Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Ciguenza to Serdio: Almost through Cantabria (el Camino del Norte)

Giving thanks for a safe and sheltered night, we left the tiny village of Ciguenza, walking past the signs indicating the historic buildings lining the Main Street including the abandoned, falling to ruin monastery across the road from the church that we took shelter at. Incidentally the entrance door to the church has a figurine of St James on his white horse with a sword, depicting the legend of the vision that appeared to a soldier when Spain was being invaded by the Moors, of St James on such a horse which ultimately as the story goes, led to military victory.
Our next big destination was Cobreces, 10km/6 miles away. 

A pleasant hike ensued taking us through the sleepy town where the only store open at that time of the morning was the panaderia (bakery) where we bought two delicious freshly baked pan (bread) and juice which we enjoyed eating once we reached the ocean at Playa Luana while observing a bulldozer reconstructing the beach front in preparation for the summer vacationers who would be there soon. 

Well fed and with more energy our feet took us along el Camino to beautiful Comillas, a bustling touristy town which was a change from the sleepy villages we were constantly going through where we pretty much only saw elderly people most of the time.

On arrival in Comillas there was a yellow Camino arrow sign pointing in what looked like the wrong direction, to the left and away from the town before we even entered it. 

An angel appeared out of the blue (a middle aged woman who told us not to go that way) and escorted us to point us in the right direction and then accompanied us further, going well out of her way to the tourism information Office. She made sure that we were not going to get lost and after thanking her, she left. I could not believe her kindness and how she went out of her way for us who were complete strangers, and she did all of that limping with an injured knee. 

Another 12.3 km took us to San Vicente De La Barquera, another bigger, quaint town set on the banks of a large river mouth where we ate a pizza and rested our weary feet. 

Once we got on our way again we came across a church which actually had something going on: a funeral which seemed to be attended by the entire village. 

All the while the Picos de Europas are getting closer and closer. Along the way today we met peregrinos from Belgium, Canada, Australia and the Italian Stallion  who had been bombing serious miles fast, actually came strolling into San Vicente after us. He enjoys leisurely down time in towns and is a super friendly
person, referring to us collectively as "Hawaii". Josh is also called "Yosh" and had been asked whether he is a "Jogi when he was spotted sitting cross legged... So funny!

Just before Serdio we spotted two beautiful young deer dart across the road and we've seen numerous large hawks flying around.

It seemed that the locals in Serdio were speaking Cantabrian and not Spanish and we discovered that the Monastery Albergue was shut down. Everything was locked and bolted and no one was there. We backtracked to a private Pension down the road and it was expensive, so the decision was made to camp behind the abandoned Albergue. Just as we crawled into it, the rain started and we're hoping that nobody tries to evict us from the grounds.

Tomorrow we enter the next province of Asturias.

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