Dave and I were feeling upbeat about the beautiful 22.4 km hike down from the Cantabrian mountains, but later the day took a downward turn. Dave got painful leg cramps that lasted well into the night. Dehydration? Lack of potassium? Solution? Maybe drink water and eat bananas. Thankfully, all is good again, so it’s time to catch up on the blog. 😊
Before we set off from Albergue Cascoxu yesterday morning, our hospitalero (Pablo) described two routes from Llanos de Someron: a more strenuous and scenic mountain route or an easier route via a quiet road before heading back up the mountain on a trail. We chose the easier route while Tania and Javier took the mountain route. We set off together, prepared for wet weather.
Javier, Tania, and us
It was a “poncho on poncho off” sort of day. Dave and I devised a good system of helping each other with the on/off thing so we don’t have to take off our backpacks. We think ponchos are more convenient than jackets and pack covers for that reason.
The rain was long overdue and refreshing. With it came a pungent, earthy scent and that of herbs, most notably mint. It must grow wild here. Another thing they have is stinging nettle which I found out about the hard way by brushing up against it on a narrow path. 🤕 The sting was short-lived, thankfully.
Our route took us past interesting old structures: the Capilla del Hospital Peregrinos de San Bartolome (1588), the San Miguel ermita, and the beautiful ninth century Santa Cristina de Lena.
We arrived in Pola de Lena and checked into Hotel la Payareta where we had a very nice private room with bath and breakfast for only €36. When Dave ended up suffering from leg cramps that night, we were especially glad to have a room of our own.
Our accommodation tonight is quite different. We have separate rooms, each with its own bathroom! We are across the hall from each other at the university residence in Mieres.
Residencia Univeritaria del Campus de Mieres
This is Day 6 and we are getting into the Camino groove. We’ll have loads of photos to remember it all by, but it isn’t the same as being here right now with all senses stimulated. We can never return to this time and place, just like it isn’t possible to dip your toe into the same river twice. It changes and so do we. I want to capture each and every moment of this Camino as much as possible so as to keep the memories alive.
Rewinding to Day 4 when we walked backward on the Camino to see the view we’d missed by taking a taxi… Standing there on the hill, Dave said he is satisfied. He has finally seen the view that made him want to hike the Camino de San Salvador in the first place. What a highlight that was!!!
Puerto de Pajares