Camino Day 15: Llanes to Ribadesella

Today was pretty long, but the sights were stunning as usual. Upon leaving Llanes, Mikey noticed that he had not refilled the water bottles – oops. Finding no fountains along the way he really felt like he was up (*something*) Creek.


Nope, it was just Poo! Yeah, that’s right, there’s a town called Poo. But, it gets better:


There’s actually a Poo Creek!


This is Poo Beach (although in Spanish it’s Poo Playa! Haha, get it?) There’s also Poo River and …  you get the idea. Well, once we had enough Poo-ing around, it was time to refill the water bottles and get outta Poo.


Next stop was in a beach town called Celorio. This is the 11th century Monastery of San Salvador. It had a really beautiful interior, but mass was starting in 5 minutes, so Mikey kept the camera outside. It’s cool – we have a pretty neat video of another church coming up.


This was one of the beaches at Celorio. Mikey got a little sand in the shoes, but it was nice to be out on the beach in the early morning.


This is the 18th century Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de los Dolores. (Church of Our Lady of Pains) Kinda cool situated out on a marsh.


While we had been walking on the side of a highway and village streets for most of the trek, it now turned to a wooded path for a while. It was a needed break as the sun had decided to come out for a while (sun+asphalt=no bueno).


Following  the wooded walk, we arrived at yet another monastery. This one is called Saint Antolin of Bedon.


Unfortunately, the 13th century complex is now dilapidated and unsafe for visitors.


A final glimpse of the beach provided this really interesting rock formation. It must be stunning at sunset.


As we began to climb into the hills, we psses this cute little neighborhood and amazing flowers. Mikey’s mother grows these in her garden.


One of the interesting bits about walking the Camino is passing through different visual reminders of how culturally heterogeneous Spain is. I mean, compare the brightly painted houses in Asturias with the stark white uniformity of Basque villages.


Mikey likes to point out that the modern concept of “Spain” as one state didn’t really come about until the late 19th century. Sure, the Catholic Monarchs united several kingdoms under their 15th century rule, but the people never really conceptualized the union culturally. Basically, the Asturians just believed that they shared a king with the Castilians and so forth. Wow – sorry to get bogged down in history.


So…the Camino now followed the rail line for quite some time. Although we didn’t have to walk on these larger rocks, the gravel track was a bit tough on the feet. I mean, come on it was 30+km today!


Oh, this was a fun bit of graffiti on a telephone junction box. Get the reference? (The 1902 French silent film Trip to the Moon.)


After a similarly feeling ascent up a mountain, Mikey spotted this church in the distance.

​OK, so there was a bit of a Sound of Music moment as he climbed the hill with mountains in the background and church bells clanging away – no idea what was going on!

​     ​Apparently, the circuit priest services multiple rural churches each Sunday. 1:45 just happened to be the lot drawn by the people of this hamlet. Since today wasn’t a special Catholic feast day or whatnot, one can surmise that the villagers meet the priest at his car every Sunday and do a formal procession around the church before the service begins. Kinda cool.


OK, so we saw the harbors rocks in Llanes yesterday, right? Well, this little village has their own version. It’s just all Camino themed.


These are the town dumpsters.


And this is a rock wall. You’ll notice the St. James cross and some other cultural symbols.


This was an unpainted wall with the now familiar scallop tile. In Asturias, the orientation of the tile serves as the directional pointer for th path. Yes, there are often times yellow arrows, but the tiles are the official path. (In case you’re wondering, the base of the scallop shell represents Santiago with all paths being equally worrhy and leading to the same destination. Kind of unitarian, I guess!)


We finally arrived in Ribadesella well into the afternoon. Mikey’s feet were aching and so we went to the one place in town that had a vacancy – La Marina Hotel. Yeah, it was 50€, but the next town was 15km and we weren’t sure if there would be any rooms. Besides, the hotel’s English brochure mentioned 3 times how it was located in a privileged area of town and that its services  and equipment were complete. Lost in translation? Maybe. Mikey lost in the woods tonight? Heck no!


(This is the Church of Saint Mary Magdalene – built in 1924.)


Mikey collapsed on the bed as soon as he walked through the door. After a nap, we went out for a walk about the town, grabbed a cheeseburger, and watched the sunset before returning in a downpour to the hotel.
​​Windows open to hear the rain – Goodnight.

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