We woke up a little late (6:30am), but well rested after a night at Camping Islares. After packing up, we headed out on what would be a mostly inland route.
Still, the path led by the beach for just a bit so that we could snap a few parting pictures.
Spanish infrastructure can be very impressive. We got to walk under this section of a national highway and marvel at its size.
Although Mikey skipped breakfast, he enjoyed watching this cow enjoy hers.
During a quick stop to refill water bottles, Mikey got all excited about this sea serpent fountain that just gushed out water. It was probably both the most creative and forceful fountain he’s encountered thus far.
Unlike some of the tourist beach traps we’ve passed through, sporting the EU, Spanish, Cantabrian, and city flags, the resort town of Laredo services mostly Spanish vacationers.
But, even before reinventing itself as a modern beach getaway, the sea had always played an integral role in the local economy. These modern statues pay homage to the past whaling and fishing industries which supported the populace.
Less known, however, is the early religious history of Laredo. Dating back almost 800 years, the town was founded by royal charter thanks in part to its already present monastic communities.
The convent (and the nuns) was very nice. The sisters also liked that Mikey was able to translate for some pilgrims who were unsure about staying the night. He wasn’t trying to earn a commission, but happened to be in the reception room on his way to the laundry room when “the sale” went down.
Following a shower and laundry, it was time to wander around the old town for a bit. Apparently, Juanna “La Loca” (Juanna the Mad, King Ferdinand’s crazy daughter, spent a fortnight here in 1496 before sailing off to meet her new husband in Flanders.
And Mikey “El Loco” stumbled upon a Flamenco exhibition in the town square. Pretty interesting and definitely unexpected.
After much exploring, we finally had a bon voyage dinner with one of the Irishmen before literally running back to the convent before the nuns locked the doors.
Yep, that was Laredo. We’ll talk about the endless walk along the beach and the Camino version of a time-share hard sell tomorrow. Until then, goodnight!