Camino de Santiago del Norte: Days 12–13

Note: This is a camino of gratitude for me. Each day, I choose something I am grateful for in my life and think and journal about it throughout the day. I will share an excerpt from my journal entries at the end of each day’s post.

Day 12: San Vicente to Serdio 5 miles
1 October 2017 (Today would be Rachel’s 35th birthday.)

San Vicente in the distance (on the left side), next to where the river meets the sea.


The next morning I did not have to leave the hotel until noon. (Usually we have to be out of the albergues by 8:00 or 8:30.) Again, I thought about how lucky I was to have shelter and decided to dedicate this day as well to being grateful for the shelter I found last night.

October is here and many, many calabazas are found in home gardens.


We pilgrims are pleased to see the yellow arrows wherever we can find them.


And after only 7.7 kilometers, I came to this lovely albergue in Serdio.

The hospitera here loved my trensas (braids, which I mostly wear all the time now). See that weeping willow? Some young peregrinos climbed it in the evening and were singing!

After leaving my pack at the albergue I walked back down the road to eat at the local taberna. I did not recognize anything on the menu, but I ordered the fabada with a questioning look at the tavern owner. He kissed his fingers so I trusted him. And it turned out to be beans cooked with smoked salt pork—much like our family has created it for generations–except they add chorizo and blood sausage. It was still a taste of home…

Fabada (in front) followed by steak fillet and potatoes and all the wine I could drink from that bottle. Add postre (dessert) after that and you have a recipe for siesta!


The menu del dia, which is a common practice here and which I had also encountered in Peru, is a set menu, sometimes with lots of choices, sometimes with only one or two. You get a first (primero) and second (secundo) course, wine, and dessert for a set price—here it is between 9 and 14 euros. This one was 10 euros and included the bottle of wine! I am a very cheap drunk so I only had 2 glasses. But with the fabada, the steak filet and potatoes, cold lemon custard, bread, and wine, I had only one choice—return to the albergue for a siesta!

I would later learn that Asturias is famous for its fabada and I was able to try it several more times, but none of the others measured up to this one in the little village of Serdio on a sleepy Sunday afternoon.



Day 13: Serdio to Columbres 5.5 miles
2 October 2017

The small things I see along my camino slow me down quite a bit, but it is worthwhile to stop and enjoy them, even if takes me two months to get to Santiago!


Black cows enjoying lunch at a cafe with a view of the peregrina passing by.


The last two days intentionally been short ones and I will try to take a rest day tomorrow. A tendon in the back of my knee is hurting—probably from the abuse it suffered two days ago. Rest is the best cure. The albergue in Columbres is the answer. Some will not allow us to stay two nights, but this one does.

Welcome to Columbres. My albergue for two nights is the blue building in the distance.


In the evening, for the first time in months, I was able to take advantage of the limited wi-fi here to call my friend Emily. I had not talked with her in months!! It was so nice to touch base.

A funny thing about my two-day stay in Columbres. On my first night there were four other people in the six-bed room. All could speak English (a rare experience lately—I am often the only native English speaker in a room). We had some lovely chats. The next night, my roommates were three Spanish men who came in very late stinking of beer accompanied by their dog who, otherwise well-behaved, was led with a large chain that clanked every time he moved during the night. On top of that, one man had about the most annoying snore I have ever heard. I got up and got out early!

I have now walked 122 miles to the Compostela de Santiago.

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