Monday, June 9, 2014

Day 41: Pobeña to Castro-Urdiales (13 kms, I think)

Stairs leaving Pobeña
There was nothing special about our stay in Pobeña. It is simply a waypoint on the Camino where you can get something to eat and drink, and hopefully find a bed. A note of caution to those walking prior to June, some albergues may be closed until June 1st. Pobeña, I believe, is one of them. In small towns, when the albergue is closed, your only option might be to move on by foot or bus to another town to find a bed. Careful stage planning is required to avoid those kinds of problems. We had a peaceful night, and walked onto the Camino, accompanied by the sounds of a street sweeper, and a leaf blower, at 7:30. The clean up crew was getting the beach approach tidied up for another day. We were anxious to get going so we skipped breakfast, and chugged up the stairs leading to the coastal path. This is a gorgeous, level, walk along coastal hills. Wide open sea views are the order of the day. The weather has been dry and warm. I think today topped out around 78 F. We had pilgrim company all day, as we meandered around hillsides, and eventually on the road, where we had to pound out some kilometers. The saving grace in this stage, is that the road walking shortens the day's walk by 9.7 kms, according to the guide book. Just a quick side bar, this route has, in some sections, multiple ways to get to where you want to go. The trick of it is trying to figure out the kilometers walked, or to be walked. Sometimes it is just bewildering (to me at least). We took one of those shorter routes today and followed a rather main road (N 634) from Mioño to Castro-Urdiales. The traffic was not light, but we made it. It was a pretty short day as we left at 7:30 and arrived at 11:30. The albergue is a bit further out of town, and as we are in a pension close to the center of town, we have not seen any of our fellow pilgrims since we arrived. But, we did meet two new friends on the road today. They are Alan and Janet from Toronto, Canada. As we were coming up to them Janet recognized Robin from her many photos in our blog. Janet simply exclaimed, "you must be Robin from agoodwalkunspoiled. I follow your blog." We were huffing up a hill so we talked later at a restaurant where we all stopped for coffee. It turns out they are active in the Canadian Company of Pilgrims, and have volunteered at the Confraternity of St. James albergue in Rabanal. They further said they had relieved Gene McCollough, from American Pilgrims on the Camino (APOC), at Rabanal. Gene is the APOC webmaster, and even though we have never met, we have shared many emails as the Portlandia Chapter worked through some communication issues. Both Alan and Janet spoke very highly of Gene. Small world, once again.
Path right after Pobeña
Which way does the wind blow
Castro-Urdiales in the haze
Where we started from today
Where are we staying?
Santa Marìa de la Asunciòn, and Templar fortress, now lighthouse
Looking down from the church
Cooked to order, yummm

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