then more clouds and a drizzle. So, being worried about my clothes not drying in time, Petra and I put them together in the dryer. Not so expensive for laundry when more than one person goes in on it together.

Now just enjoyed dinner with most of the other pilgrims. German, Spanish, Dutch, plus Tash, Petra, and myself. Hot, yummy soup, pasta with meat and tomato sauce, and a type of pudding with sprinkles and caramel. Plus wine, water, and bread. And a hot tea with some kind of alcohol in it to “aid in digestion,” as the hospitalero said.

Und jetzt muss ich schlafen. My laundry is done and I need to organize for a bit and read a little more to decide where to go tomorrow!

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