Following feed back from one of my daughters, I have included more photos in this blog.
The morning dawned again, sunny and bright, with the snow on the peaks of the Picos glinting enticingly. (I only wrote that so I can include Andy’s great photo below…)
The plan for today was to visit San Vicente a pretty little fishing port, only 5 miles to the west said Lesley. This was another place that she and Andy had stayed at last year and well worth a visit. However, somehow the two long steep climbs on the way had been erased from her memory. One thing Andy and I have learned from towing our dog chariots is that even the slightest slope makes a big difference as the trailers have a lot of rolling resistance. These hills weren’t slight!
Fifty minutes later we arrived in the town centre a little damp, a little hungry and very thirsty!
We were too late for the fish market but there was plenty of other things to see. The town was dominated by a most photogenic castle and a church built on a cliff overlooking the harbour. The castle, called Castell del Rei, was built by Alfonso VIII in 1210, but may have replaced a mythical castle built by Alfonso I in the 8thCentury after the reconquest of this part of Spain. Having exhausted every angle for photos we found a harbour side café for lunch. Menu del dia was 12€. For that Andy and I started with squid and lentils, Wendy and Lesley had Salad de Bonito; all of them meals in themselves. Then followed the fish of the day – sardines. All washed down with beers and a bottle of water.
We needed to walk off such a big meal, so it was a hike up the hill to see the castle (shut for lunch – for three hours!) and so on to the church of Santa Maria de los Angeles at the other end of the old town and another stopping off point on the Camino as well as Lesley’s pilgrimage.
The hills on the way back seemed even steeper than on the way there, unfortunately I seemed to get the taste of sardines in my mouth whenever the gradient got to ‘granny gear‘ level. We are pleased to say though, dear reader, that we made it without walking (well perhaps only a tiny bit and just because the dogs wanted to stretch their legs) and we coasted down the last hill and hit the beach. We were in search of ice creams, but Lesley said no! so we walked on the beach and the dogs lost ten years as they chased each other and fetched sticks from the sea. The beach, playa del Ombrya, was perfect, a mile or so of firm, level sand, ideal for dogs, beach cricket, frisbee, touch rugby and only about twenty people along its entire length. Oh, and it has great surf too!
If we can’t have an ice cream it will have to be a beer so we saddled up for the final, short climb back to our campsite. Just as Lesley and Wendy were ushering Andy and I and our road trains through the back gate, they noticed Alfie’s buggy had a puncture. How long had I been towing him on a flat tyre? No wonder it was such a struggle, it wasn’t the fault of the sardines, or the lentils, or the squid or my tired legs!
After a consoling beer or two, closer inspection of the tyre showed that it had split along it’s tread, where it was only a millimetre thick. The inner tube had a piece missing. Both were very cheaply made and needed replacing as they were beyond repair. We need to find a bike shop.
But now, after another thoroughly enjoyable day, it is time for wine, a debrief and a comparison of each other’s photos.