Smoking Our Success:

I woke up still feeling broken from the day before. The balls of my feet were bruised as I crawled down the ladder of my top bunk. My shoes were supposed to be perfect for this walk, but they’re meant more for trail walking and hiking with their thick rubber sole. Most of the northern way has been paved, so with every step, the hard rubber sole slaps the pavement causing bruising under my toes. I already knew that today’s walk would be miserable since we’d overworked ourselves the day before. Limping down the stairs, I joined the other pilgrims for breakfast and goodbyes.

Of course, we took the wrong turn early on and ended up having to backtrack two kilometers to the coastal route. It was already past 9am, and the sun’s rays were unaltered by clouds. Our walk today was supposed to be only 11km, but we accidentally ended up taking another scenic side-track. Rather than taking us directly to Llanes, it veered inland and took us to a trail that sat atop a small mountain range that encircled the city. We could see our destination in the distance for almost two hours as we circled the entire city. We were all getting overheated and hangry, and turtle time was definitely necessary. Antwon is awesome, but sometimes he doesn’t know when to stop talking. In my mind, I legitimately contemplated pushing him off the cliff.

We stopped at an incredible lookout point to take a rest and enjoy the view. It oversaw two pristine beaches, several islands, the entire east-west Spanish coast and the city of Llanes. It was one of the most incredible views I’ve ever seen, but somehow it was hard to appreciate with the amount of pain I was in. We met five Spanish girls that were studying in a translation school, so they spoke perfect English. They pointed us in the right direction and suggested some regional specialties for us to try at the restaurants in town.

After limping our way to the first sea-side restaurant we found, we dismantled our backpacks and took off our hiking boots. Taking off your shoes at the end of the day is one of the most invigorating feelings imaginable. We couldn’t help but order an impossible amount of food. We each got a salad and a steak covered in cobrales cheese sauce, one of the specialties the girls suggested to us. The food was excellent, but we were still starving, so we ordered more cobrales cheese (similar to blue cheese) and french fries. We were all appalled when our meals were only $10 each, but the measly slice of cheese amounted to $5. We’ve been ripped off by waitresses so many times on this trip.

We checked into the albergue that was located inside the train station in Llanes. When we arrived, I overheard two girls talking about Boise, so I interrupted them. Surprisingly, they both actually went to school in Moscow, but we had never met them before. What a small world we live in! Though we didn’t technically have a curfew here, the maid said we’d have another room mate joining us, thus we couldn’t take the key and thus by not having a key we’d have to be back before the front door locked. I met our fourth room mate when her and Antwon walked in on me while I was changing into my bathing suit. Antwon blamed me for the mishap because I didn’t lock the door, but I’m a firm believer that if a door is closed, you knock before you enter.

We headed down to the cute little beach for some suntanning. The mid-day sun is too hot to walk in, but it’s perfect to bask in. We all took naps and woke up boiling inside our own skin. After a quick dip in the ocean, we walked back down to the harbor to grab some drinks. Though we wanted sangria, the bartender talked us into the specialty of the county. It was like Sangria, but it was made out of Cider, slices of fruit, gaseous water and raw sugar. In comparison to sangria, I actually liked it better.

After watching Antwon’s fast fingers for the millionth time, we tried rolling cigarettes again at the bar. This time, after a few tries, Aria and I succeeded in rolling our first perfect cigarettes. Because of our fantastic achievement, Antwon told us it was imperative that we smoke our success. They were pure tobacco cigarettes with no added chemicals, so we figured why not? It was a little on the fun side, but not worth the lung cancer or waisted fortune. Don’t worry mom, we’re not picking up the habit.

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