Oviedo to Santa Eulalia de Doriga 30.3 kilometers

It was good to get breakfast, for a change before we left. Again we were fortunate, it would be a long time before we hit civilization again. Across the street and we then cross the railway. A guy with a briefcase was going our way and we started to wonder whether this was some new way of doing the Camino. I think that all the construction going on here just diverted everyone onto the same route.

Eventually though we enter a park and then leave on a series of minor roads. The book says there are sufficient bars along the way today, again I call into doubt that the writers have actually done this. 4k in we arrive at San Lazaro Paniceres there is nothing here. after another 2.5k we arrive at Capilla de Carmen. There is a stamp in the porch at the church, just to prove we were here, but nothing else. Fortunately we have our sausage rolls to sustain us.

After walking 12k we arrive at Venta del Escamplero. Our only reaction here is “Thank god we stopped in that Hotel last night”.

The walking is good and the views are great but “Bars no hay” as they would say here. It was 25k before we found anywhere. We stocked up at the supermarket and seriously thought of stopping here. Why we did not is anyone’s guess, there seemed to be a lot of people stocking up, probably to stop in San Juan de Villapañada. But a donativo alburgue is all that is there.

The road is getting more rural now and we are starting to climb. In front we see a guy in a  hat and we gradually gain on him. He stops to read something by the side of the road unwilling to join in conversation, it seems. As we passed him it appears we also passed the alburgue, only by checking the GPS did we find out. Just as well we did not want to stop then.  The road is narrow and dirty, so when we came upon a tractor pulling a donkey, we were stuck behind it for some time. The guy in the hat was gaining on us again.


After another 5k we were knackered and Santa Eulalia was a welcome sight. But there was nothing here, we walked around the church in despair. Across the road was a tumble down bar that gave us hope, then we found it shut. The guy in the hat arrived, there was a sign that said there was an alburgue, but you have to ring. My phone is on a UK network and I do not know the code for this place. Fortunately the guy in the hat was Spanish and he rang for us. We found his name was Luis and he had just started from Oviedo. He was a nurse and his girlfriend had dropped him off and would pick him up again when he had finished.

It was a good half hour before the owners arrived and showed us to our luxury accommodation, bunk beds in a shed. The shower was not the best either. It was here I discovered deodorant spray; people often leave things behind in alburgues. Despite washing I still smelled awful, my clothes were infused with sweat and the smell of stale socks, so the spray that had been left was liberally applied all over. Viv said I smelled like a cheap perfume factory, but never the less I felt a bit better.

On advice from the book we had enough food with us and did not eat at the bar, but Luis enjoyed quite a good meal it seems. The beer was good and the fresh air in the shed soon had me drifting into a deep sleep.


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