Camino del Norte – Asturias (Continued)

Split in trail

On the Camino del Norte, still in wild Asturias.

The villages are small and many are deserted. It’s difficult to find an open cafe before 11 am, because they cater to locals and not to Peregrinos that might or might not decide to stop there.

By now, Beth and I are walking separately; she is so much faster than me.

We walk out of the albergue together, stay together until we decide that we’re on the right trail and she takes off. At the end of the day, we meet up again at the next lodging.

So sensible. We should have done this from the start.

But I bump into her at a cafe in Soto de Luna and we share a coffee together. This is the last place for drinks before we get to Cadavedo, our destination for the evening.

Trail above the sea

Look at the sign above. The bottom sign is pointing correctly to the left.

This trail sign is as clear as day – hikers to the left – that’s the Camino. As I make the left turn to follow the Camino marker, a cyclist yells out:

“No Camino – Mal” and zips by.

Who is he and why does he think I’m going to listen to him? Follow the signs, not the locals, and he’s probably a visitor as well.

I start climbing on a good trail until I reach a plateau. The trail follows a gas pipeline, so it’s very clear. The view on the right, see the top photo, is magnificent.

But there’s no one here. All those young German hikers should have passed me by now. Beth, I assume, is way ahead.

I’m almost up to the transmission towers when the trail takes an unexpected right into a field. It’s so deserted up here that there aren’t even any cows, just evidence of cows. It’s starting to rain. I’m at 2,200 feet – I carry an altimeter – up from sea level. But I’m still on the trail, as evidenced by fresh concrete posts.

Finally the trail goes down, down, down to sea level. I have no idea where I’m going to end up but at least there might be some people. And there are. But I’m so eager to find someone that here I lose the trail through a cluster of houses. A woman sets me straight but I still have a couple of kilometers to Cadavedo, my destination.

Emanuel

I get in at 5pm. Beth, who’s been wonderful, grabbed me a bed in one of only two hostels in the village.

This is where we meet Emanuel, a very religious Italian from Palermo. His pack looks huge and he’s carrying his food bag in front. But he makes it work.

This is his eighth Camino. On this trip, he started in Lourdes and will go to Santiago, then on the Portuguese Way to Fatima. WOW!

That evening, I reread the guidebook.

It said that the mountain route was not recommended because it was poorly maintained and signposted. That’s old information – the trail is just long, steep and deserted. Beth took the other route.

A few more days of walking and we have no trouble figuring out where Asturias ends and Galicia begins. We walk on a huge bridge over the Ribadeo Rio.

Bridge into Ribadeo

Welcome to Galicia, our last principality.

We’re getting closer to Santiago.

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