Cantabrian Sea Nature Trail Ruta Natural del Cantábrico Spain Sticky

Day 21: San Andres de Teixdo to Valdovino

For the very last time on this trip, I’m writing this waiting for my clothes to be washed and dried. It’s ca. 6pm, and I haven’t even reached this evenings hotel.

Last night at the excellent Casa Rural in San Andres, I slept badly. No idea why, it was an excellent bed and it was very quiet, but I still woke many times for no apparent reason. Luckily I fell asleep again. Breakfast was also excellent – at 55€ (out of season) this is an excellent hotel and highly recommend. What I especially liked was that when you flushed the toilet, the water swirled around the toilet bowl instead of just flushing downwards. Small things 😀

The day started with a 300m climb over 1,2km. It was steep, as the picture above tries to depict, one can just see the path I am walking up.  A hard start to say the least. At the top it was decision time – walk along the road inland, the shortest option, or around the coast, significantly longer. As today was otherwise only road walking I chose the coast. It was a nice walk, the views were fine, not spectacular. I met a couple walking in the opposite direction, a rare thing meeting other walkers, even one day walkers like these. The lady told me to be careful walking alone.

I came to a point where, if I continued along the coast I would need to climb further up. Therefore I decided to take some small country roads into the first town Cedeira.

My trip along the coast added 3km to today’s planned 30km, plus a smaller detour around yet another herd of cows on the path. If I had been smarter, instead of walking the small roads, there was a path through the forest that wasn’t much longer than the backroads I took, but I didn’t notice it, so I followed the road into Cedeira.

In Cedeira, I stopped for coffee. I also visited the local supermarket and bought a tray of strawberries and a bottle of Aquarius, similar to my favourite drink when in Japan, Pocari Sweat – that supposedly replaces the minerals lost when doing physical activity. I have been a bit drained for the past 2-3 days, perhaps not surprising after ca. 600kms, so I hope it helps.

Pretty much the rest of the day was walking along roads, initially around the Porto do Cabo estuary and then along the coast. Road walking with views of eucalyptus trees, and occasional views of the mud flats of the estuary is pretty monotonous, hard on the feet and noisy when it is a fairly busy road. I put on my headphones, found Coldplay on Spotify and sang along to their greatest hits.

Just before reaching the coast I stopped for something cold to drink. Past the estuary I again walked along the coast, 70-80m above the coast with views of the rugged coastline. I continued on towards Valdovino, a hipped windsurfer destination, with a lagoon, and there were many people taking advantage of the beautiful weather.

I still had another 3-4kms to the hotel, which was outside Valdovino, chosen because it is on the trail, but not super practical if I wanted to eat in the town. I also needed to do washing, and therefore I decided to stop off on the way to the hotel and wash my clothes for a last time. I only have two more legs to walk, but all my clothes are dirty. What I didn’t realise was that the center of town was uphill from the coast, and after 30 or so kilometers, it was hard work  So here I sit, waiting for the dryer to do its stuff without shrinking my merino wool socks.

Fast forward 2,5 hours and I’m sitting outside the local sports club, its bar is the only place open close to the hotel. It’s 23 degrees at 9.30pm. I just finished an excellent burger without mayonnaise and ketchup spread out over everything and with excellent bread. The downside is that I have had to eat it to the sounds of the local Sumba club training to very loud music. After 36kms with over 1000m in elevation, I’m happy to be sitting in the sun and resting my feet.

Weather wise it has been a fabulous day, windy in the morning but blue skies much of the day. Finally the weather I’d hoped for, has arrived – and I only have two stages left.

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