Camino del Norte Norte Cantábrico Gallega Ingles Spain

Day 11: Cudillero to Cadaveau

The weather was back to its beautiful best, sunny, some clouds and temperatures around 15 degrees, perfect for one of the most strenuous days with 34km and over 1000m in elevation.

I left Cudillero in the peace and quiet of a Sunday morning, next to nobody around. Very different than when I’d gone to bed last night, where the bars and restaurants were full. I started with a steep climb before even reaching the Camino path as yesterday’s destination, Cudillero, was a couple of kilometers off the path.

Today was a day of many climbs, 10 in all, so it was really a matter of up-down-repeat. It was beautiful countryside, at times the rolling hills reminding me of Switzerland. I met the German guy who I have spoken to a couple of times. He was watching a man practicing his golf driving skills, driving from his garden into an adjacent field with long grass. I wonder how he found the golf balls again. We talked for a few minutes about yesterday’s rain (he took the wise decision and ended up taking a taxi some of the way) before I moved on. Whilst he is a quick walker he likes to walk alone.

First stop today was in Soto de Luina after ca. 12kms, where I took the customary coffee, cola and piece of sand cake. A French family with a dog were sitting outside with a lady from Czech Republic. The French family of three take it in turns to walk, 2 walk, the third drives and sometimes the dog is driven, sometimes walks.

Just outside Soto de Luina, the Camino splits into two tracks, one up in the mountains (official Camino) whilst the other track goes along the coast. Most take the coast, which was also the path I was going to follow.

I spoke with the Czech lady, Katherine, before she set off from the bar. I caught up with her going up today’s third hill and we walked together for the rest of the day and talked about all sorts.

Following the massive downpour yesterday, the paths were fairly wet, and one needed to tread carefully. Often when we reached the bottom of a decline there was a stream of water. We adjusted the up-down-repeat to up-down-river-repeat. At one point the river was too deep to step over, so we had to decide whether to take a chance stepping on stones or take our shoes off and wade through. We did the latter. Just as Katherine was walking through, the German guy turned up and elegantly stepped from stone to stone to get across. The family with the dog arrived just as we were leaving and the dog went straight through, but the French couple had the same debate as we had.

We went through the same scenario five or six times during the day, but with help of Katherine’s poles we managed to get across the others without getting wet feet. Most of the day was off the coast, with the occasional excursion down to the coast.

We arrived at Cadaveau at 4.30pm. We said our goodbyes as one never knows whether one will bump into the same people the next day. It was nice having a walking partner for the day, not least when it is somebody that walks at the same pace as I do and nice to talk to.

It was a hard stage and I could feel it on my legs. They felt stiff. There is a massive difference between walking 30+ kms in a flat terrain, and a stage as today’s, with many ups and downs.

After dropping off my stuff I walked the 500m to the coast for a spectacular view along the coast – one of the most stunning I have seen.

At the hotel I took a bath before eating the hotels pilgrims menu – I wasn’t given any choice, they just turned up with it. The food wasn’t super good.

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