Ribadesella to Villaviciosa 34.6kilometers

We slept well in our bunks, because although the beds were not the best our chalet faced out of the campsite towards open country. The rising sun woke us early though so we dropped the key in the plant pot as requested and set off.

We came to another split in the Camino, the lower road leading to an alburgue, (My guide updates said this was an unnecessary diversion). But just a couple of yards in front of us on the alburgue road we saw  a young deer. Startled by us it jumped up and leaped over the hedge. It made the early morning rise really worthwhile.

We passed through La Vega but aside from the church, which was closed up at this time of the morning, there was nothing. Even the promised bar was nowhere to be seen.

Next we had another uphill climb on another medieval road, it seemed to just go on and on. After another 7k we came to La Isla and at last an open bar. It was still raining, so as well as food and coffee it was a chance to just dry our things out a bit.

Soon after we came to Colunga. They had two supermarkets so we bought some food, some yogurt, fruit and some gaseosa. It had stopped raining by now so when we saw a bench at the top of the town we decided to stop and have a light lunch.

Another 9k on highways and minor roads and we arrived at Priesca. Apparently the Pre-Romaneque church is one of the oldest on the camino, but it was locked up. The picnic benches and quiet wooded area outside provided a welcome short rest, where we finished off the gaseosa and our fruit.

Only another 3k to Sebrayo but it was downhill and muddy. Another strange place for a stage ending, the alburgue does not even have potable water. There was a new one however just further along, but when hospitalleros come running out to try and get custom I worry. This is one, one horse town we would not be stopping in. Another kilometer down the road we passed a donativo kitchen with vending machines. We came across a few of these, a rest place for pilgrims and a source of income for some. We stopped and had a KitKat and coffee. Vending machine coffee not the best, but we were now getting tired and hungry, getting near the 30k mark again. We were sorely tempted to turn back to the alburgue, but turning back is something we avoid at all costs.

The road to Villaviciosa was steep and loose gravel, not my favourite. Until it leveled off before crossing the main highway twice. then the long the road into town. As we entered town we were met by a guy who wanted to talk. It appears he has something to do with the Camino and was determined to send us to an Alburgue. We were not having a lot of success with hostals and then we bumped into a group of Spanish ladies we had met in Boo. They told us the alburgue had private rooms, so we followed them to the Alburgue. They had no private rooms left, so we walked on and a few yards later we found a hostal. There sat having a drink was the French couple from La Franca and Columbres. We had a day off and they walked at speed, I never found out how we managed to catch them up.

A bit of a grotty place, but it did us for the price. We had paid for the private bathroom, but I think that the shared one was better. Still it is only one night.

We returned to where we had met the Spanish women for some food. There was also a launderette across the road, so we got some of our clothes freshened up as well. The food was not the best, they had one of those menus supplied by the company that does ready meals. The choice was any one of two microwave meals on the list. Bolognese  it was then and a bit of salad. We heard the microwave just behind the screen, no attempt at deception.

Later we tried to get some ice cream and that did not go so well either. We wandered around the town and could find nothing of quality,again only factory made stuff and a place packed with kids.

Villaviciosa may not be exactly viciosa, but it was not that welcoming either.

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