Say a little prayer for me… (Burt Bacharach)

Day Six- Castro-Urdiales to Laredo 33km.

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We knew that this was going to be a mammoth day, and it certainly delivered. I’m well and truly exhausted. Luckily, our bed for the night is attached to the monastery,  so we pray for our souls at the pilgrim mass tonight.

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This is tonight's church.

Before then, a short story.

The Story of the Sticks.
Before we left for this Camino, Michael trained long and hard but couldn’t get use to my absolutely necessary,  wonderful, walking sticks.

“I don’t need them. I’ll be fine without them”, he scoffed.

Then he started to notice that on this walk, I was striding more comfortably,  up and down hills than he would, which both surprised him and eroded his ego a little. Maybe he should get some sticks after all.

So yesterday afternoon,  whilst watching Spanish TV , an add appeared saying that there was a sale on walking sticks. Of course,  we had to watch some more TV for the add to reappear, so we could find out where to buy them. Armed with the name, a map and determination,  we walked the streets of Castro-Urdiales to find the local Lidl store one kilometre away. Just like an Aldi, we strode in to find out that the Sale was to start tomorrow.  More walking later, this time to the Tourist Office who offered the suggestion of one shop that was essentially around the corner from our Pensiòn. 

Hallelujah,  he is confidently striding along and now zooms up the hills.

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Back to today’s hike.

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As we were staying in the old town of  Castro-Urdiales (which by the way, we loved. Promenading with the locals at twilight was a delight); and the Albergue de Perigrinos was 3km out of town,  we knew that we were going to be behind everyone all day. So, we again set off in the dark, using our poles like the blind before sunrise. Thinking that we could cover the ten kilometres to Islares fairly quickly, we aimed our coffee hit to strike here. Unfortunately (and becoming a regular event), nothing was open. So onwards we went.

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We walked uphill, with heads down and dripping with sweat, for just over 30min. A killer climb.

We missed the turnoff for the shortcut. So after a few colourful words from Michael, we counted our blessings and our new poles, that we were able to climb the gigantic hill through the eucalyptus forest before descending into Liendo for lunch. Unfortunately I had another tumble. This time rolling my foot on an acorn and kissing the cow-paddied pavement with my chest. Unbelievably, not cracking my water bottle that is hanging off my chest, or braking my camera, that I watched slide down in front of me. A little skin off my undamaged knee, and a little shaken, but at least able to walk the next two kilometres to the washbasin in Liendo.

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Walking into this sleepy seaside town of Laredo is like walking back in time.

With the last six kilometres looming, we limped into Laredo, tender and exhausted.  Thirty-three kilometres in eight and a half hours, is the longest stage I have done in any Camino. We walked beside the sea cliffs;  along a stretch of highway;  beside many farms with cows and sheep; through quiet country towns and eucalyptus forests; then back to the beach. The weather wavered between threatening rain, fog, sunshine, then lastly beating against a breeze into Laredo. 

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The gate into our Albergue. Notice our washing hanging out the window, high above.

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The vast beach in Larado.

Again we walked alone, only spying one couple well into the distance, yet like a mirage, never seeing them again. Lucky we have each other, even though Michael is much faster than me now!

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Michael's feet, well in the distance.

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13 thoughts on “Say a little prayer for me… (Burt Bacharach)

  1. I AM praying for you both-safety. I’m pleased your tumble had minimal trauma. Gosh we have been talking about this 30 km day for ages. You have conquered it!!! Yippee !! Congrats on converting Michael to walking sticks. I bet you had a proud moment. At least he had them for the BIG day. Xx

  2. I say a prayer for you both every day … Hope you are OK after your fall . All well here.. Long weekend this weekend… Beautiful weather forecast ..Take care love Mum​

  3. Too hard, too hard. Slow down and do a Fran and Denis. Take 4 school holidays instead of two. OMG I don’t know how you are doing it. Beautiful but…..

    • Hi Elizabeth,
      Yes it was an almighty day yesterday, and you won’t like it that we are doing another 30km day today, but there really isn’t a great deal of accommodation between these stages. We were lucky to have a couple of short days before this day, so all isn’t too exhausting yet. We only have another few days before Chloe gets here and we would like to get to Santander de la mer as it sounds like such a pretty little town.
      It is as you say, a different Camino experience this time xxxx

  4. WOW – you guys are sensational!!!! So glad that you did not badly injure yourself too much in your fall Michelle. Not sure how much longer you are walking but you are doing great. Songs and reports are the best.
    Will be looking forward to seeing you when you come home to hear about all of your adventures!!!
    Stay safe.
    Disii, Greg and Michael xxx

  5. Hope you are ok after the fall 😞 what a day & a half with walking-you guys would have been exhausted!!!!(& you’d still be waiting for me to get up that hill!!).

    Gotta love the sticks-respect the sticks 😉
    Loving the journey 😘😘

    • You KNOW I love my sticks.

      Also we found out last night that another pilgrim had a stumble on that leg and another couple ended up calling an ambulance for him as he was gushing blood from a head wound! It’s hilly here on the Norte although we have been told that it will flatten out for a few days, which indeed it did today.

  6. So pleased that Michael has the tools to move safely forward Chelle.. You are definitely his rock though.. Lucky him!!!
    Love youxxx

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