26th September, 2019
- Day 19: Amandi to Gijón
- Distance: 30km
- Weather: Sunny and hot
- Accommodation: Couchsurfing
After breakfast at the albergue, I say goodbye to Michael (he’s taking the Primitivo route) and Jörg and I continue along the Norte. There’s a chill in the air and it’s the perfect walking temperature.
It’s a day of countryside views, farm animals and hills.
After 14km, I stop in Peón at Casa Pepito for a bite to eat. There’s no tortilla or any other food on the counter, but there is a baguette menu. I order a lomo and pimiento baguette with an Americano and minutes later when it arrives, I can’t believe my eyes. It’s enormous! (I put my camera in the photo below for scale!) I look up at the waiter with astonishment and he clearly understands my shock but shrugs his shoulders and walks away. ‘No problem,’ I think to myself, ‘soon enough a pilgrim will walk in and I’ll be able to share it.’ I cut a quarter off and start eating, keeping an eye on the door for the pilgrim who’ll be sharing my baguette… it’s like a ghost town.
Only when I’m almost finished eating a second quarter a pilgrim finally walks in. I’m fairly confident he’s a pilgrim, even though he’s not wearing a backpack, the giveaway signs are the sweaty back and defined calves. I go up to him at the bar, ask if he speaks English (no), then point to the half-eaten baguette with a few gestures added in. Daniele from Italy accepts my offer and laps up the second half.
There’s no albergue in Gijón so I contacted someone through couchsurfing last night and they’ve accepted me 🙂 They’re at work until 4pm so I take my time walking along the esplanade. Who knew there was this incredible beach in Gijón?
Just after 4pm I find my way to the couchsurfing host’s home. He’s a local Spanish man and has also walked the Camino so the conversation flows easily. We chat all afternoon and into the evening. I have my own bedroom, my clothes have been washed and I’m again feeling grateful and fortunate to be having this experience.