For today’s walk, we decided to cut down from the official Camino guide, which suggested we walk around 35 km to just under 14 km to another town along the coast called Noja. I was still feeling a little run down, and there was no way we could ever walk those distances. Luckily there are towns along the way to stop and book in for the night. It might mean we need to take a bus here and there to make up time.
It was such a lovely day when we set out with not a cloud in the sky. Temperatures was forecast at a maximum of 25.
We walked along the promenade of Laredo westward with plenty of locals out for their morning walk. It was great to see a blue sky for a change compared to yesterday’s cloud cover, although it sometimes throughout the day got quite intense.
We were heading to the ferry that would take us across to Santoña, a town on the peninsula separated by the estuary that flows between that and Laredo.
The ferry across to Santoña ran on demand so when they a few other pilgrims and us on the shoreline, they headed over to pick us up.
The boat had a fee of 2 Euros per person which was cheap compared to the walk we would’ve had to have done navigating the estuary inland till we could get around it. As you can see, the water is still and calm with no wind; such a pleasant morning.
There wasn’t much to report on heading out of Santoña other than we followed the wall of an extensive correctional facility with locals and bike riders out for their exercise.
It wasn’t long, though, till we hit the coast and a large beach called Playa de Berria, which means Berria beach. I took a breather here for about an hour to recover and take some time out. It wasn’t a long walk today, so we could afford to stop and take the time. We’d snuck out a few things from the breakfast buffet this morning to have a snack on. Naughty us.
The headland in the picture above is between us and another long beach, which at the end of is our town for this evening, Noja. We noticed a few maps along the beach, which suggested a shortcut up and over the headland and then a walk along the next beach to our hotel. It would shave off about 3 km for us. I wasn’t keen on walking on sand with a backpack though, so I Googled directions and found a road we could walk alongside the next beach.
A fantastic view from the top but an arduous track getting up there with the load of our packs and the sun beating down on us. You can see the estuary and Laredo in the distance to the top right of the image above.
We could see our next town Noja up ahead, but before we could get there, we had a steep descent down to Helgueras Beach. It was slippery in places and quite steep, so we took care to navigate slowly and avoid any mishaps.
After a short rest on the beach, we took the path behind the beach the rest of the way into town. It was about a 45-minute walk.
I was looking forward to getting to the hotel by this stage as I began to flag again. The surrounding area was built up with beach apartments and second homes. Most of them closed for the season, but there were a few open, with some restaurants and bars along the way busy with their patrons in the hot sun—a good vibe.
So that’s it for today folks. Thanks for reading. Taking some time out now writing this, doing some work for Splash all while waiting for dinner to start at 8:30pm. Heavens above!
Over and out. Buen Camino. 🤗
A map of today’s walk is below.