Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Day 53: San Juan de Villapañada To Bodenaya (24.5 kms)

The albergue at Villapañada

We wound up with 15 pilgrims in the albergue last night. That left five beds empty. Many of us have been considering the heat and decided to get an early start today. So by 6:30 everyone was either out the door, or just about about the door. The streets were wet from last night's rain, but the sky looked promising as Robin and I slung our packs, and set out for Bodenaya. We worked our way back to the Camino, and started climbing immediately. It was a moderate climb that was made easier by the early morning coolness. We are enjoying the mountain paths, and the quiet countryside. There was a bit more climbing today, but only a few sections that were steep. We were also favored with cloudy skies that at least kept the sun off us as we sweated uphill. We were dealing with caffeine withdrawal by the time we rolled into Cornellana (about 9:30) where we found a bar open. A couple of cafe con leches later, along with a couple of croissants, the world was at peace, and were ready to push on to Salas where we would stop for lunch. We really are enjoying the variety of terrain and walking surfaces we are finding. The route itself, so far, is physically demanding, but in truth there are sections of both the Le Puy, and the Norte routes that have similar terrain. My expectations are that the terrain will challenge us with longer, steeper climbs in the days ahead. In any event, we have seen all sorts of people walking this route, so I wouldn't shy away from it if you are concerned about the terrain. Just do some good physical conditioning (as you should for any Camino) because your legs will get a workout. We made Salas at 11:30, had a quick lunch and shoved off for our final destination, the albergue at Bodenaya, where we arrived at 2:30. This albergue has a great reputation for hospitality, and so far it is living up to its reputation. Our laundry is being done, and a communal dinner is being prepared by the hospitalero. It is just a nice peaceful place, that has a great Camino vibe going for it. It also operates on a donativo basis. For now we are all sitting around drinking some wine, eating chorizo, and telling the same stories we told each other last night, as much of last night's crew is here tonight. It's a good group of folks who are fun to be with, and who are all enjoying this Camino.

Robin relaxing
View from Villapañada
Morning views
Mists that stayed close most of the day
Monestary at Cornellana
Asturian wooden shoes
Pilgrim from Tampa, Florida with a flat
Albergue at Bodenaya



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