Camino del Norte Day 26: Villaviciosa to Deva/Gijón

This was a long day, over 30km by the time we finally stopped walking for the day. While the trail so far has been mainly flat or rolling hills, today there were two small mountain passes (around 450m) to cross.  We were sweating buckets in the very humid weather and were having trouble drinking enough water to keep up with our depletion.

We arrived at the Gijón albergue, which is located in a camping area abou6 6km before the city center, around 4pm. The camping has six small bungalows set aside as pilgrim accommodation for €5 per person. Campgrounds in Spain are quite elaborate, usually with big swimming pools, sports fields, restaurants, mini market, wifi, etc.  They are more like resort villages. The concept of simply tent camping sites (such as National Forest sites in the US, which often cost $3-10 per site) does not seem to exist here and camping in a tent at this place would have cost about €30 for Dave and I.

We dropped our bags at the bungalow, took nice hot showers, washed our clothes and then decided to walk the remaining 7 km into the Gijón city center to get dinner and in order to get the GPS track (so we could take a bus the next morning and have a shorter day to Avilés). The walk in to the city was pleasant, but there were only two buses back to the camping: 8pm and 10:30pm. We rushed and rushed, eating fast food and running through the streets to try to make the 8pm bus, but we ended up at the wrong bus stop (by about 2 blocks) and missed the bus. We were quite disappointed and not interested in waiting 2.5 more hours for the next bus. Instead, we took a different bus within 2km of the camping and walked the last 20 min. We were quite exhausted when we got in, and did a little work on the computer before going to bed. We shared our 6 bed cabin with four friends we have seen almost every day, 2 from France and 2 from Germany.  It was a nice night listening to the crickets as we fell asleep.

The path into Gijón is marked with shells in the sidewalk.