Most pilgrims who were at last night’s stop must have walked the extra 4km to the albergue at San Esteban, but I stopped at Ribadesella: 28km was enough for me. It’s interesting what happens psychologically when you set out to walk a particular distance at the end of which you are faced with the prospect of walking further because of some unforeseen event. If I am going to walk a particular distance my mind is set for that distance and I’ll walk it comfortably because from the outset that’s the distance I know I have to walk. But try to add on some kilometers at the end, and my mind will ferociously restist. Often my body is giving me the same message.

I felt quite disappointed when I found no albergue at tonight’s stop. I was looking forward to interacting with other pilgrims. I think I’ve had enough of solo hotel rooms, although I still love walking by myself. It was good last night to catch up with some familiar faces. That albergue is unusual in that it provides a set of clean sheets and pillowcase to each pilgrim. This was the first time such a thing has happened on any Camino I have walked. Also, the hospitalier dried my clothes after I’d washed them. It’s these things that sweeten a stay.

After clearing the town of Poo which is 2.5km from last night’s stop, the path wove it’s way into and out of sight and earshot of the ocean. You can tell it’s holiday season in Spain because the caravan parks, and I passed three today, are doing a good trade. The next village was Celorio and from a distance it looked a little like the houses in the Cinque Terra in Italy because the bright colours they are painted.

One thing I’m glad about is that I’m not back at the Cinque Terra. I often think about a place I’ve passed through and when I do I say to myself, “I’m glad I’m not back there”. I think this walk is a ‘one off’. I can’t see myself backing up for one
this long any time soon, largely because I now know what to expect.

Another town I walked through today was Nueva where they were packing up the Saturday morning street stalls around 2.30pm. But I was in time to buy myself a couple of golden coloured peaches which I took to a nearby bench seat and ate. It’s a wonderful time to be in Spain. The stone fruit is magnificent.

Today was my 32nd day of walking since Toulouse where I had my last rest day before starting to walk with Vincent. I intend to continue to Santiago without a
break. My present estimate is that I will arrive there in 20 days time, on the 5
August. My first Camino in 2007 took 32 days without a break. This time I will have walked over 1,100km during the 52 days between Toulouse and Santiago.

This afternoonon I lost sight of the arrows. I got out my iPad and plotted my own Camino only to find that after a couple of kilometres of walking I picked them up again in the most unlikely of locations.

Ribadesella is a small seaside town with wall to wall tourists/holiday makers. Like all holiday destinations there’s no shortage of restaurants. I had salad and pizza tonight and when I emerged from the restaurant it was raining. The rain has continued. Let’s hope it’s all done by morning.

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