Camino del Norte Norte Cantábrico Gallega Ingles Spain

Day 5: Puertas to Nueva

A beautiful days walking in the sun, a dramatic nose bleed, inland beach and stone arch at the end of a gorge.

I’m writing this sitting on a bench in the small town of Nueva. It’s late but warm, as it has been all day.

I was on the road by 9.00 after a nice breakfast at the hotel and long chat with the owner about AirB&B, being a hotel owner when nobody comes in winter and everybody in summer and much more. From the hotel I took the most direct way to the trail, with a beautiful walk along a river, and passing under the ever present A8 motorway.

I continued along the path I ended the day on yesterday and soon reached Andrin, from where I made today’s only major climb. I was rewarded with great views along the coast in both directions and two small bays directly below.

Back on a dirt path with fantastic views towards the coast and the mountains inland, I continued towards Llanes.

And so started a mad thirty minutes. My nose started to bleed heavily, so I stopped up and tried to stop it. With paper stopping the flow I continued, only to be stopped by an alarm telling me I’d missed a turn. I walked back to see a very small path down the hill. Within 2 minutes I had tripped over a root and slid twice, one time only avoiding a fall thanks to a tree branch. When I finally reached the bottom the path disappeared and I was left scrambling through overgrown grass, broken twigs and fallen leaves. Suddenly out of nowhere a deer sprang past me giving me a massive shock. I finally made it to a road, but without any markers, I knew this hadn’t been an official path, and when I checked, it wasn’t a shortcut either. That’s the problem with AllTrails, the mapping app I use, it isn’t always accurate.

I reached the coast, passing through Llanes, a larger town with a middle aged centre and many large houses along the coast – built by returning emigrants from Mexico and Cuba. I walked along the coast, with many others. The scenery was spectacular and got better and better the further I walked. At one point the path was blocked by very large cows with horns and several young cows. I took a long curve around them, ready to run!

I took a break with a breathtaking view of the coast, before I continued passing Poo (what a great name) and following roads and paths. There was a large group of children learning to surf as I passed the beach at Rebellin.

When I reached the beach at St. Antolin, I took a detour from the official Camino route to see two local sites that were recommended by the couple I’d met yesterday. I visited the beach at Gulpiyuri, an inland beach, with no direct access to the sea. Despite no direct access, the beach is made up of white sand and salt water. Water flows from the Bay of Biscay through naturally made tunnels under the surrounding cliffs. The sea is 50-60 meters away. The water on the inland beach follows the tides and at high tide, there is no sand, only water. Luckily I was there at low tide and could see both the sand an water.

I continued 500 or so meters along the coast to the beach at Huelga. Apart from the beach there is a gorge and coastal arch. It was spectacular to see the arch and the steep sides of the gorge. There is a stairs down to the see through the gorge. Feeling brave I walked down and could really appreciate how sheer the rock sides are. There are cranes at the top of the rocks – I have no idea what purpose they have served.

Walking the 3 or so kilometers back to the Camino track, it was getting on for 3pm and I was feeling hungry. I passed a restaurant, went in and saw that there were a number of guests. I decided to take the menu, starter (macaroni with tuna and vegetables – enough to feed two people), main course (rabbit), dessert (strawberry cake), bread, coffee and 1,5 ltr of water. And all for 18€. My stomach full, and only 4km remaining mostly along roads and on a path through yet another Eucalyptus forest. I was at the hotel by five o’clock.

I walked 30kms and the diversion cost max 3kms, so more should consider it – both the beach and gorge are worth a visit. I met 6 walkers, including an injured German lady who is battling on, an Italian who spoke next to no English, two walking in the opposite direction and two who were sitting down enjoying the sun!

The hotel is very modern, and I feel a bit out of place in shorts and a t-shirt. The town is small with a couple of small supermarkets, 2-3 churches and 2-3 bars. Nice, but I really wonder what people do for a living here, it isn’t super close to anywhere.

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