Camino del Norte: Day 16, San Esteban de Leces to Villaviciosa

Waking up this morning was extremely difficult. We knew we had a very long day ahead of us and I honestly was not ready to get started. You best believe the first thing I looked up on my phone when I woke up was, “buses from San Esteban to Villaviciosa.” But today was not our day to take the bus, that’s Monday! So I sucked it up and got ready for 20 more miles in chacos.

Our breakfast spot might’ve topped our one from yesterday. We got a picnic table this time with surfers and beach to our right, and people living their best van lives to our left. It was perfect. Also to note, we had a ton of food for breakfast today because we went a little crazy at the grocery store the day before. Four bananas, four yogurts, four chocolate croissants, some peanuts, and a few crunchies. We were well fed. 

The worst part about doing two 20+ mile days in a row is that the second day you’re always moving slower and time seems to pass even slower. Not even half way to our destination did we stop for a bakery and groceries. I was not ready to hike another 10+ miles from where we took our snack break. Again, I was searching for the next bus. But we are too cheap and couldn’t wait another two hours for a bus, so on we went.

Today’s path was mostly pavement, my other enemy next to long downhill stretches of road. We had two pretty large ascends and descends today that really took it out of us. Combined with either pavement or jagged rock, we were ready to be done for the day. Scott had done some research on an albergue for the night that was 1.5km outside of town and happened to be up a giant hill. However, with Google reviews of a 4.9 we had to check it out. Boy, did we check it out… After our long climb up a hill outside of town we arrived to the albergue and it was closed. I was upset, to say it nicely, but I didn’t want Scott to feel bad so I bit my lip and we trudged on.

Some guy was trying to talk to us about a walking stick and staying in his hotel as we descending into town and I wasn’t having it. I was on a mission to get off my feet. So while Scott politely talked to to the man, I more rudely moved on in the downwards direction. My patience was thin at this point and I needed no more human contact. 

As we approached the albergue, I saw a sign. I knew we were in the right place because just a block down a store front listed, “Churros con Chocolate.” So we knew where we were headed after getting settled in and having a shower. The churros were awesome by the way, super fresh. Anyways, we checked into the half albergue/half hotel in the middle of town and it seemed nice. It had all the amenities we needed and the rooms were actually not too cramped. We saw some of the pilgrims we had met over the past few days, a few friendly faces. 

Now we are trying to stay off our feet as much as possible. We ate a delicious store bought barbacoa pizza for dinner and now that we are full we are in bed trying to map out tomorrow. It looks like it will be a little bit shorter of a day, but a big climb is in store for us. 

Today’s Stats:
Number of km: 34.5 km
Percent paved trail- unknown
Percent unpaved trail- unknown
Difficulty- Hard
Cities passed through: La Vega, Berbes, La Isla, Colunga, Pernus, Priesca, Sebrayo, Muslera

 Albergue- Albergue Villaviciosa, blanket, pillows, full kitchen, common space, outdoor space, clothes lines, hot showers, wash area, and wifi

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