Calling it a day on the Primitivo –

We have underestimated my walking partner’s predicament.

His stoicism has hidden his real problem and , after a terrible night which sees him unable to sleep and in some discomfort, it’s clear he should see a doctor. At this point I’m not sure he agrees with me about that but we are both clear that we cannot continue into the hills with this level of insecurity about our ability to cope without the proximity of a doctor if needed. We discuss the options and decide to return to Gigon on the Norte where we will be in a position to make a decision about doctors and whether we can both continue. It is clear that a long walk like this and the daily insecurity about where to eat and sleep is not to be done without being in confident health.


We manage eventually to find a bus that will take us through Oviedo and on to Gigon. I leave Mike to book hotels as it is clear he needs the comfort of something less shabby than last night until he is better. And so it is that soon we are in the port of Gigon, Mike is catching up on some much needed sleep and I am off exploring the town very much hoping that Mike decides to see a doctor.


I am very taken with Gigon. There is a mixture of working and leisure and working boats in the pretty harbour and soon I am climbing around the promontory to the forts on the top of the hill and the views back along the sea cliffs that we had been walking previously.


I descend into the old town and witness an Andalusian wedding that makes me feel like I am in the centre of a Lorca play. The bagpipe music and the exotic dress – especially of the women – transports me to another world away from the worries for my partner.

pipe players

pipe players

Taking a break

Taking a break


I receive a text to meet Mike at the hospital. He has decided to see what is wrong. I make my way to meet him there and give some support while he is poked and prodded by some very friendly and welcoming doctors. The treatment is quick and very efficient. Without going into details, he is advised to take antibiotics and to see his own doctor ‘ as soon as he can’.

The thought of returning home immediately does not appeal and he decides to rest up a couple of days to see if the antibiotics can cure the problem. I will walk on for a couple of days and he will catch up by bus when he feels better. I sense that he wants to be alone to think through the possibilities, to catch up on sleep and hopefully to get better and so I agree to set off tomorrow to Avilles and then on to Soto de Luina where Mike has booked a hotel.

It is not a good night sleep for me although I sense that Mike sleeps much better than he has been. He must be relieved to know that he has some options and to make some sense of his growing discomfort over the past week or so. My advice to him is that he should return home immediately and I will finish the walk for both of us but I understand why he wants to take the other option of waiting to see what happens. The walk has entrapped us in the way it does so many and leaving it is a big wrench.


Here’s to hoping those Spanish antibiotics have the kick of a mule.