Thursday, June 09, 2016

The Coastal Camino Day 5:

Another delightful day, until the last hour or so. But more of this below.

After breakfast, we walked the 2km into Llanes from Cué and spent some time enjoying the sights there, followed by an excellent lunch in La Galeria, where I enjoyed possibly the best beef stew ever. This meat in Galicia is nearly always ternera, or young beef. But this stew had been made with res - an older animal - and was exceptionally good. Better for curries, I imagine, so I will now chase it down in the Pontevedra market.

After lunch, we cheated and took the little FEVE train to Nueva, whence we walked a delightful 15km between the high mountains of the Picos de Europa to our left and the sea to our right. All of it was very pleasant walking, highlighted from time to time by cooling breezes from the sea.

Arriving in Ribadesella, we were approached by an English woman, offering us 6 small ice-cream cornets she was about to throw away, as she and her husband were setting off for the ferry at Santander. Shortly after, we partook of shandies from possibly the surliest barman in Spain, who - worse - didn't appear to know the difference between beer and froth.

Then we crossed the river and, fatefully, decided to walk the "3km" along the side of it to our “rural hotel” in Sardalla. The trouble was, our hotel wasn't actually in that village but a kilometre or two further on. Far worse, this last km was up a steep hill all the way. I've added my review of the hotel for booking.com at the end of this post. It reflects the anger I felt at having to suffer this coup-de-grace. There's also an account of a conversation I had with the girl behind the counter in a Chinese bazar in Llanes during the morning.

But, first, here are some fotos of the walk:

A couple of the fine Indiano houses which seem to abound in Asturias, properties of people who've returned wealthy from South America.


Sadly, some of these are boarded up and one or two are in an advanced stage of dereliction.


The 'casino' in Llanes.


Another Llanes building:



The (non)Virgin Mary in the town's basilica.


The Chapel of Sta Ana, I think, in Llanes. Or maybe the basílica.


A typical path of the day, going down. But, in Asturias, whatever goes down sooner or later goes up again.


A friendly bull: When I asked him which of his 10 cows he favoured, he said it depended on which way the wind was blowing.


A house . . . possibly typical.


An 'El Paso' style church in Cuerres:





A panoramic view of the (misty) Picos to our south:


A nice-looking B&B on the outskirts of Ribadesella.


An attractive hotel in the town.



A riverside view back towards Ribadesella, as we plodded south to the hotel.


The view from my room in the Hotel Rural Paraje de Asturcon. If you look closely on the right, you can see the road from which we climbed at the end of the day. But justice is not done.


My review for booking. com:

THE RURAL HOTEL PARAJE DE ASTURCON

This rustic hotel of 10 rooms sits on a hilltop above the river Silla and, when/if the morning mist has cleared, every room has tremendous views of the river valley, the (distant) sea and the Picos de Europa.

Whether you can enjoy these when you arrive depends on how you got there. If you've walked 15-25km on the camino from Llanes and found that the hotel is neither 2.7 nor 3.0km from Ribadasella but very close to 5 and that the last of these is up a very steep hill, you'll be too exhausted when you finally get there to enjoy anything but a tank of oxygen. In short, if you're walking and are offered this place as an alternative to somewhere in Ribadesella, don't leap at it. Unless you're training for some Olympic event.

The rooms are fine, though the bathroom (and the bath) are small. The ground floor is a pleasant and eclectic mix of decor and furniture.

Arriving at 7.50 in the evening, we were advised we had to order dinner by 8.00 and that this was mentioned on the hotel's page on booking.com. If so, I can't find it 

Without a car, there's no alternative to eating your dinner and breakfast (€5.40) in the hotel. If you don't want a dinner because you ate well at lunchtime, they don't do sandwiches. Or anything small, it seems.

When we were there, the TV - at least in my room - had only one channel and went off around 9.15 pm. As did the wifi. The TV – still only one channel – had returned by 7 the next morning but the wifi hadn't. Which is very frustrating if you write a daily blog early in the morning. Admittedly not everyone does. It eventually came back on, but only near the modem in the hall.

All in all – If you're travelling by car, you get there early enough to think about dinner and don't mind not having a functioning TV or the internet, it's worth considering. 

And, if you're shorter than 5 feet/150cm, it'll be a plus that you can lie down in the bath. 

Otherwise, it isn't great value for money.


CONVERSATION IN A CHINESE BAZAR IN LLANES

I bought this USB  charger earlier this morning. It isn't really what I wanted and it doesn't work with my Kindle anyway. What I wanted was a portable battery. I'd like to buy this one at €12 and get credit for this returned adaptor of €4.50.

But the packing is ripped.

Yes. I had to open it to find it didn't work.

Well, it works for my phone.

Maybe but it doesn't work for my Kindle and, anyway, that's not what I intended to buy and now I want to do what I just told you.

But the packaging . . . [Another employee - not Chinese] Do as he suggests.

But the packaging is torn.

[Other employee]: Just do it!

But the packaging . . .

Look, it's all the same to me. I can keep the thing I don't want and buy the battery somewhere else. But you lose €7.50. And that seems stupid to me.

[Blank stare]

OK. I'll go elsewhere. Keep the bloody packaging . . .


P. S. I managed to stop myself asking if she was really Chinese . . . 

4 comments:

Eamon said...

"The (non)Virgin Mary in the town's basilica." If you look closer at the picture I think you will see it is only a statue.

Colin Davies said...

Yes, Eamon, but what I really was referring to is the fact that 'virgen' was a mis-translation of the Hebrew into Greek and then Latin of 'maiden'. Which is what the angel really meant. Assuming there was an angel, of course. Forgive my lapsed -Catholic scepticism.

Eamon said...

Yes but the title for the photo should be "A statue of etc." as we are not looking at the real person.

Alfred B. Mittington said...



You are on a Religious Pilgrimage yet you doubt the Tenets of the Church.

You will burn!

And your evil luck getting to your hotel is only the beginning of your punishment.

Expect more in the course of your walking tour, ye Heretic!


TheologicAl

Search This Blog