Camino del Notre: Day 18, Deva to Soto de Luina

Throughout the Camino we have been told that is your Camino. Don’t chase guidebooks, other people, bloggers, anything. The best way to do it, is your way. So today we had a long talk about what our Camino should look like as we have been in kind of a slump. We have been a little bored, the scenery hasn’t been as amazing as the beginning, the walk is mostly on pavement, and we’ve had little to look forward to at the end of the day other than a bed (or hoping one was available).

Now I don’t mean to make the Camino sound drab. It is really great! We have a lot of time to think, chat, listen, and just disconnect. But for us, there’s about a good 20 days of that in us at one time. After that we need something a little more entertaining then wake-up, hike, eat, sleep, do it all over again. When we were on the train this morning we thought about how beautiful this country is, especially the northern coast, which we’ve already hiked over 500 kilometers of! There are so many cute little beach towns, bakeries, and so on. However, if we are spending our time abroad bored, we are in control of our destiny and our camino and it’s time to make a change. 

We are still going to see this thing through, but a modified version. We are going to take one more train to make up a little ground before hiking the rest of the way to Santiago. Tomorrow is going to be considered our one and only total rest day. Starting with taking a train a few towns down, getting a cheap hotel, and eating churros. Very little walking, and boy am I excited! Scott and I are both hoping it’s the reboot we need to finish up the last little bit of this walk. We are intending to be in Santiago early next week. 

Anyways, after that back and forth discussion about what we should do we felt a little more satisfied with our use of time. After our 7 kilometer warm-up walk and the train, we were supposed to have 16 kilometers of rolling hills to bring us to our destination. Well, I shouldn’t have been surprised when it wasn’t rolling hills. It was steep up and down all the rest of the way which really made me pro-train for tomorrow! (Also we are staying at a hotel surrounded by bakeries, so that helps). 

With our little train boost we also caught up to some friends that we made the first day of our Camino. A french couple who has been hiking for over 60 days. They set off from their home in the french alps and are probably going to make it to Santiago the same time as us (I doubt they’ve used the train). They’re an older couple who moves so quickly, we don’t understand it. Our legs are much longer and we still can’t keep up. But, it’s been really nice to catch up with them at our Albergue for the night.

Tonight’s Albergue is a municipal one that looks like an old church or school house. There’s a whole new group of people here. We made friends with a Japanese man while cooking over the two hot plates in the whole place. He was making fried rice, so that’s what first peaked our interest. One of the most interesting things about the Camino is the people, everyone has their own story. This man is from Japan, teaching Japanese in Thailand currently. He told us it snowed a few days ago where he was hiking in Spain (made us thankful we weren’t where he was) and that it snows 2 meters in his home town in the winter. He has done 8 Caminos and told us his favorite one is one we have never heard of, starting in the south west of Spain and working across the country to the north east.

Before all that though, we headed to the cafe in town and got beer and wine and probably the most delicious hamburger we’ve ever had. I think it may have been especially amazing since we haven’t had proper warm protein in a while… but regardless it was so good. We were really treating ourselves today so we also got ice cream at the grocery store and some ingredients for pasta with meat sauce for dinner. It was exactly what we needed!

We get to sleep in tomorrow since we are taking the train and it doesn’t come until a bit later. Plus we are going to check out the local bakery on the way out of here. Overall, I have a feeling tomorrow is going to be a very good day.

Today’s Stats:
Number of km: 24.2km (hiked), 47km (train)
Percent paved trail- 24.2km
Percent unpaved trail- 0km
Difficulty- Medium Plus (like Sabai’s spiciness levels)
Cities passed through: Trasona, Aviles, Salinas, El Pito, El Rellayo

 Albergue- Municipal Soto de Luina, blanket, pillows, full kitchen, common space, outdoor space, clothes lines, COLD showers, wash area, lockers, and wifi

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