June 25:  Llanes to Ribadesella  48176 steps

Today is suppose to be the longest walk of the entire trip -- over 18 miles!!!  Remember readers!  This is not a walk in the park, but rather one over hill and dale with lots of obstacles in the way.  18 miles equates out to over 9 hours of patting those tootsies to the pavement or sand or mud or gravel or whatever appears on the Camino!

To get a edge on the day an early start was in order.  The weather was cool, so that was in our favor, and the route only included a few ascends with follow-up descends!  The route was also supposed to be peppered with little towns that had little cafes.  The first village was Poo. With a name like that how could we not go through it.  Isn't that the home of Winnie?  

From there it was out along the shoreline.  Being a resort area most of the beach front is surrounded by summer homes, condos, and vacation apartments, so the walkways are all side walked.  We immediately came to a cross road with the yellow arrows pointing in two directions.  Very handy, when you are sworn to follow that darn arrow.  One pointed to the beach, the other inland.  Why go inland when one can enjoy the pleasures of the surf hitting the sand and the sight of the high black cliffs amaze the eye?  The beach route it is -- until the sidewalk ended and the surf began.  Back up the embankment and onto the inland route.  Don't want wet boots this early in the morning!

The rest of the day, while long, turned into an enjoyable adventure.  In one small hamlet we stopped for a small bite to eat only to be entertained by a man strolling down main street with a bull or water buffalo in tow (we weren't sure - see picture below and decide for yourself!).  The entire bar emptied with cameras in hand to catch the guy on film before he disappeared.  We didn't know whether to take pictures of the bull or the people taking pictures -- each were great to watch.

About halfway through the day the route turned inland and ascended up into the hillside.  The countryside now is very mountainous with high rising peaks decorating the horizon to the south.  We seem to be just skirting the mountains knowing that our day will come when we turn south and head toward Santiago.  But for now we are enjoying the beautiful views of the mountains from afar.

The way was also at times like walking through a fairyland.  The stone walls on either side of the land were covered in moss and ferns with trees arched over making a rooftop.  Some of the trees are so old that they are hollow -- one of which had a small house complete with table and chairs buried deep within it.  The fairies of the woods live there, we know!!  Once again we walked through that mystical land!

18+ miles and the hotel has to be on the other side of the town!!  But what a hotel.  We are staying in an old villa that has been converted into a hotel right on the ocean.  The sound of the surf can be heard from each room and it will take little else to lull us to sleep.

Sue & Angela on the Beach Road

Angela on a country lane

Frankie among the Ferns

Frankie in the woods!

Michele & Jan among the flowers!


Lunch Partners!!!