Day 5 Oviedo – Grado
The Camino Primitivo starts from the Cathedral. A plaque indicates the direction for the Primitivo and the Norte routes. It roughly translates as
In the beginning of the 9th Century, from this basilica of Saint Salvador, The Asturian monarch Alfonso II The Chaste, began the first pilgrimage to Compostela to view the tomb of James, and there, he founded in his honor the first basilica.
The Primitivo is considered the first or original pilgrim route to the tomb of the Apostle. The Cathedral in Santiago was founded by King Alfonso following his first pilgrimage.
However today didn’t start as we’d planned and instead of leaving bright and early we had to wait for the shops to open at 10:00 am. Yesterday I noticed the ball of my foot was really quite sore. Actually I thought I could be starting a blister there. I do suffer with blisters but never there, mine are usually around my little toes. I stopped and changed out of my tevas and into my Altra Lone Peaks. To my horror upon investigating the cause of the problem I found a split right across the bottom of the shoe. Noooo! I wear my Teva’s a lot when I’m hiking and I was really sad. But Oviedo is a big city so surely we could find another pair? And if not Teva then another hiking sandal?
Last night before dinner we went in search of a few shops. Happy that there were choices we had dinner and returned to our hotel. The stage today was a long day and the forecast was for hot weather so leaving two hours later than planned was not ideal but… Needs must!
For the first time on this trip we had a lie in; we didn’t need to leave the hotel until after 9:00. We went in search of breakfast and not for the first time we were again treated to free food! I ordered Tortilla Patata and Gerry toast, along with our coffees came our order and a few extra slices of cake… And another big smile. I suggested that maybe Gerry save the cake for later but that suggestion fell on deaf ears!
At the appointed hour we stopped at the first shop. There was a huge selection but no sandals. Onwards to the next. No sandals. On to the next. No sandals. And so it went that we walked from sports shop to sports shop with no luck. Cortes Inglés had a huge sports section selling everything you could possibly need but when we asked about sandals it was the same response, only in summer.
I wanted to cry. I have such problems with shoes and blisters that this is such a blow. Gerry gave me a hug. On the camino forum somebody suggested that we order online so we decided we’d try this. Time was pressing and it was getting hot. It was gone 11:00 and Gerry said it was too late to start a 25km walk. He was right but we have beds booked so we had to move on. We checked for buses or trains and found a train that would take us half way. My fitbit told us we’d already walked more than 5km around town so I wasn’t going to argue.
We ordered some new Teva’s during the journey. We paid for express delivery so they should arrive tomorrow but we sent them two days ahead to give ourselves some extra time. The albergue replied and said no problem so if luck is on our side by the time I reach Tineo I should have a new pair of Teva’s waiting for me.
It felt good to be walking again and I felt happier knowing that shoes should be sorted. But we’d lost so much time and crikey it was hot.
We meandered our way through tiny hamlets and the camino mirrored the path of a river. As we walked down one road we spotted a farm, and we spotted a car leaving said farm, and we spotted two very large barky dogs following said car. Then we realised that the car was approaching the gates and that it was possible the dogs could sneak through the opening gates. We both saw this happening at the same time and instinctively we both started running. The aim was to beat the car and get as far away from there as we could. It worked. Once we were far enough away we both collapsed laughing… Who knew we could run that far whilst carrying a pack!
Once we’d caught our breath we continued on and quickly found an open bar. Happy pilgrims we were to stop in the shade for a cold drink and some lunch… I was even happier to learn that everything was sin gluten as one of the owners was celiac.
Refreshed we set off again. Gosh did I mention it was hot? We wandered along a road for a while before turning off into a shady riverside trail. However that didn’t last long enough and we were thrown back onto the road. I always feel so exposed on this kind of road. It was busy enough to ensure we stayed alert, cars hurtle around the bends at speed and there were plenty of large lorries too. Thankfully we were led off again and through another village.
However, you know the expression be careful what you wish for? Well… We wished to come off the road but failed to mention shade. So our last few kilometers were in full sun. Poor Gerry was really flagging and we were both just very happy to see Grado come into view.
Tonight we’re in an Albergue and I’ve showered and my laundry is hanging on the line. Gerry has had a little doze as I’ve written this and it’s entirely possible that we may go for a wander in a while and find a shady bar.
I can hear the reception desk turning people away, I am so glad we booked these beds! Another day tomorrow… Rain is forecast and we have a big old hill to climb up and down… So I’m hoping that forecast is wrong!
Ps Fitbit says we did another 14.8 km so not a bad day of walking even after the shopping fiasco!