Day 1 (6 May) Rain! — 20 Miles

My walks have taught me to accept whatever comes along. Weather is what Mother Natures gives. So, Day 1 began at 9:15 AM with me in full gear just like Day 1 last year on the Camino Portuguese.

Starting At the Oviedo Cathedral

Luckily, I had purchased a guidebook of this Camino that included a map of the pathway through the city until I could find the first signpost near the main entrance of the train station. From there, it was spotting the Camino shells and yellow arrows.

First Sign On The Trail

After walking 4 miles in heavy rain, I came upon a group of walkers huddled under the roof of Chapel Carmen. Mucho gustos we’re shared all around. The couple to my right as you look at the photo were from the Canary Islands. I ran into them several times afterwards as we passed one another on the route. The rest were locals out for a day’s walk in the rain! We stamped our credentials as evidence that we were progressing along. Even in the rain, smiles abounded.

At The Chapel Carmen

By 2 PM, the clouds had parted and the sun came out full of heat. Here is an image of a valley with rolling hills in the background. I was assured later that the mountains will be coming. Yet, this leg had 2000 feet of ascent and 2500 feet of descent. Hills? They too can tax your feet and hips.

Into The Valley

Even with water fortified with electrolytes, my body was craving food and some Spanish cerveza after 16 miles. I was teased along the route by signs advertising an inn/restaurant every kilometer or so. The last sign pointed right with 50 meters to go. It was more like 200 meters — each meter felt significant at this point in the day.

At the Villa Palatine, I asked for fabada — remember the Asturian bean stew? No go on Saturday. The substitute was soup of garbanzo beans and langoustines. Think of a slightly thinner lobster bisque with beans. Delicious. Two large beers in frosted mugs helped my mood too.

Langoustine and Garbanzo Soup

A man at the next table, Senor Chama, gave me a thumbs up for loving his beloved Asturian cuisine. He beckoned me over to his table and poured me some sider the Asturian way. Yes, they (most often waiters and waitresses) really pour sider this way for locals and tourists alike. I think that the technique enhances the liquid’s effervescence.

Pouring Sider The Asturian Way

My feet were sore now after reaching the 20 mile mark. I entered Grado and made the call to the Rural Palacio Fernandez where I was staying. It is 8 km outside of town. Marta and her daughter picked me up. I was the only guest for the night; tourist season hasn’t started yet. Here is a view of my room and from my room.

Room At The Rural Palacio
View From My Room

My dinner was simple but completely farm to table except for the tomatoes. Even the beer was local to this valley. I devoured the salad and ate half of the tortilla — the other half will be breakfast tomorrow. I asked about the cheese that topped the salad because its color was rusty red. Marta said that the cheese from her valley was made with paprika. Each valley has its distinctively styled cheese. I was not surprised given the number of hills that I had traversed. I wondered what Alfonso II thought as his entourage progressed along the rocky trails that I had walked. Off to bed with cow bells ringing from a distance.

Farm To Table
Local Brew

5 thoughts on “Day 1 (6 May) Rain! — 20 Miles

  1. Wow 20 Miles’s on the first day and in heavy rain – that’s harsh. Beautiful countryside.


  2. Onward and upward in the rain! My feet remember the discomfort. Jean talked to Sharon and all seems to be progressing as expected on the knee front. Hopefully, they’ll both have good reports from the surgeon next week. L.


  3. Dear Roland
    Thank you for inviting us to be your companion, again, in this new journey on foot. Have a good and safe hike every day!
    Hug Monique


  4. It seems like you are off to a great start! The rain stopped and the sun shone for you! I love the beer and cider at lunch…happy you found a good place to eat. Have fun tomorrow, and enjoy the beautiful scenery. It looks so peaceful!


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