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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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!
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.