Day 3- Villaviciosa to Gijon (bus)
Gijon to Salinas (another bus)
Salinas to Muros De Nalòn- 17km
We covered a lot of distance today in the hope of gaining three days in time. You see we have to arrive in Santiago de Compostella by the 2nd of April to meet our daughter. This gives us just 11 stages to complete. So after hours of studying and pouring over the guide book, we determined that this section of the Camino was the best to skip due to the high urbanization and industrialization of the twin cities of Gijon and Aviles. All was confirmed by gazing out of the bus window as we sped past many a factory smokestack.
We did have an enjoyable few hours playing tourist in Gijon (pronounced Hee-hon for those wondering at home). A place that would be stunning in the Summer, appeared more medieval in today’s wintery conditions. This however added to the atmosphere of the old town, the Cimadevilla, where the Church of San Pedro sits before the underground Roman Baths that date back to the first century AD.
So far (sadly), we have driven more than walked on this our walking holiday- 78km verses 67km. Aghast! From now on we are determined to go forward on our own steam. To prove this point we decided to walk the last 17km into tonight’s stay even if it meant that we didn’t actually start walking until noon, which is a very late start for us. Again we had to walk a bit further by following the bike route part of the Way due to the still sodden ground in some parts. Finishing around 4.30pm, tired and completely exhausted, we felt satisfied to have achieved this offering to St James.
Tonight we are staying in Albergue Casa Carmen with one other Spanish pilgrim, David, who seems to average 35km days! The albergue only reopened for the season yesterday and is run by a beautiful elderly lady who has said many times that she cannot learn English even though she has tried many times. So together we have managed to communicate with our warbled Spanglish and much giggling. I find that’s the best way to converse anyway.