Camino del Norte Day Fourteen: Santa Cruz de Bezana to Santillana del Mar

24.8k from 7:15 to 14:00

Holy two weeks, Batman! This Sunday marks it!

Walked this morning in the dark to one of a string of train stations we hit today; got a bit lost in a field with our headlamps and our legs knee high in wet grass. This little mishap following a disagreement that had us both kinda cranky. So how do you resolve issues while walking, in the dark, in the wet, while kinda-sorta lost? Maybe Lis can answer that one.

Finally made it to the Boo station, and hopped down on the tracks. Turns out it’s almost a kilometer of walking on the tracks in order to get across the bridge and to the next station. We decided to take our morning selfie while watching out for trains in front of and behind us. Anyway, we made it.

One thing I realized this morning: my body wasn’t sore when we set out today, and my pack didn’t feel heavy! I’ve been waiting for that to happen, and I think it’s been the case for a couple of days now. What a relief that we’re getting stronger, and able to actually feel a difference. When I asked Lis, she was the same, and it was cause for a big smile.

Today most folks weren’t out, except to go to church. We watched a number of bread deliveries (and why don’t we have this all over the US?!?) in the form of a baguette hung on a door, or left on a windowsill. Otherwise, we had most of the day to ourselves. Only other peregrinos we saw were three young German gals on the train tracks. It was nice, quiet. Also, we saw our first pretty ugly town, dominated by a large chemical plant visible from miles away. Lisa translated their tagline as “Asking more from chemistry.” Whatever that means, it sounds a bit toxic.

Anyway, as the day wore on, feet did get sore again from the pounding (the typical day now has the soreness starting about kilometer 12 or so), and I got a little, well, sick along the way. Don’t know why, but it made for a dreary afternoon. We were hurrying to get to Santillana del Mar, because we figured out if we got there early enough, we could catch the ancient cave paintings in the museum before it closed at 3. Saaaah-weet.

So we pushed it a bit, and made good time, arriving at our hotel (which is hilariously furnished, and more so after we’ve added our gear) at 1:30. Dropped our stuff, I took a quick shower to revive a bit, and we walked the 2.5k (pack-less!) to the museum with baited breath. Aaaaaand, they were sold out. Shit.

So back we came, with me virtually in tears and Lis working hard to keep my spirits up by talking about lunch options. We snarfed down a tourist burger and mixed salad (which means: lettuce, tomatos, white asparagus, onion slivers, olives, and a pile of chopped tuna on top), and got me back so I could crash under the covers.

A couple of hours ago I woke up, went out and grabbed us a very yummy locally made pizza, and now we’re down for the night. Sleep, food, foot care, laundry, tomorrow’s schedule, download photos, write a post. These are the things that occupy us in between these beautiful long walks.

Tonight I’m thanking all of the family members who made (and are still making) it possible for us to be here, now. Thank you guys!! xoxox

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