I had a pleasant surprise thus morning to find that the little private albergue where I stayed, ‘Piedad’, had a relatively extensive buffet breakfast including even muesli!

Albergue piedad

The stage starts with a 5 minute train ride, as the alternative is a dangerous and illegal railway bridge crossing.

I ended up walking today with Antonio, who I met yesterday, and Pedro.

After some kilometers, the sea came into view again.

The route followed two pipelines for some kilometers. They were hot to touch

and came from this extensive pharmaceutical works.

And that’s a hotel in front of the works!

A lot of the churches look like little fortresses probably because they were places of refuge for the local population in bad times.

Whilst the countryside was very pleasant, most of the walking was on asphalt, which is always tiring.

We arrived at the town of Santillana del Mar. It’s one of those attractive little towns that somehow have escaped moden development and subsequently become tourist attractions.

It’s always strange to pass through this sort of place as you’re in the midst of tourists and totally disconnected from from that sort of activity.After some cider and pintxos, Antonio and I parted company with Pedro as we were continuing on another 5km to a traditional albergue in a smaller town and he wasn’t.

This 16th century church’s bell tower has a mobile telephone antenna installation.

The comfortable little albergue ‘Izarra’ is one of the traditional ones that offer bed, dinner and breakfast for a donation.

Albergue izarra

Tomorrow night I’ll be back on the coast. Fish for dinner!