Stage 6: Castro-Urdiales to Playa de Berria 6 May 2016

We had a nice evening in Castro last night. Very resorty town that sits on a first century Roman colonia that handled the export of minerals of region to Rome by way of Gaul. We had a interesting tour of an excavation site near our hotel. Castro has a 12th century gothic church sitting out on a headland that Diana found very appealing – it seemed to have the perfect scale and locale. The sandstone on unrestored parts dissolving the gargoyles. 

We sat out and had pixtnos and some drinks and retired to the most comfortable bed of the trip. There was a moaning seagull perched near our window that took a well deserved rest from 2200 to 0600.

We walked about 35 kms today. Started off out of Castro on small rural roads and rollers and then a nice bit of coastal bluff path amongst cows and goats and down to a late breakfast in Islares. Islares is dominated by empty cottages and an abandoned building site – but had a great little breakfast place at the entrance to a very tidy RV park. Also breakfasting was a Japanese couple we had met a few stages back and a few groups of pilgrims from Spain, Germany, Holland and another Japanese lady walking alone. 

Strava link for stage

After Islares we elected to stay on secondary highway all the way to Laredo rather than the official “Way” that meandered over similarly paved roads but took 10 further kms to find the beach in Laredo. Laredo has an impressive old town – also with Roman colony remains and then the most gorgeous beach the Salvé that is 5kms of brown sugar coloured sand with a lovely Boardwalk alongside it. Behind the boardwalk is 5 km of “Last man on earth” abandoned seaside apartments. The weather is beautiful and the area looked to be about 1% occupied with all the restaurants closed and for lease and vast amounts of for sale signs. A bit like Oregon Coast in 2009 when banks would not lend on vacation property and so everything sat for sale until last couple of years. An enterprising hedge fund should buy the whole thing and bring in a Ryanair flight. 

Lunched in Laredo and hopped a short ferry across to Santoña And then a few kms to our Inn “las garzas” or blue herons (?!). Beautiful inn across from the beach “Playa de Berria” where we can see a lot of surfers playing in the waves from a little balcony.  Rain started to pour with thunder and lightning about 40 minutes after we arrived – short cuts saved time and wet clothes. 

We walked a bit farther today so we can get to Santander tomorrow and spend a rest day there. We are compressing number of stages by walking further most days so we can add some rest days to explore some of the cities along the route.  Will add pictures when I have WiFi. 


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