Camino del Norte: Day 10, Santona to Guemes

It was especially difficult to get up this morning because the German lady in our room must have been the loudest snorer I have ever heard. Almost continuously snoring through the night. I think this is the spirit of the Camino, some days you get amazing sleep, but the next is to be none. Just a way of teasing you.

Today I tried a new strategy to get moving more quickly in the morning. Instead of wearing my hiking boots I wore socks with my Chacos. I was moving double the speed that I usually do in the morning and with none of the pain. Finishing this thing on time is looking more realistic by the day! We passed through a small surf town that was having a surf competition. The walk took us up on top of a bluff looking down on the ocean where we could see the surfers, vendors, and drones being used to capture the event. Then, we got to walk along the beach again. This time it was so early that we had the whole beach to ourselves as the sun rose!

Just after the beach we stopped for breakfast and ate a ton because Scott was tired of carrying so much food. We were making good time, so I was eager to get back to the hike. It seemed to fly by, and the walking was very easy. Don’t worry I got to pet some friendly horses too. Most of the hiking was through farmland because we are turned inland for the next few days. Grassy fields, newborn calves, and beautiful custom houses.

Passing through the last town on the way to the Albergue, we started to get excited. This is supposed to be one of the gems of the Northern Camino. One of the best Albergue’s on the whole way. They didn’t make it easy to get to. It’s about 10 minutes off the regular hiking path, all uphill. When we arrived to Cabana del Abuelo Peuto, we were greeted with water and lots of warm welcomes. The facilities are really nice and there is a lot of space. It can house 100 pilgrims at one time. We were told that is owned by a family and everyone works by volunteer.

Here’s where it gets a little weird. We were given the run down of lunch at 2, dinner at 8, but at 7:30 there is a talk we must attend… A little bit suspicious, I went into the google reviews of this place. There is some controversy on where money is going at this place, and it feels a bit cultish. We were sat down for lunch and then basically watched for the whole time. It felt very odd. Luckily, some other people showed up so there was more than just Scott and me. We are trying to give the place the benefit of the doubt, but it is hard when something just seems off. As of now, more of our original squad have arrived so we are excited to see what they think. There is nothing to do here because it is away from the town. We are stuck until our “story time talk” and dinner, which is way later than Scott and I are usually awake. So, I decided to write this part of the blog before, and then will talk about the rest of the nights festivities quickly before I go to bed. It should be interesting to say the least.

Storytelling time wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. It was hard because they were trying to translate Spanish into English and the translator was difficult to understand as well. They told the story of the founder of the Albergue, and even the founder himself talked a bit. It was an interesting history of a home built over 100 years ago. The organization funds a lot of charity programs through the donations of pilgrims. Shockingly, they didn’t push the donation as much as we had thought they would. We got two meals, a place to stay, and a story to tell out of this so we donated accordingly. 

Dinner was also nice. They had plenty of bottles of wine, a starter soup, loaves of bread, and stew for the main course. It was a lovely meal shared with a lot of our friends so we are thankful for that! 

Today’s Stats:
Number of km: 23.3km
Percent paved trail- unknown
Percent unpaved trail- unknown
Difficulty- Easy
Cities passed through: Gama, Helgueras, Noja, Castillo Siete Villas, San Miguel de Meruelo, Bareyo
Albergue- Cabana del Abuelo Peuto, blankets, pillows, common space, outdoor space, clothes lines, hot showers, washer and dryer, breakfast, lunch, and dinner included, and wifi

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