Camino del Norte Norte Cantábrico Gallega Ingles Spain

Day 10: Aviles to Cudillero

There are days to remember, and days to forget. Often the days to forget are the ones you remember. I have never before been so wet when walking.

Until today, given I am on the Spanish northern coast, notorious for changing weather and rain, I’ve been lucky. On previous days it has rained but nothing too bad. Today it poured down.

I had gone to bed thinking that I would start today’s leg at 11am, as the consensus on the weather apps was that it would rain all morning and start to lessen between 11am and 12pm and stop by 2pm. As the stage would take about six hours, by starting at 11am, I would hopefully have a few hours in dry weather. When I woke at 7.15, it wasn’t raining, and the Danish app, that forecast correctly yesterday, forecast that the rain wouldn’t start before 11am. It was so, so wrong.

I washed and breakfasted quickly and left the hotel at 8.30. I took 30 steps outside the hotel before it started to rain, and continued until 2pm. I hadn’t walked one kilometer before one of my waterproofed shoes was soaked. The other lasted about an hour.

When planning the walk, I had planned to walk an alternative route along the coast today. Due to the weather I decided to take the 6km shorter official route. After leaving Aviles and taking the steep but paved descent into Salinas, I was soon walking through more eucalyptus forest and roads through deserted villages – it was too wet to go out!

I’d walked about 15 of the 27kms, when the path turned from dirt to mud, with small and large pools of water blocking the path. To make it worse the rain intensified, so I had to add my rain jacket and pants below the poncho I was already wearing and packed the camera away. There was so much water that I was happy I didn’t have to walk here later or tomorrow given how much it rained after I had passed.

Out of the mud, it was a relief to be back on roads. Passing over the Nalon river on a narrow bridge, I was less than 10km from my destination. Despite the official path leaving the main road, I stayed on it, taking a break in a bus shelter in Muros de Nalon to eat a piece of cake I had saved from breakfast. People driving past must have thought I was crazy – what’s the fun in walking in weather like this? I tend to agree with them, but I’d pre-booked a hotel, so there wasn’t a lot of choice. I arrived in Cudillero at 2pm, my feet swimming in my shoes, but at least the rain had stopped. I dare not think how long it will take my shoes to dry out.

Leaving a trail of water behind me, I checked in, took a shower and wandered around this picturesque fishing village, that reminds me of the villages in Cinque Terre. Cudillero isn’t on the official Camino route, but certainly worth a visit. Many stop in El Pito about 3kms from Cudillero and take a trip down to the coast to see the village.

As some of my clothes were soaked I decided to spend an hour at the launderette washing and drying everything before taking a walk around the upper parts of the village. I had a beer in a bar full of men enthusiastically watching woman’s Champions League football between Chelsea and Barcelona.

For dinner I ordered fish, which was brought directly from the fishmonger, who came and showed me the fish before the restaurant prepared it. There are 15 or so restaurants in the village, so it’s a great idea that they share the fish they need, instead of each buying what they think they need. It was an excellent dinner, including lessons about how to pour cider from a great height.

I didn’t see a single pilgrim today, let alone any other walker – they are probably smarter than I, and took an extra day Aviles.

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