Camino De Santiago - Day 8 - Gijon to Soto de Luina
- Distance 73km
- Max Elevation 178m
Camino De Santiago - Gijon to Soto de Luina Ride Profile
As we woke on Wednesday morning we thought, from the traffic sounds, that it had been raining and the shutters on our pension window didn't allow us to determine the state of the sky. We arose at about 8-30 and opened the shutters to find a clear sky and no rain. We packed our things according to a new order that we prepared especially for staying in the alberques meaning that we would only have to open two bags instead of four.
We paid our host, said our goodbyes and set off on the Camino de Santiago down the Calle San Bernard to the harbour where we picked up the designated cycle lane along the sea front. The lane continued and we were pleasantly surprised that it took us a good way out of the city. When the lane expired we stood wondering which way to go when an older cyclist spotting our predicament pointed us in the right direction. We followed his directions, but stopped within 200 meters to buy bread. He caught us up and started to reiterate his instructions in convoluted Spanish. A passer by stopped and joined in the conversation. He seemed to think we couldn't understand the other guy and that what we really wanted was food. He proceeded to tell us where we could buy good food. We looked on bemused as the two of them fought it out to give us their preferred form of advice.
Fully provisioned we set off along the Camino de Santiago again, following the cyclists directions. Leaving the town we came into an industrial area that was like something out of Gotham City. Steel works, pipes over the road, flyovers, etc. We cycled below them looking for the right road and were helped on our way by a fellow pilgrim walking along the road. We passed the industrial area and carried on along the main road towards Aviles. The road was straight and busy with gentle climbs and descents.
About 3 km further on we pulled off the main road to eat our breakfast. We had found a shop selling muesli, which with milk was very passable. We brewed up and sat and ate breakfast in the sun.
With renewed vigour we quickly completed the 18km on the N-362 coming into Aviles along the side of the river. The Camino de Santiago route was reasonably quiet and we passed a number of cyclists along the way, who all shouted their support.
Aviles had a lovely historical centre in the form of the Plaza de Espagna. We walked our bikes through the pedestrian plaza and stopped in the walled park in the town center to eat lunch. We watched the lunchtime joggers running circuits, elderly gentlemen walking and grandfathers taking their grandchildren to play on the swings. The park was bustling in the lunchtime sun as people finished work and prepared for the siesta. Afterwards we walked back into the square for coffee and use of the free wifi in the square to check our email.
After a look around the town we headed out of Avilesalong the Camino de Santiago towards our next destination, the alberque at Cudillero, (or so we thought).
Before Cudillero we decided to head down the hill to Playa de Aguilar as we still had plenty of time on our hands. We flew down the hill through pine and eucalyptus forest and as we approached the beach we were eyed by a woman walking her dog, who spoke in in English "Its good to see a British flag". We stopped and chatted to her about their difficulty in finding suitable sites for their camper-van. the road continued around the little bay along the sea wall. The Atlantic rollers were pounding the rocks and raising a mist of fine spray that clouded the area.
At the end of the bay road we found the lady's husband in their van just about to set off and look for her. We stopped him and chatted for another 5 minutes, by which time she had come along again. So we chatted for yet another five minutes. We then set off again for a steep climb out of the bay.
Half way up was a viewpoint. As we stopped to catch our breath a Spanish registered car pulled up and a young couple got out with their little girl and asked in English, where were we going. So we chatted for another 10 minutes. Waving goodbye we headed off to finish the hill and then back down into Cudillero, which we were assured was a "fun place that we would enjoy".
The town itself stretched down a steep hill to the harbour. We asked where the alberque was and were directed further down the hill. After a few minutes with no success we stopped again and asked a café owner. He said that the alberque was not actually in Cudillero at all, but in fact was in Soto de Luina some 10km further west and back up the steep hill that we had just sailed down.
Dejected and down hearted we turned around and set off back up the hill. Arriving at the top took us onto the busy main road again for several kilometers. It was not particularly arduous, but the traffic was heavy because this was a section where the new motorway was not completed so all the traffic was on the main road.
Finally we turned off and the final part of the Camino de Santiago route was an easy downhill to Soto de Luina.
We signed in to the alberque at the café in the center of the town. After settling into the alberque, we walked back into the town for something to eat. We decided against the café that only appeared to have snacks and instead walked to the end of the town to find a small bar that served food. We were amazed to find there was not only a set menu, but also a board of specials above the bar. With a combination of the phrase book and miming of the landlady we established that the choice included pig's trotters, pig's ears, tripe and liver. Surprisingly, dear readers, we went for the standard menu and had chorizo sausage, eggs and chips!
Satisfied and ready for a good night's sleep, we walked back to the alberque.
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