Camino del Norte: Day 13, Comillas to La Franca

We started off this morning well rested and not in a rush. A good change of pace. Scott and I both downloaded some podcasts and TED talks to fend off the boredom of a long hiking day which turned out to be very helpful. The only unfortunate thing about this morning is when we started to walk, it also started to rain. Which for me also meant, no more wearing chacos!

Because we were starting later in the day then we usually do, there were a lot more pilgrims out on the trail at the same time as us. We came across the biggest group we had seen since we started, probably 15 people hiking together. As we were getting passed by a few of them we saw a familiar face! Su, the Korean man who we hadn’t seen in a few days, came walking up beside us. He was so happy to see us, shook our hands, asked how we were doing, and of course asked how our good friend Luis was. It was just the boost we needed to get through the day. 

After that we were on a roll. Most of the path was on pavement, but it followed the ocean almost the whole way which was beautiful. The rain let up a bit so it was only lightly misting. The first part of the walk we went through a Nature Park with marshes, ponds, and lots of birds. Then we took a short cut and walked along the beach next to the waves for a few kilometers while others trudged up and down hills on the highway. At the end of the beach we sat on a bench looking out at the waves and ate breakfast. The surf was good, so we watched the locals while we enjoyed our fruit and yogurt.

As we continued on, we started a podcast on food (my choice of course). It was actually very interesting and kept us engaged while hiking. The podcast was about sugar alternatives and taking down big sugar, as well as the politics behind the FDA. To not have to think about one foot in front of the other for 8 hours is a godsend. We also played a new game where we listened to a song from a new album and then guessed what the name of the song was after it played. I think we tied, Scott will say differently. 

We reached the town of Colombres, where we thought we were going to spend the night but we were feeling good and decided to check our guide book to see if there was a town relatively close that we could push to. It turns out, La Franca was only 3km away and had the best reviewed Albergue we have seen on this trip. There wasn’t a grocery store in La Franca so we grabbed a few things in Colombres and continued on. 

When we arrived to Albergue Triskel we were instantly delighted. The building looked brand new and the owner greeted us as soon as we were at the gate. She brought us tea and desserts to eat while we got settled and then she checked us in. Not only did we have a place to stay, but she also makes dinner and breakfast for us. I was pleased enough being greeted with hot tea after a cold rainy walk, but this place continues to amaze. 

The facilities are spotless, brand new, and well kept. She provides everything you could need, fridge, microwave, large bathrooms with extra toiletries, comfy beds with extra blankets, and the place smells so good. Even the decorations are perfect, simple, and modern. 

We are about to sit down to dinner, we aren’t quite sure what we agreed to. It sounded something like spaghetti, so we shall see. I think we are about to have a third night of quiet good sleep and I couldn’t be more excited!

Today’s Stats:

Number of km: 32.1km
Percent paved trail- 29.9km
Percent unpaved trail- 2.2km
Difficulty- Easy
Cities passed through: Oyambre, San Vicente de la Barquera, Serdio, Munorrodero, Pesues, Unquera, Colombres
Albergue- Triskel Albergue, blankets, pillows, common space, outdoor space, dining table, hot showers, washer and dryer, breakfast, and dinner included, coffee and tea, lockers, and wifi

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