Camino del Norte – Day 16 – La Franca to Celorio, 28km

  • Day 16: La Franca to Celorio
  • Distance: 28km
  • Weather: Overcast but humid
  • Accommodation: The Old Seaman B&B, €15 +€3 breakfast

I get up when the rest of my room wakes, just after 6am. I eat breakfast and then ponder whether to leave in the dark or not. I’m ready to go when I see a pilgrim I don’t recognise pass the albergue. Knowing there’s a pilgrim ahead makes me feel more comfortable about walking in the dark, so I leave. I try to guess where the pilgrim is from. Actually this is a game I play in my head every time I pass a pilgrim. I look at their backpacks (Osprey / Deuter / Vango / Lowe Alpine…), shoes and clothes and try to guess their nationality. It’s not easy and I have a very low success rate! The pilgrim ahead of me is wearing an Australian Akubra hat and has clothes swinging off his pack, but it’s too dark to see anything else. From the hat, I guess he’s Australian.

I eventually catch up to the Akubra-wearing pilgrim and meet Michael, from Germany! (Never judge a book by its cover or try to guess the pilgrim nationality!) We chat and walk together for the next 8km to a cafe in Pendueles where I meet Cyndi and Jörg again. The four of us chat and walk together on and off for the rest of the day.

A pilgrim on the Camino del Norte

Michael

A pilgrim on the Camino del Norte

Playa de Ballota, Camino del Norte

Playa de Ballota

Pilgrims on the Camino del Norte

The 16th century Hermitage of the Saint Christ of the Way (Ermita del Cristo del Camino), shortly before Llanes

The 16th century Hermitage of the Saint Christ of the Way (Ermita del Cristo del Camino), shortly before Llanes

I take a short break on a bench in the historical town of Llanes and eventually gather up the energy to go sightseeing (while still wearing my pack) around the old part of town.

Ancient buildings in Llanes which still has many remnants of its 13th century city walls

Ancient buildings in Llanes which still has many remnants of its 13th century city walls

Colourful flowers in Llanes

Colourful flowers in Llanes

A window of the adjoining building to the Church of St Mary of the Council (Iglesia de Santa María del Conceyu)

A window of the adjoining building to the Church of St Mary of the Council (Iglesia de Santa María del Conceyu)

The entrance to the 12th century Church of St Mary of the Council (Iglesia de Santa María del Conceyu)

The entrance to the 12th century Church of St Mary of the Council (Iglesia de Santa María del Conceyu)

The 13th century castle tower in Llanes

The 13th century castle tower in Llanes

Leaving Llanes, I walk through a village called Poo and get lost. The arrows in Poo are sh*t! Eventually, I find my way back to the coast and the scenery is superb.

Playa de Portiellu and a view of Castro San Martín (the island)

Playa de Portiellu and a view of Castro San Martín (the island)

Cyndi and I book a twin room at The Old Seaman B&B for the same price as a bunk in the nearby albergue. It’s terrific value and a beautiful place. I love the furnishings and can imagine staying longer. We ask the owner for a recommendation for a late lunch / early dinner and there’s one restaurant nearby that should be open.

Sharing a room with Cyndi at The Old Seaman B&B in Celorio

Sharing a room with Cyndi at The Old Seaman B&B in Celorio

I fell in love with this vase and the flower display in the dining room at The Old Seaman B&B in Celorio

I fell in love with this vase and the flower display in the dining room at The Old Seaman B&B in Celorio

We hurry to the Restaurante El Arco Celorio and arrive just in time. They have a menu del dia, but have sold out of everything except the Russian salad (starter) and beef dish for the main. So that’s what we have, with a bottle of wine and dessert.

Cyndi and I talk long into the night and I really enjoy her company. She’s given me a lot to think about and I’m inspired.

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