Photography, Travel

Camino del Norte Day 15

Today we set out from Soto de Luiñas to head to our destination for this evening, a quaint little town called Luarca. We had two routes to choose from today—a traditional way which goes inland, or the Costa route, which takes you along the coast. We opted for the latter hoping for more scenery and beaches. It was a challenging walk as it snaked around the coast with its various inlets, coves, and up-and-down valleys and hills. It certainly wasn’t in a direct line, so we assumed it was taking longer to do the Costa walk than going inland. We walked through many forests and on rough paths, which were challenging to walk on. Recent rains had made many patches boggy.

Leaving our hotel in Soto de Luiña
We head straight up hill on our way out
We pass through a long creepy tunnel under the freeway
Plenty of directions to lead the way

Last night, our hotelier, who was a cheerful chap told us he’d painted the arrows on the coastal path. He was the one who suggested we take that route as it would be more scenic than that of the traditional way. Most of the pilgrims we met today had chosen the same path. We met a Frenchman, another Czech woman and another young woman from Austria who had just finished studying medicine and was taking a break before starting work in November.

Quite a few creek crossings today
Everything is very green
Alejandro was walking with us today again
We come to our first beach for the day

This beach was a pebble beach with no sand. It was interesting to hear the waves crash and recede on the pebbles as it sounded very different to a sandy beach. It was good to sit for a while and listen. We had a snack of oranges and chocolate. A few other pilgrims were also having a break to sit and take it all in.

Looking east down the beach
More glimpses of farmland and coast
Boggy track
Another glimpse of the coast through some trees
More of a bushwalking track than a path
Looking back down the coast eastwards from where we've come from
A rugged coast
A little bird on the track ahead

At this point, we’d walked about 24km, and it was approaching 4 pm with about 12km to go into our town for the evening Luarca. We saw another service station ahead and decided to go there and book a taxi to take us to Luarca. Our Mexican friend was there to make the call for us which was a big help as my Spanish is terrible.

Luarca, a quaint little town

Our taxi driver was kind enough to take us into town via a route that would give us a photo opportunity of Luarca. It was beautiful to see from the vantage point he took us. He stopped the car and allowed us to get out, take in the views, and snap some shots.

So that’s it for today. Tomorrow is possibly a shorter walk so that we can rest a bit more. We were chatting today with some other pilgrims who’ve done different routes, and they’ve all said that the Norte route is the hardest as there are a lot of hills and long distances. I couldn’t agree more. It’s more challenging than the French way, although the weather has been better here.

For a map of today’s walk, you’ll find it below.

Thanks for reading and Buen Camino. 🚶‍♂️

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