Camino del Norte: Day 14, La Franca to Poo

We decided to sleep in today because we wanted to take advantage of the breakfast that was being provided in the Albergue. There was cake, pastries, tea and fruit, a great way to start our day. I have a feeling that is the best Albergue on the camino and we will have a hard time finding something that will top it.

When we started our day of hiking it was sunny but a bit cold, no sign of rain clouds though! The walk today was supposed to be in and out of the forest as well as being along the coast. Not too many hills, a perfect day of walking. We walked along the highway for the first bit of the day and then in and out of farmland and the forest until the last little bit of the day. To the right was the ocean and to the left, Picos de Europa (mountain range).

Along the coast there were some natural geysers that we passed called Bufones de Arenillas. Unfortunately, the tide was low, so we didn’t get to see any of the geysers in action, but we did get to hear the rumble of waves up against the deep rocky wells below. Shortly after that we found a bench by a stream right over an old cobblestone bridge to have “brunch.” Baguette, meat, crunchies, orange, and chocolate! Every time we go to a grocery store, we try their brand of chocolate bar, mostly because they’re usually the cheapest, but also because it is fun to compare them. So far the milk chocolate hazelnut bar from Dia is the best.

After brunch we continued hiking and got to the most beautiful view, we’ve had the whole camino. It helped that the sun was shining, the water was extra blue, and there wasn’t a soul on the beach. The view almost looked like it could be in Hawaii, it was breathtaking!

We realized that we may have gotten off track because we were captivated by the view and also listening to a podcast and happened to be going away from the town we should’ve been going toward. It was okay though because we continued to have great views, got to see a golf course at the top of a sea cliff, and we made good time back into the town.

Llanes was the big town right before the town Poo, that we were headed to. (It is pronounced Po not Poo, in case you were wondering.) Scott found a bakery in the town that was ranked 4.9 on Google, so we had to go. I may have gotten a little distracted because… I saw another churro con chocolate sign and couldn’t resist. This was even better churros and chocolate then what we had in Comillas. The chocolate was super thick (didn’t stop me from drinking it) and the churros were super light, soft on the inside and crisp on the outside. We did make it to the bakery, and we noticed the baker had a ton of trophies lining the top shelf of his otherwise unassuming bakery. It was safe to say, after eating a slice of chocolate cake, that he definitely earned each and every one of those trophies.

After picking up some groceries and having some confusion getting to our Albergue, we ended up at Albergue Llanes (actually in the town of Poo). The host was super welcoming, spoke great English, and gave us tea right when we walked in. He showed us the facilities and talked about their philosophy for this Albergue. Here they grow a lot of their own produce and farm their own chicken and eggs which they will gladly prepare for you if you’d like to pay additionally. Had we known, we wouldn’t have purchased groceries. But, they had a kitchen, so we saved money and cooked for ourselves.

Before cooking dinner, we headed to the beach, which was only 300m away. On our way out the door, the Albergue owner stopped us and redirected us to a better beach which was just as close. He said something about it being top 20 national geographic worthy as a beach. So we went! It was beautiful, not too many people, warmer water than we had at the other beaches, and it was hidden in a protected cove.

When we got back from the beach we showered and started to cook up dinner. We got sausages for a change up, some fresh pasta with red sauce, and zucchini. Here’s where things got interesting. In the grocery store I tried to use Google Translate to pick out pasta sauce. The red sauce I picked up translated to sauce, so I thought, great! Well when I opened the sauce and smelled it, I knew instantly it was not marinara, it was salsa… So instead of telling Scott, and because we didn’t have anything else, I just thought might as well put it on the pasta and see if he notices. Scott didn’t say a word about the sauce until I told him it was salsa after waiting for him to have eaten a decent amount of food. After I told him, he confirmed that he knew something was up but didn’t say anything. What a guy!  

It’s already 9pm here but just as light out with the sun shining like its 4pm, I am ready for bed though. Tomorrow we are most likely hiking 20+ miles so we’ll need all the rest we can get!
Today’s Stats:
Number of km: 23.0km
Percent paved trail- unknown
Percent unpaved trail- unknown
Difficulty- Easy
Cities passed through: Buelna, Pendueles, Vidiago, Andrin, Llanes
Albergue- Albergue Llanes, blankets, sheets, pillows, full kitchen, REAL towels, common space, outdoor space, clothes lines, hot showers, washer and dryer, café, and wifi

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