16th September, 2019
- Day 9: Ontón to Rioseco
- Distance: 23km
- Weather: Initially overcast then sunny and hot
- Accommodation: Posada Fernanda, €32 for a private room with ensuite and breakfast
We wake up at the previously agreed time of 6am and as it’s just the five of us in a separate room, we can turn the light on and pack without waking the other pilgrims. We have breakfast at the albergue, then head into the dark with our headlamps on. It’s a good idea to leave early as the first 4.6km follows the N-634 and there are no cars yet.
The five of us stop in Castro-Urdiales for coffee. We talk about where to stay and decide that Islares, where there’s an albergue, is too close, and the one after that, too far. We decide to head to a pension in Rioseco, making this a 23km stage. We book three rooms and while I’m looking forward to having my own, I’m even more excited about having a big bath towel (the one I’m carrying is the size of a tea-towel!)
We arrive at the pension and ask the owner where we can wash our clothes. He asks how much we have and we all point to the clothes we’re wearing. He hands us individual garbage bags and kindly offers to wash them for us. (Actually he says his wife will wash them!) The bath towel is big, white, fluffy, and perfect!
We rendezvous a bit later and head to the nearby Dia supermarket to buy supplies for dinner; there’s no restaurant or bar in the vicinity. We come back with two empanadas, salad, hummus, quinoa, a baguette and two bottles of wine. I have a really wonderful evening with fantastic company.