July 29 – August 2: Second part of Asturias

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The camino primitivo is a wonderful route. So quiet, such beautiful mountains, and such nice albergues. First there was the albergue in San Juan de Villapanada, with a very friendly hospitalero named Domingo, who arranged the laundry for every guest. Then the next day there was Bodenaya, my absolute favourite on the entire camino: a very cosy albergue in a tiny village, dinner cooked by the hospitaleros, and in the morning there was music in the rooms: ‘Ave Maria’ woke us up. And as if all this wasn’t enough, the next day, in Campiello, another fantastic albergue: Casa Herminia. This one had an extra attraction for some pilgrims: Judith, the owner’s daughter.
The route was great, much less asphalt than in the weeks before. It went through shadowy forests and over quiet hills. The most beautiful stage of my entire camino was the part from Campiello to Berducedo, via ‘Los Hospitales’. In the morning it was extremely foggy. It probably often is, as there were yellow arrows every 10 metres. It was very quiet. Sometimes I heard cows mooing, but didn’t see the cows. Along the way there were ruins of the old hospitales. At one point there was the pounding of hoofs, and horses appearing from the mist….magic!
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Later on, the mist went away and there turned out to be beautiful views. Fantastic route, all day long. We had been warned to bring enough food and water, as there would be no shops or bars on the way. There weren’t even any villages, except for Montefurado, which is almost deserted: the guidebook said only one person lives there now.

My last night in Asturias I stayed in another nice albergue: the one in Grandas de Salime, with a relaxed hospitalero playing reggae all the time.
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  • July 29: Oviedo – San Juan de Villapanada 27 km
  • July 30: San Juan de Villapanada – Bodenaya 25 km
  • July 31: Bodenaya – Campiello 28 km
  • Aug 1: Campiello – Berducedo 30 km
  • Aug 2: Berducedo – Grandas de Salime 22 km

-> August 3 – August 12: Galicia
<- July 23 – July 28: first part of Asturias

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