Camino del Norte 2018 – Day 19

Camino del Norte

Day 19

Sept 21

Hola all,
More of the same…our group is shrinking as we break off onto separate paths. Some stayed with the Camino Norte, some have used up their holiday time and must return to whatever is their real life. A few of us have turned away from the coast to follow the Camino Primitivo route to Santiago. There were sad farewells but also the prospect of new faces on the same path as we walk toward the mountains. 

Yesterday we entered the city of Oviedo, the Capital of Asturia. Oviedo is a city of over 200,000 located some 25km inland of the port city of Gijon. It was a short day for us with less than 20 km walked. We arrived at the Cathedral in the town plaza to see a huge sound stage being completed plus a wandering New Orleans jazz band called the ‘Kinfolk’ blasting their trumpets, trombones and tuba as they paraded around the old town. We sat and watched from one of the many cafes surrounding the plaza. We wandered over to the nearby municipal Albergue arriving around 2:00 for the 4:00pm opening. I stayed with the backpacks as Donna and others went exploring and shopping. The albergue is an old hospital or some such grand old edifice… many rooms, great washroom and shower facilities, a washing machine, kitchen and space to congregate. 

We took advantage of the big town to shop for new socks and more snack food for the coming days. My feet are much improved as the blisters heel and after 16 days of walking we are getting accustomed to the pace. 
Our intention was to have a rest day in Oviedo, some decided to press on. It turns out that this week is the Festival of San Mateo in Oviedo which explains the stage and music in front of the Cathedral. Our albergue had a 10:00 pm curfew so we were all settled in when at midnight a huge fireworks display commenced… very loud, very long and very close to our beds. We watched from the windows but could not see it all. Today is a holiday so the town is largely closed. We had already decided to keep going so today we departed around 9:00 and walked just 10 km to a small place with a converted school and 5€ beds..clean and comfortable. We are now 4… our Danish guy and the violin playing Dutch girl. We left our Korean friend behind and a few others pressed on for a longer day today…we may catch up with them somewhere ahead as we decided that these short rest days leave us with too much free time…we may as well be walking. Weather is overcast and cool …perfect for walking. 

There are still pilgrims along the path, we share tonight with a young girl from Mexico City, an older couple from France, a couple from Spain and a few others. Some are just starting to walk, doing the Primitivo route from Oviedo. 
All is well with us here. 


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