Blisters and The Beatles:

We told the hostel owner, in Aviles, that we were really interested in staying along the coast for as much of our trip as possible. My book, from the Friends of the Camino office spoke about a fishing village called Cudillero, but Aria’s guidebook (the one we’ve been following closely) said nothing of the town. It was recently voted to be Spain’s most beautiful fishing village, and the albergue owner concluded that this was indeed true. He told us it was too far to walk there in one day and that we should sleep in San Esteban that evening. Though neither of these towns were along the Camino route, we figured a nice coastal detour could do no harm.

As we were leaving, dreads woke up and jumped out of his bed to ask if we wanted to go to breakfast with him. To avoid accepting his invitation, we told him that it was going to be a really hot day and that we had to get going. Thus, we escaped dreads for the second and hopefully last time. We definitely lied to the poor guy, however, as we stopped to get breakfast and coffee at a small cafe on the way out of town. We felt a little bad, but there was no way we could have managed him for the duration of a five-hour walk. We knew if we got breakfast together, we’d be stuck with him for good. Sometimes, a little white-lie is absolutely necessary.

We lost the path of arrows on our way out of town. Some cities give better directions for pilgrims than others. Our book even rates each town based on its signage. Getting lost isn’t always that bad because it forces us to ask for directions. We asked several people for directions, and they happily pointed us along our way. People are so helpful and friendly when they recognize that you’re a pilgrim, but not so much when they just think you’re a tourist. When we have our backpacks strapped on, people wave and holler greetings and many people point you in the direction of the Camino without you even asking them. It’s as if they all want to play a part in finding your way.

Thank goodness we reached the albergue, because Aria’s feet were about to fall off. We went uphill most of the way, and her heels rub on her shoes while walking uphill. It’s weird because the uphill slopes are easier on my feet and knees, and the downhill stretches make my feet ache badly. Once in our room, Aria ripped off her boots to find blisters the size of her entire heel. She was quick to poke them with a sterile needle. I wasn’t as easygoing when it came to the tiny blisters in-between my pinky toes. Antwon had to pop them the other day as I clung to my bed post and screamed.

The blister-popping obviously put us in the mood for menu del dia, so we headed to cheapest restaurant along the water’s edge. The food was mediocre at best, but we are always famished once we finish our daily hike. We finished our meals and asked our waitress how to get to the beach. She looked at us really strangely. Apparently we were mislead and there was only a small port and boat-launch in this town. Regardless, we laid the tapestry out near the concrete boat-launch and fell asleep.

The shower in the hostel was no more than 2’x2’ and the shower-head was broken off the wall. It was virtually impossible to hold the shower head and keep the water within the curtains. I stepped out of the shower into a 2" puddle of my own bath water. When I looked to see where the puddle ended, I realized it wasn’t a puddle. I opened the bathroom door to find that the water was streaming out into the hallway and bedrooms. I had completely flooded the youth hostel, but luckily there was a small mop and bucket provided by the management. I spent most of the night feeling like Cinderella and sopping up my mess.

Before calling it a night, we went back out and explored the little town. We found a really posh Sidreria and specially requested sangria of cider. The bartender was blasting the Beatles non-stop, and we were relieved by his taste in music. Our parents raised us to REALLY love the Beatles, as they were my favorite band since I can remember. While all my little friends were crushing on Aaron Carter, Paul McCartney was always my man-crush. We knew every word to every song the Sidreria played, and we weren’t afraid to sing along. Some people laughed at us, some people were bobbing their heads, some people sang along softly and some people were probably annoyed as hell. Neither I, nor the cider in me cared what anyone thought.

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