Comillas to La Franca 30.1kilometers

We awoke to a reasonable breakfast, for these parts, but you can only eat so much cake. What we need now is bacon and egg, no chance today.

We turned circles again leaving waymarks are never the best in towns. Eventually we turned up a hill and found some Shells. Glad  to get away, there were some fine buildings as we left the town and we passed a beautifully graffiti wall that impressed us. We made a lot of distance quickly as we are again travelling by road. We pass some interesting salt flats but no shops or bars.

Five kilometers of nothing but road then we came into Santa Ana, not much here so we stop at a seat by the roadside for a snack and drink. It is a grassy area with a pull in and a big political notice. Spain has just had elections and these are everywhere. We are almost finished and ready to go when a car comes from the direction of Comillas and pulls onto the grass. The lady driving looks a lot like the woman from the Hostal. This sets up a debate “Did you forget something?” We could think of nothing, but when she took a baby out we both said “That’s not mine”. We were relieved when she walked to a house close by.

We miss the turning for Santa Marina golf course, but this was no bad thing. At the next junction was a bar where we could get coffee and some food.

We soon came down into San Vincente where I we could see the lovely bay from the bridge.


From here it was straight uphill again. Again the book tells us to ignore the waymarks and stick to the highway, apparently it is overgrown here. More road walking and by the descriptions in the book we continually thought we were further on than we were eventually though we arrived in Unquera.

Only 2k to go so we stopped for a drink. The German guy from Boo was staying at the very bar we stopped at. Still having problems with language and now having problems with his shower. He was, as ever, entertaining and we thought about stopping, but decided against.

Another stupid climb ahead. I think this path was built just for the camino, because the road goes the same way probably a bit longer, but definitely flatter.  A French couple passed us, going at quite a pace. They had no worries, we would not be competing for alburgue beds. We saw them turn into the alburgue and we passed by. After all the hotels hostels and bars in Unquera, Columbres was a disappointment. Nothing, only one Hotel and that was for sale. The tourist information, as usual, was closed. The French couple passed us, no room they said. We gathered that they were off to a hostel somewhere.

There was a supermarket next door to the Tourist office so we bought some yogurt and ate it outside. An hour after its opening time it was still not open, it was time to move on.

There was camping outside of Columbres, so we headed for that. Two kilometers outside of Columbres we saw a sign, the camping was another kilometer, but away from the camino. A kilometer, a Spanish kilometer and no way of knowing if they had beds for pilgrims. It was only just over another kilometer to La Franca so we carried on.

We saw what looked like a type of American Motel, the ones you see in the movies. Rooms accessed by a steel gangway over a bar. Well it was a room, cheap but not the best, even the door did not fit properly.

We came down for food, but the patron seemed more concerned with the locals and I had trouble getting attention. You could not blame him, I suppose, but we needed feeding and it did not look like we would get it here. Just a little further up the road was a truck stop. Shower 2euros, what looked a better pension than ours, but most of all food. Big salad to share pizza and San Miguel Selecta. Gracias a Dios.

Bumped into the French couple here again, they must have also carried on to La Franca. Sometimes I wonder about the guide book, Unquera was dismissed despite being full of lodgings. Columbres was given as the place to stay and even its alburgue was not offering beds.

One thing though, those gel insoles. I thought I was being ripped off, they were worth every cent. No more trouble with blisters today, in fact the ones that I do have are getting better.


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