Camino del Norte: Day 17, Villaviciosa to Deva

In the last few posts I forgot to mention a few important things! First off, we are more than two weeks on the camino. Second, we are OVER halfway to Santiago (Yay!!!). There’s been a few times that we didn’t even know if we would make it to Santiago and now it is actually attainable. We’ve mapped out our route for the rest of walk and we may even get there a little bit earlier than expected. So Scott has jumped on the opportunity to figure out where to next if we have extra time. Hopefully some beaches with a big glass of wine are in my future.

Today was meant to be a reasonably light hike kilometers wise, but terrain and difficulty were a lot worse than we expected. We also haven’t recovered from our 60+ kilometers in the last two days, so that didn’t help. This morning wasn’t that difficult to wake up. We got a decent amount of sleep and woke up a little later than usual. However, it did rain over night so the ground was slick and muddy in spots. Not the best for chacos!

After some relatively flat walking we had our first ascent. I think I’m only gonna talk about the two ascents and descents today because I can’t even remember what the rest of our walk was like. I even asked Scott if he could remember anything other than two big hills… nope. Our days have blended together so much now that if there wasn’t a spectacular view or sunshine, we can’t remember what happened over the 7 hours of hiking! The first ascent was extremely challenging. Straight up 500 meters, on pavement, surrounded by trees, with a light mist. It wasn’t very warm today so we could see our breath while struggling up the pass. 

During our climb we listened to a podcast on JellyBelly flavors. Specifically how they create those gross flavors for Harry Potter like rotten fish, boogers, and vomit. It was interesting and let us take our mind off of the walk. Then we had an awful descent that wasn’t as steep as the way up, but our feet were not pleased to be carrying our weight down the hill.

The next ascent wasn’t as bad, only half the distance up as the first, but it felt way worse. Probably because it was the end of the day, the terrain was way worse and muddy, and we just wanted to be done for the day. We made it up and down that (obviously, or else I wouldn’t be typing this) and then we had a few short kilometers to our camping destination in Deva. Scott played John Legend’s Christmas album from his phone that last hour and I sang along the whole way there.

Once we arrived in Deva, we noticed how large this camping complex was. It was like a small city. It had tons of different accommodation, little cabins, RVs, camper spots, tent spots, and large buildings with bunk beds to house pilgrims. It also had a supermarket, restaurant, pool, shower house, soccer field. Also, because it is Sunday, it is absolutely packed here. People of all ages playing soccer and tons of birthday parties.

After we showered, got settled, and plotted out the next few days we decided to try out something we had been waiting to do this whole trip. Each town that we stop in usually has something called a “pilgrim menu” a set of meal options for a fixed price for those who are hiking the camino. It usually has a starter, entree, dessert, bread, and wine. We’ve been trying to save money by cooking and some of the places we have gone to it has been rather expensive for a pilgrim meal, but tonight it was only listed at 10 euros per person so we thought we would try it.

The meal actually turned out to be really good and a great change up from what we have been eating. We got a seafood and bean soup for our starter, pork ribs and fries for our entree, and a cream cake for dessert, plus wine and bread. It was a great deal and so nice to have warm food cooked for you. Plus, it’s Sunday so no grocery stores are open, all the more of an excuse to eat out!

Tomorrow we are hiking to the next town over and then taking a train through a few towns because we were told that it is the worst scenery day on the camino and if you can, skip it. We’re looking forward to a change of transportation as well as a little boost forward!

Today’s Stats:
Number of km: 22.1 km
Percent paved trail- unknown
Percent unpaved trail- unknown
Difficulty- Hard
Cities passed through: Amandi, Peon

 Albergue- Camping Deva, pillows, common space, outdoor space, clothes lines, hot showers, wash area, pool, soccer field, café, and wifi

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