Day 19 – The one with the cold

Yet another roller-coaster day but I guess that’s just standard on the Camino, especially on the North way: up and down, up and down.

I started to feel kinda sick. Maybe the night out on the porch, maybe not wanting to put on a sweater in the chilly morning the day before or maybe the cold shower but something got to me. Little bit of sore throat – but that actually went by quickly – and cold. Not really what you need here.

I left around 9 planning to have a fairly short day: 25 until Aviles. I was looking for a place to have a tea as I forgot it in the hostel when to much to my surprise I saw Maria.

So once again we went together and arrived at Aviles around 4. The road was kinda mixed: ugly city walk out from Gijon, then some nicer hills but then approaching Aviles next to some industrial area and main roads. For quite some part. Finally in Aviles we immediately decided to go further: the smog and/or dust was so heavy in the city that you could actually see that it clouds the sight.

After a break therefore we went on to a place that was supposed to be in Salinas, only 7k away.

By this time I started to feel quite unwell and looked not too good as it has been pointed out. I went ahead and then following the arrows I realised that I’m getting away from the place I was heading. By the time I figured that I either have to back track a bit or explore a dirt road Maria caught up with me and we decided with the later one.

We found ourselves on a probably abandoned motocross or mountain bike track in the forest with ramps and stuff but after working our way up on it we got back to civilisation. This was around 2kms fun and wondering where we are…

It took us some time and Google Maps to get to the albergue on top of a hill but around 6 we arrived. It was an extension of a church and although there was not much around the owner offered us a ride to the supermarket. There was already a Spanish and Polish girl and they went shopping while I was trying to get myself together so at least I can have dinner once they return.

I went asleep hoping that the massive amount of tea and the neo citran I took might help to sleep my cold out.

I’ve realised that I barely took pictures this day: not muc to see and too busy with my sickness. Not great. But I was really thankful for Maria to keep my spirit up and even doing the shopping for me.

Day 7

Decided to do the shorter way out from Bilbao on the right side of the river. I didn’t get too far though, after 15 minutes I’ve realised that I’m missing my ring. So with a quite bad mood I turned back and did everything to figure out when and where did it disappear: I’ve asked the receptionist to check the security cam to see whether I still had it at checkout, then since it looked as I didn’t, we went through the hostel. Checked the room, the kitchen the hall, the trash of the cleaning lady who just finished, and also the drain of the tap. Finally I tore apart my bag .. and found it in my sleeping bag. Lesson learned: check the bag first. Also I have to say I saw no hotel or hostel personnel more helpful than them.

So although I wanted an early start, I’ve left finally after 9. Went by the Guggenheim Museum and then along the river side. Well it was quite a sad, industrial and gray environment, especially after the beautiful coast and countryside of the previous days. At least it was flat and 6km less than the original.

Arrived at Portugalete at 13:00 after crossing the river in a quite fun cabin. I thought I say hi in the albergue if there’s anyone I know but it wasn’t even open. So after a quick lunch and chat with two German guys I continued to Pobena.

The way out from Bilbao was hot and boring but the way from Portugalete was worse. It went along a bicycle highway and although it had a bit greener environment it was boring and the sun was burning with nothing to give shade.

I got lost a bit before Pobena so I’ve added a bit to the milage but finally arrived. I was just contemplating whether to do one more bit, for 45 minutes but then the beach and the familiar faces appearing convinced me to stay. By 16:45 I settled in the albergue after 26k.

The weather was perfect and it wasn’t too late so I went to the beach.

I also finally wash a set of clothes but it didn’t dry until after dinner …