June 29:  Villaviciosa to Ovieda (Pola de Siero) 32764 steps

Today we are headed southwest which translates -- up and over the mountains.  The northern Camino divides here, with one route staying on the sea and the other going toward the French route.  We have decided to go to Ovieda and then head back up to the sea.  It means up and over the mountains one day only to go up and over the mountains a few days later.  What is a few more ups and downs?

The morning brought sun with a mixture of clouds to shade the group.  Immediately the route headed up the mountain twisting and turning in switchback arenas.  The route paralleled the main highway so civilizations was never too far away.  Up and up  the route climbed to the summit at 400 meters (1300+ feet).  Then the down!!!!  For over 17 kilometers the pathways descended to the valley through small hamlets complete with farmers in the fields with hand skills.  With all the modernizations that is going on around us, it is always amazing to see the old fashion farm equipment still being used.  Horse and donkey drawn carts full of a morning's worth of hay, individual farmers hoeing their gardens, women washing their front walks with an old fashion broom -- it is as if time has stopped and life has remained the same as it did hundreds of years ago.  But -- the one thing that we have noticed town after town -- everyone is happy!!  The children all play together with no strife; the adults all say "Buenas Dias" as we walk by; the dogs bark but run in retreat when we approach; everywhere you go, life is grand.

Today we were suppose to stop in Pola de Siero a small town half way between Villaciciosa and Ovieda.  We had rented a house for the seven of us, but we decided that if we sent our "stuff" on to Ovieda and taxied in from the halfway point, we could have three nights in the same hotel.  Luxury in the making!!!  Could always go back out in the morning and finish the walk.

Once arriving in the big city of Ovieda the thought of an extra rest day won out over any thought of getting up in the morning, taxiing back out into the countryside only to walk through the industrial section of this city.  Not a pretty sight and an excellent excuse to sleep in!!! 

View from the Summit (400 meters)

Symbol on a Highway Wall

12th Century Chapel with a 21st Century Parking Lot!

Nap Time on the Camino!