September 25th – Day Nine. 

I awake to the sound of the sea that is louder than Mike’s constant rustling in the bedroom next door. He has slept in his silver foil blanket! Crazier things have happened on the Camino I am sure.

It is a luxury to be able to cook a bacon and egg breakfast and a proper cup of tea for breakfast and to eat it on the balcony as the sun starts to rise. We are on our way at 8.15 and walking a coastal path as the sun comes over the mountains behind us.


This part of the walk reminds me a lot of the coastal path in Cornwall that I am lucky enough to enjoy at home. There are even vestiges of mining and old industry.


Mike is the suffering with a nagging groin strain that has been worrying him since before we left England and so we walk slowly and can enjoy the views along the way.





We stop at one of the coastal villages to get our pilgrim passport stamped but the church is closed and we can’t find the priest’s house so we decide to strike out for Isalares and look for accommodation there.


As we climb the hill out of town the heavens open and in our hurry to get ponchos on I think we have missed a trail marker. A local bus is handy to transport us in this deluge the final few kilometres to Islares where we arrive at the little hostel soaked to the bone despite our cheeky lift on public transport. There are a few surfers staying at the hostel and a family with small children but it is quiet and peaceful generally, nestled on a little walled harbour full of small fishing boats. We really could be in Cornwall.


I have the start of a blister – walking in the wet I guess. It is quickly dealt with.

Mike’s problem is more of a worry as he describes the pain as feeling quite deep and coming and going. He is being stoical about it but his agitation shows in his need to organise places to stay in advance and his growing concerns about our plans to walk the final stages along the Primitivo. He expresses doubts about the wisdom of attempting the route with a potential injury as there are longer stretches between quite basic accommodation and the route is  hilly. At this stage we agree to see how things go and to re-assess our progress at Santander.


The rain stops as night draws in and I take a short stroll down to the little harbour and round the bay where intrepid surfers are sliding down huge rolling waves by moonlight.