Distance Today: 13.4 km
Total Distance from Oviedo: 158.9 km.
Elevation Gain: 654 metres
Weather: Sunny with cloudy periods; cool
Highlight: Highway walking, scenic footpaths, and Castro
When we left the Hotel Las Grandas this morning and hiked up the road en route to Grandas de Salime 5.8 km away, we had the best view of our hotel perched on the cliff and of the abandoned buildings used during the construction of the dam in the early 50s.
There wasn’t a lot of traffic on the road, but we still didn’t feel safe with the road snug against the cliff on the right side and the guardrail and steep drop off on the left. Because of the many blind corners, Dave and I walked on whichever side seemed the safest, crossing from side to side as we went.
As we plodded up the road, Dave shared with me the song that was playing over and over in his head. It was that kids’ song: “The more we get together, together, together, the more we get together the happier we’ll be; ’cause your friends are my friends and my friends are your friends…”
The tempo of the song matched perfectly the rhythm of our boots on the pavement until the Camino led us up a steep trail away from the road. The song continued but the tempo slowed down – similar to what would happen when the speed of one of those old record players was switched from 45 rpm to 33.3 rpm during the playing of a record. (This might be something only some of us older folks can relate to!) The slower, lower version of the cheery song stayed with us until breakfast in Grandas de Salime.
After breakfast we continued uphill and away from Grandas onto mainly footpaths all the way to Castro (4.9 km).
We intended to stay at the delightful, highly recommended albergue in Castro but the hospitalera had no record of my email confirming our reservation which I had sent from Oviedo. We were disappointed but she kindly phoned the owner of the little Hotel de San Martin in the same village. Lucky for us, there was a vacancy, because there was no other option in Castro. We now have a very nice private room with bath (40 Euros) in one of those old stone buildings with a slate roof.
After getting settled in at the hotel, we walked back to the albergue where there is a small cabana and pretty back yard set up with tables and chairs. We had a delicious, healthy lunch there and returned later for dinner.
There is a well-preserved prehistoric settlement in Castro where excavations have been taking place since 1990. The Chao Samartin fort was originally established as a fortified settlement towards the end of the Bronze Age some 3000 years ago. From the museum it is possible to see the location of the archeological dig.
It might have been interesting to return to the museum at 5:30 PM where we could have been taken of a tour of the dig for 2.5 Euros for seniors.