Thursday, 9 April 2015

Oviedo to Ribadesella

David from Alicante and Lara from Bristol via a childhood in the Dordogne arrive late and another Spanish bloke making a very cosy six in the 3 bunk dormitory.

Lara is starting the Primitive Route in the morning, with camping gear and no tablet, phone, watch or other modern device. Though a rather heavy rucksack, due to camping. Free spirit, taking it slow across the mountains.

This pilgrim is taking it a little faster, by public transport.

At the train station, frequent fast trains go to Gijon for a very cheap €3.40 and once the machine is understood and operated it's 35 minutes through the mountains, past a big coal mine and into Gijon, displaying its political preferences with Carlos Marx Square. Another city is too much and a bus is going to Ribadesella, back to the coast and closer to Santander. It is very beautiful, with prices in the coffee economy to match - €1.60 for a medium con leche and the waiter has assumed my cheery "gracias" as I handed over a €2 coin, meant "and keep the change". Which assuages any feelings of guilt at sitting outside in the warm sunshine writing the blog . . . the promised internet turns out to be a pay as you go terminal . . . so posting must wait . . .

Having located the train station and the details for a scenic ride to Santander tomorrow, lunch is much friendlier and reasonable - a three course menu del dia, the bottle of wine left on the table, good wifi . . . sitting outside by the Camino, two pilgrims are in the cafe opposite . . . the albergue is 5km walk along the coast, which the ankle will manage . . .

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