July 2: Oviedo to Aviles 49960 steps
Today started early and in the fog -- the weather "fog", not us!!! The distance was to be over 18+ again and we wanted to get an early push to the day. Unfortunately, we couldn't see very clearly as to where to turn -- and as we exited the city the party animals from last night were just coming out of the bars!!! Makes for a very interesting combination. Drunk Spaniards laughing their way down the street in a staggering fashion and "pilgrims" fresh from sleep blindly clicking the street stones with their "trekking poles". The beat was not quite a Top 10 melody, but might make the Teen Scene in the year 2012.
Typical to the "easy day" chart the road immediately takes a turn uphill in a 25-30 degree angle. If we weren't awake, we are now!!! The view from the top was probably spectacular, but the fog was too dense to see more than a few yards in front of our faces. Onward and upward we stepped knowing that most of the day was going to be in a downward direction. Higher and higher we walked through forests of thick underbrush and ferns. Once again we were in that magical fairyland. Every turn one expected the goblins of old to step out and lead the way. Merlin joined us at one point, I am sure.
High into the clouds after transgressing through mud and stone, we approached a quarry. There was no sign that it was new or that there might be people about -- matter of fact we were not sure there was any way out other than back the way we came and were not excited about the prospect of re-walking that mud trail. But alas, there in the corner was a single footpath that traversed back down the mountain to the hamlet below. After arriving in the valley and a quick coke break we were off again up the other side of the next hill. We have come to the conclusion that the original pilgrims were either very anti-social and avoided towns completely or were obsessed with walking up one side of a hill and down the other to circle the town in the valley!!! Do as the pilgrims do -- so up we go and down we go!!!
Most of the way the villages we passed through were small and only a couple of houses. One or two had a cafe in them, but it was Sunday, so there was no predicting if any would be open. When one was -- it was like Christmas. The feet always need a rest even if it is only for the few minutes it takes to use the rest rooms and have a coke.
Aviles is back near the coast so we are now back on the Camino del Norte. Our short excursion to the south and back took us over the mountains and back. We used it as a training walk for what is to come. In a week or so we must turn south and head to Santiago which means those mountains again.
Aviles is a pseudo-medieval town (the old section where we are staying is very definitely medieval with the modern new section surrounding it). We are at a palace for the next two nights right on the main plaza. After walking all day there is nothing better than settling into a 5 star hotel, especially if you are paying 2 star rates!!!
Rest day again tomorrow!!!
Walk in the fog!
Where is the path?