Stage 7: Playa de Berria to Santander

Long day of about 40 km, 6 were on a ferry at end of day to bring us to capital is Cantabria – Santander. Started along the beach in Playa to Berria to breakfast in Noja. 

A bit of a muddy climb over a large dune made treacherous by yesterday’s rain. First blood was spilled as I slipped and fell into a bush of nettles. I’m ok, thanks. 

Strava link
From Noja we traversed secondary roads to elevensies in San Miguel de Muerno and then the sum came out with real ferocity to add to the elevated humidity. It was a long haul to Galizano. I want to sell my business, one day, and move to this cliff side surfing Mecca. It might have been the extraordinary lunch that raised our moods but I loved this stretch of land on cliff east of Santander. 

Otherwise morale is a bit low. Child and dog are missed. It’s hard. We are tired.  We look like bums. We are sunburned. My right foot is getting pretty blistery. Di’s knee hurts. We stink. The terrain can be lovely but sometimes the asphalt is unforgiving and the landscape forgettable. We will be two weeks away on Tuesday and it feels longer. We keep meeting pilgrims on their 3rd, 4th or an Oregon couple this morning on their 6th in six years. We struggle to see how we will see it through this first time and multiples are not being discussed. 

In the deep thoughts category- there isn’t much.  We agree that there are many ways to approach this walk – probably 200,000 + different approaches taken every year and each is perfectly ok.

We have adapted our schedule to match up with Spanish dining habits. Breakfast after 0900 followed by elevensies at 1100 (really smallish breakfast twice – once with coffee once with orange juice). Lunch goes from about 1330 – 1530. You can get cold tapas or pixtnos all day with hot tapas kicking in after 1900. Dinner starts around 0800 (for we the unfashionable) or really closer to 9;00. You would think the Spanish should be fatter and drunker – but they show admirable restraint. 

The Basques and the Cantabrians are great. Hospitable, hardworking, and very efficient- public washroom maintenance is better than anywhere we have been before. Hotels are spotless. Restaurants are very good and are amazing value. 

We have worn down or veneer of cheerfulness on a few occasions. Humming or singing is a good sign – murderous looks at other end of spectrum. Rest day is here and welcome. 


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