18th September, 2019
- Day 11: Santoña to Güemes
- Distance: 25km
- Weather: Overcast and mild
- Accommodation: Albergue La Cabaña del abuelo Peuto, € donation
We had a room for the five of us again last night, so we wake early and pack together. I don’t mind leaving in the dark when I’m walking with others, especially as the afternoons are so hot. We first pass a prison and then after Berria, take the coastal alternative to Helgueras and Noja. The coastal path takes us abruptly uphill and there’s some scrambling involved. The rocks are slippery, I wouldn’t want to do this in bad weather.
Once back down at sea-level, we celebrate with a selfie!
We walk along the beach and just before arriving in Noja, seemingly out of nowhere, the heavens open and we have to stop and don our ponchos. Arriving into Noja a little wet, we stop for breakfast and coffee. Thankfully we stay long enough for the rain to subside. There’s a weekly market in the square selling everything from fruit and veg, to clothes and I spot a pastelería in the corner. Having quite the sweet tooth, I can’t resist, and buy an apple pastry.
We walk together on and off for the rest of the day to the albergue. On arrival, we’re greeted with smiling volunteers who ask if we’re hungry. Always! We’re told to take off our packs and are ushered to a long table. Seconds later, a big bowl of chickpea soup arrives, along with bread, water and wine. What a lovely welcome. After eating, we check in, get our credentials stamped and then are shown to a large cabin with a row of single beds. We’re told there will be an evening service with Father Ernesto at 7.30pm, followed by dinner.
Between doing Camino chores and the evening welcome meeting, I have time for a snooze on the lovely green lawn. There’s 101 people here tonight and I only recognise about 10! Father Ernesto speaks to everyone briefly and a lady translates. He has certainly had an interesting life.
Dinner is chicken noodle soup, followed by pasta and yoghurt and I’m sat between Oscar (from Spain) and Linda, and opposite Daniel from America. I feel incredibly welcome and am grateful for the hospitality.