I shared a cafe con leche in a little bakery with Axel this morning before he headed of on the way to Leon and I on my way to Oviedo. It was a long walk at 34 km, or 20 miles. And most of it was on the highway, watching all the time for approaching cars and smelling exhaust fumes.The first 12 km was nicely gentle downslope along the Rió Caudal, but the rest was a series of steep ups and downs into the valley of the Rió Nalón. It was a pretty grueling day. The Camino del San Salvador is definitely the most difficult of the ones that I have completed.
I arrived at the albergue in Oviedo about 3 pm, just after it opened. I was lucky in coming across it as I was making my way towards the spires of the cathedral. It turns out they moved the albergue from the location shown on my three year old map, so it was pure coincidence that I walked past it. After shower, grocery shopping for tomorrow, and clothes washing, I went to view the Cathedral del Salvador. I love cathedrals, even though I am not a religious person. It was amazing that they built these magnificent places almost a thousand years ago, very moving to visit them. Right now, I am in a bar with "zona wifi gratis" publishing this report and getting caught up on my other email, all for the cost of a glass of vino tinto at €1.20 (about $1.50). Later on, when the restaurants open at 8 pm, I will wander around for a good menu del dia, since I arrived here too late for a mid day meal. Life on the camino in España can be grueling, but also very good.
I am now finished with the Camino del San Salvador- it was 5 days of walking and 72 miles. Tomorrow I will start walking on the Camino del Norte to Avilés.