Day 23 – Sebrayo to Gijon

In the crowded Albergue of Sebrayo we awoke with the alarms of others. I had slept poorly due to caffeine the night before, but upon awakening, we decided to depart. We got on the road at around 7. As we walked through this country village, we got turned around, and lost the arrows. A kind man saw us, and asked us if we were walking the Camino, and told us what we knew, “you are not on the right path,” but told us how to reconnect to the Way. Thankfully the words of Spanish he spoke we caught, that we would walk up this lane, through pastures, turn left, and then continue straight (always straight) until the road makes a T from there we will see the arrows. It was the most beautiful morning. It was this quiet, wonderful walk.

This day we walked 35 km again. Grace and I had had several conversations about my planned route, my desire to finish on the 22nd of September and the fact that with my legs and feet hurting, that I needed to space that out a bit and bus a couple stages. We talked about how to do that.

On this day, it was hard going sometimes but overall my feet and legs did well. We began to talk about the options.  We both wanted to make Gijon proper and not stop at the campground (the official Albergue) 6 km from Gijon. We wanted to get the early bus from Gijon for Aviles tomorrow and begin walking from there. This was to avoid the mostly industrial miles of walking through Gijon. The guide even suggested this.

We climbed a great steep hill and then a steep descent getting to the only bar located in a small town and there enjoyed beer and this amazing sandwich and olives.

The reality was we needed to just “keep going!”

We hiked up over another rise and then down again and en route talked with Omar a man from Puerto Rico. Learned some passionately told history of his country.

We walked to the camp store at the albergue and there was Max, whom I had previously met, from Germany and a handsome, tall, suave Spaniard from Madrid. We stayed and chatted with them. I got water. I asked if the host could call for a taxi for us.  She gladly obliged and it would be there in about 5 minutes she told me.

I talked with Max asking if he could phone for a hotel for us with his cell and but no he couldn’t as he had no service. Then Max asked the guy from Madrid. This man called two places for us and found us a room. The guys, joined by Thomas from Germany, tried to convince us to just stay there — which was tempting.  But Grace and I had mapped our route.  They ribbed us for doing getting a taxi, shouting after us, “Not real pilgrims!” And Grace joked, “Dad, why would I want to rush away, I was the star attraction for three handsome men!”

The taxi ride was great. It felt like such luxury to not be walking, and somewhat incredible to see the landscape zip passed us.  The taxi cost 15 euros. He dropped us on the street where our hotel sat, which was just one block from this wide, beautiful beach.

Our clean, sparse room for 30 euros, had five single beds in it, for just the two of us.

It was beautiful weather.

I showered and washed my clothes out and hung them up on our balcony, then we went to the beach. As I was jumping and playing in the waves, I pulled the calf muscle in my left leg again, and pain shot through me.  I felt so frustrated.  I said, “Jesus what are you teaching me?”

I limped to shore and then needed to take it easy. Grace left me at the beach cafe nursing a drink while she went back to get jackets for us. Then, we walked slowly to a store, bought some wine, cheese, bread, vegetables, fruit and chocolate danishes and had this incredible beach picnic, sitting on the sea wall, overlooking the bay. It was a stellar evening.  

Later that night, back in the room, I slept fitfully from the wine and cheese combination in my system.  Perhaps you are reading this thinking, “This man is a seriously slow learner!”  True, very true.

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