The best breakfast on the camino here at Hotel Valle at Soto de Luiña, just as well we were going to need it.
This gave us a late start but for some reason the only place that serves boiled eggs (duros). So protein fuelled we were off to a good start. Kept us going until Artedo where we stopped at a caravan park for coffee.
Just later there was a junction and the GPS had us go up a smaller road. It was a stiff climb but after 2k of solid uphill I noticed we were getting further away. Then we had to do the thing I hate most when walking, we had to backtrack. So we had walked 4k and back where we had started. I was not in a good mood, but soon we came across pilgrims again and the waymarks re-appeared, so happy for a while.
We lost them again when we came across the autopista, I think that there had been some diversions here so for a while we were lost again. That is until some guy in his garden started shouting directions “Santiago” he said pointing avidly. He simply would not listen to our protestations fortunately some pilgrims passed and we saw where they came from.
Later a rambling old man sent us up a dead end and another was calling out of his window. After much tramping through fields we finally re-joined the camino.
The final 4k into Soto del Barco was awful, ugly and busy. The road swept along the river, the view hidden by scrub and rubbish and never seeming to end. As we turned for the bridge we saw some guy going the wrong way and later decided that there must be an albergue that way.
When we got into town there was not a room hostal or pension to be found, only a five star hotel, this was going to be way beyond our means, so we stopped in a bar to consider our options.
In the end we decided to follow the N623 out of town. This of itself was a bad idea, because it joined the Autopista at a junction like spaghetti. Being used to driving on the left and not having a map with the bigger picture, we spent some time lost on the junction. I prayed for the police to come and pick us up as we were a danger to traffic, but it never happened.
When we finally emerged from the junction we found a garage, we were hot and dry so we bought some drinks and ate an Ice Cream on the grass.
The N623 was busy here and not ideal for walkers, there were times we were squashed between the barrier and traffic with nowhere else to go, I wanted to drop off the road onto the camino, but Viv was having non of it. We did, in the end, have to drop off the road and still had a couple of k still to walk into town.
We had walked 45k and were desperate so the first hostal had to do. It had a grotty bathroom and four beds, but we were assured we would not have to share. After our marathon day we decided to stop another night, but for some reason we could not stay in this room, so in the morning we had to pack up and move. The second room was much nicer with only a double bed, I assume she had customers fro the four beds.
There was a guy in the kitchen who asked about our walking, but never listened to the answer he just kept talking. He talked most of the night, I don’t know to whom, but he kept us awake. The lady said that the maid would do our laundry for 6euros so we left her with most of our clothes. We spent the next two days trying to pay and get our clothes back.
We ate in a bar opposite and on our day off found an Alimekal that had nice pasties. It was a glorious day great for drying our stuff, but we had no idea where it was and were getting worried.