Camino del Norte: Day 19, Soto de Luina to Ribadeo

Our first total rest day! We only walked 9 kilometers the whole day and our bodies, feet, and minds are thanking us. It was also nice to know that while we were on the train this morning, it was gloomy and rainy out, all the more reason to not be hiking. The longer we spend in Europe the more I realize how terrible public transit is in the US, and how much I love taking the train. I don’t know what it is about sitting back and chugging through tunnels along the tracks, but I love it!

We leisurely got up this morning, many people were already gone from the Albergue. It was interesting to see a different side of the camino in this way. Usually we are the first people up and out in the morning, already on the trail before most people have opened their eyes. But we took our time this morning, slept in, and slowly packed our bags. We were almost the last people to leave. It was interesting watching how long people take to get ready. Some even have full sit down breakfasts, or go to the cafe for coffee. Who knew! We indulged, and stopped by the bakery in town for cookies and bread before taking one of two short walks of the day. Just to the train station.

Since we were in a rural town, there was no ticket office, just two tracks and a sign. We were trying to figure out which side of the tracks the train was going to pick us up on to avoid having to run around to the other side. This was a good thirty minute debate and after arguing for a while we came to terms with which side made the most sense, and we (I) was right! The train was made up of just two cars, the seats were much more luxurious than I imagined and it was very quiet inside. Few local people got on and off, we saw quite a few pilgrims though.

Once we got to our stop we looked for a ticket office or some place to pay for our ride, but still could not find anything anywhere. We got a long free ride on the train, I guess. A bit odd, but at least we tried to pay. 

The town of Ribadeo is a touristy coastal town, the last bit of coast we will get on the Camino before turning inland to Santiago. There are lots of cute shops, bakeries, cafes, and restaurants right where our accommodation for the night was located. We got lucky and found a nice hotel in the center of town for 35 euros. After eating lunch of tuna on bread in the park, we went to go check into the hotel. The lady at the desk spoke absolutely no English, and we told her we didn’t understand Spanish, in Spanish, but she continued to speak Spanish extremely fast to us. We even tried to use Google Translate, which usually works, but she wasn’t getting it. Eventually, we got checked in and it was all laughs between us and her trying to get over the language barrier. 

After that whole ordeal we relaxed in our room, got a warm shower (yesterday’s was very cold), and went to the local bakery of course. We got an apple pastry that tasted just like apple pie. Amazing! A bottle of wine, some chats about the rest of our hike and staying off our feet was the rest of our afternoon. 

Since this is our indulging day we went out to dinner. There is a place just across the street from our hotel that looked like it had a decent menu with prices we could afford. All of the restaurants around here have pictures of octopus and squids so we thought we should probably try some. As I mentioned previously, most places in Spain take a seista and then open later, so we had to wait until 8 for dinner. It wasn’t too big of deal since we had been taking it easy all day anyways. We ordered Chorizo and potatoes, fried calamari, and flan. Everything was delicious. The restaurant must be popular because by the time we left all the tables were full, and we could definitely understand why.

Hopefully now we are recharged and ready for the last push of our Camino!

Today’s Stats:
Number of km: 9 (walked), 80km (train)
Percent paved trail- 9km
Percent unpaved trail- 0km
Difficulty- Easy
Cities passed through: Novellana, Santa Marina, Cavavedo, Canero, Barcia, Luarca, Pinera, La Caridad, Figueras

Albergue- Hotel Mediante, blanket, pillows, outdoor space, hot showers, TV, mini fridge, heater and wifi

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