Tag Archives: Tineo

Tineo to Campiello

It was going to be short day today of less than 14k because of the length of tomorrows stage. We intended to have a lay in but try as we might the urge to press on was too great. So we were out at seven thirty and fortunately there was a bar open so we had  breakfast of coffee and toast.

It was a steep climb out of town with some odd garden furniture. The rain started as we climbed so we had to stop to put the wets on. At the top leaving town is the home of El Ultimo de Filipinas, we still have not seen him and wonder if he is actually still there.

There are a lot of wet muddy paths but still not as bad as yesterday. We passed a couple, I think that they were New Zealanders, they were making some very odd moves to avoid the mud. There is no point, it will get you in the end and that is why we buy waterproof boots.

In the woods we come to the diversion for Santa Maria de Obona Monastery and decide this time to take it. Apparently in the days of Alfonso11 you needed a stamp from here to stay at the Hospitales. It was a let down, nobody there, no stamp and we had to walk back the way we had just come.  The wet slippery cobbles did there best to cripple us so all in all not a worthwhile diversion. Then climbing back through the mud we slipped and generally got quite dirty.

It was road work then up to Campiello so we used the grass at the side of the road to get most of the mud off. At Ricardo’s it was like a homecoming so many faces we knew. I went over to Herminia’s to book a room and left Viv and the bags at Ricardo’s. At the counter I was told to go through to the shop. In the shop I was told to wait for La Chica. Then I was following people in and out of the shop trying to get a room. When I did get one it was small but clean and a good bathroom also lots of open shelves, no wardrobe or chests of drawers, ideal for backpackers. Viv meanwhile thought that I had disappeared, I was so long. The Colombians had turned up as well, they were continuing to Borres, but we know that there is only a small albergue there and it does not have a good reputation. Tomorrow they will be doing the hospitales so we may see them again.

I booked breakfast and evening meal with our room, I am not sure breakfast was a good idea as they do not open until 7:30 but the evening meal was good. Viv was not so sure, we had two soup courses, and she did not stop going on about two soups for days.

Very odd Garden furniture

 

Monastery Santa Maria de Obona

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Salas to Tineo

We were out fairly early, but the bar top of town was already open. Somebody, at last,who realises the potential of a number of Albergue emptying out in the morning. We were kept waiting for ages though to pay, I just wanted to be on my way, but she was being “mine host” to everybody. When we did get our bill she was not about to let us go, she gave us a doggy bag. I did not want to seem ungrateful, but I had to dump the banana further up the street. It was a bit on the ripe side and would not have kept until Viv had eaten hers.

The road out of town went up and up, and we soon caught up with The Columbians. We walked with them a while and found out that they were mother and daughter. We pass Bodenaya with no signs of any place to stop but in another kilometre we reach La Espina. Here I turn off the camino and Viv again doubts my memory, but we come onto the main road where there is an autoservicio bar. We stopped here last time, but this time I knew that there was no point. A little further up the road was Bar Dakar. We stopped here last time but this time we will carry on after a coffee and some food.

As we left the Dutch couple arrived, it seems that they found their house last night. We wished them well and carried on. At the end of town we decided to take the muddy route. Last time we took the road, it was not going to be much better this time but we had elected to do things differently. We lost it at some point and ended up on the road but got back at El Pedregal. It was, as described, dirty muddy and heavy going. There was nowhere to stop and rest but we found a wall backed into the woodland where we ate our lunch. As always a hundred yards later on there was a picnic bench.

Once back on the road we spent some time cleaning the mud off our boots before heading into Tineo. Bar Corona was closed but when we rang the bell we got service and were given a room. It seems that they are not in business because they are both ill, but as returning customers (and probably off the books) they made an exception for us.

Windmills on the hill

The views from Tineo

The views from Tineo

The views from Tineo

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Tineo to Pola de Allande 25.7 kilometers

We have to make another decision; if we follow the official Camino Route there is nothing for us for 39k and on top of that the weather is bad. So we must take the low level route. Something we will regret later, but for now it looks the best option.

Again we are blessed with breakfast at the hostal. Only pastry and coffee but we are fit for nothing without it. After this we walk back to the market square. The Camino turns sharply uphill from here through the town. Then when we leave the town it continues uphill on a dirt track. We start gaining on an oriental looking couple, but we stop to look at the House of El Ultimo Pilipino. Normally a stamp is available here, but for whatever reason not at this time.

We pass through more woodland and gain on the Orientals again. They have split as the woman walks more slowly and the man waits. They are very friendly and keen to practice their English. The reason he seems so tall is he is carrying a child on his back, so she must carry most of the luggage. They are from Korea and must complete the Camino in a finite time in order to catch their flight home. We pass and re pass them for most of the day.

There is another diversion here to Santa Maria de Obona Monastery, the book says it is optional so we ignore it.

When we reach road again it is wet and slippery. When we turn, my boots can get no purchase and I go skidding down. Fortunately I fall on my back and my fall is broken by my rucksack. I am not hurt but I was shaken and tried my best to avoid the tarmac while it was still wet.

After 12k we arrive at Campiello. There is more here that it states in the book and we stop at Casa Ricardo, an alburgue bar and shop. To rest and refresh. After we had our stamp and were sat with our coffee Ricardo himself came over to talk to us. He gave us a history lesson and much good advice: Spain was divided into two kingdoms and the king of the southern kingdom invited the moors to help him defeat the king of the north. Unfortunately the moors decided that they wanted it all and after defeating the northerners killed the king of the south. Now Asturias was particularly difficult and stayed independent, but their King Alfonso had other ideas. Alfonso11  did the first Camino on the route we now know as Primativo, it crossed all the highest mountains and at the top of each he set up refuges or Hospitales. he appointed lords from the francs and allowed them land and tax free status in return for defending them. This is where we get the term “Franchise”. He invoked the name of St James, who was supposed to have arisen and helped drive back the moors, while riding a white horse. So it was from here that the Reconquista started. All pilgrims at that time needed a stamp from  Santa Maria de Obona to allow them to stay at the hospitales.

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From here we passed through some beautiful countryside for 2k until we reached Borres. We were not ready to stop yet, but for those taking the Hospitales route this was the last chance. It looked a horrible place and only one alburgue, we could not even see the bar. So we moved on knowing we had missed our chance to change our minds and go the hospitales route.

After another kilometer we saw a big sign, there was no chance of missing this one. Straight on for hospitales and left for Pola de Allande. The book makes little sense here we follow the arrows for about 2k then we hit the road. Not a sign here and the book appears to send us straight across. There is no straight across only a left followed by a right a hundred yards further on. There was a bus shelter at this junction a good place to stop, have a drink some fruit and check the GPS. As we thought Pola de Allande was to the right. So we about turned and followed the road. We found out later we were not the only ones to make this error.

There is a footpath running parallel to the road and slightly below it. It is a comfortable place to be, following the road, but apart from it and cutting off the big corners. We gained on a woman who was walking in a dress, she stopped and we passed her by with enough distance not to speak. Later down the road we found a bar. It was beer time so we stopped for a rest and got talking to another woman, she was a companion of the woman in a dress. Seems they walk apart together a lot. They are from Canada, does that explain it? Anyway her friend (in the dress) had made the same error as us up the road.

We left the bar as did the two women, separately again. We left the road again for 3k of dirt tracks boulders and streams until we hit Pola de Allande. In the town we spied a bar, it was closed, back tracked and found another at the cross roads.

We had a drink and pincho and sat by the street. One of the two Canadians and told us she was in the hotel around the corner. Sounded a bit pricy to me the disadvantage of booking ahead.  We crossed the road to Hotel Lozano 10e cheaper and looks a bit better to me. Later we tried the hotel for food but the kitchen was closed as was the kitchen in Café Victoria. So we again returned to our bar on the corner Pizzaria Café El Centro, well the clue is in the name. We just had to have the Pizza Diablo. The waitress said “Es muy picante” I told her it’s ok we’re Welsh. It was a joy to have something with that much taste, loved it.

We saw a lot of pilgrims in there that night, the two Canadians, the German who had shadowed us and a few others we had passed over various days and hailed with “Buen Camino” it was almost like an alburgue dinner.

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La Espina to Tineo 11.3 kilometers

There are some big stages ahead, so it was time for some decisions. We should be taking a rest day today but from here the next stage would be 37k so instead we are doing a short stage instead.

Early morning in La Espina we were surprised to find one or two bars already open, so we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast before we had gone too far.

The way out of town was easy for a change. There was only one road so we took it. Soon though we were travelling through thick fog and unable to find the arrows we followed the road. This was a mixed blessing as the traffic was getting worryingly close, we had to wave our torches about to ensure we were seen. But the advantage was after  about 5k we passed another bar and were able to have a second coffee.

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At about the 10k mark the sun had broken through and the fog was starting to lift. Knowing we did not have far left to go we stopped at the picnic area we passed.  We had some yogurt and fruit and relaxed.

The last kilometer is often the worst, but not today. Although it was all main road and foggy we had made good time. As we walked into Tineo we passed many places, but somehow it did not yet feel right. We were rewarded for our perseverance by a gorgeous market square alive with people milling around and haggling for the best prices.

On the road to the square we found Pension Corono overlooking the market street and with a view across a scenic and verdant valley. The only downside was there was no Laundromat. There was a tinteria where they will do a wash for you, but that would involve us staying an extra day.

The sun was now out and we sat in the square with a beer just soaking it up. This was the first real sun we had since arriving in Spain and I was not about to miss my opportunity. First time we came across the Spanish custom of pinchos as well. This place had pieces of bread with boiled ham on, very nice it was too, although Viv did not like the excessive fat.

Later we set off looking for food. We bought some provisions in the supermarket, but without cooking facilities we could not make a meal, so we wandered around the town. The local alburgue was in a four star hotel, their menu was way over our price range. Everywhere else, the kitchens were closed. As we wandered around we noticed we were being shadowed by another guy obviously a pilgrim and also looking for food. The quest was having little success, so we tried the bar at our pension, nope. He did however point us down another street where we did get menu of the day and of course wine. We did not see the guy shadowing us again and assumed he had found food somewhere else, but a few other pilgrims did find this place.

 

 

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