The Storks of Böbs

The Storks of Böbs
A Very Fine Pair

Day 5 down to the Iberian Peninsular (Santillana Del Mar)

Santillana Del Mar
Next morning dawned a lot brighter than yesterday, it had rained quite a bit during the night, but nothing that a Geordie Lad and a Belfast Lass would put to any degree of discomfort. I popped off to have a shower and anything else one does after a good night’s sleep. Returning to find Linda had already breakfasted and mine (today was Müsli) waiting for me, off she went for her shower, when she returned we got our walking shoes on and headed down the hill into the village. We walked down the hill passing a large field with a herd of ponies of about 10 bedraggled species, that were reminiscent of the pit ponies that were used down the mines in bygone days. There was a lot of ariel activity as white Egrets and grey Heron flew hither and thither collecting nesting material before alighting in the trees.

The village of Santillana was just waking from its sleep, the shop keepers and trinket sellers starting to hang out their goods and chattels, there were not a lot of potential buyers at this time in the morning, in fact besides the Stodo duo there were perhaps half a dozen non-residents mooching through the streets.

The village being on one of the main pilgrimage routes had all the trappings of getting as much money out of them as possible, but in a nice sort of way, no grabbing or cajoling, you are welcome to go in and browse, enquire and leave if nothing takes your fancy.

The village is centred round the ancient collegiate church dedicated to St Juliana, but there are other towers, fortifications and residences most dating before the 18th Century. We wandered and looked, took photos, stopped at a joiner’s workshop to admire his skill and the magnificent pieces of furniture he had produced.

That's what I call an Orange Tree

As we wandered back towards the village spring and wash-house, I felt the need for a toilet, a small bistro, café, tapas bar was just opening up, we enquired if they were serving, invited in I found the Loo, Linda ordered the coffees and we sat and admired the wonderful wood burning grill, that was just being cleared of the previous evenings ashes, I am a great BBQer, but this was something else, the last time I has seen a one of these was when my daughter Janice was working in  Playa de Ares 20 years previous. The Tapa shelves were just being loaded, I had a look and saw that there was an octopus salad sitting there asking to be eaten, and so I duly complied and ordered it and ate it.
The Grill

My Octopus Salad (Breakfast)

The Tapas Bar

We then strolled back to the main road and searched out the Tourist Information Office (in my opinion the best place to get Tourist Information), then walked across the road to a couple of convents, one originally a Dominican Cloister, now a Diocesan Museum, managed by Nuns from the order of St Clair. The other a one founded in the 17th Century in the Baroque style and was far richer than the next-door neighbour being supported by the local landed gentry who sent their daughters there (I suppose to keep them out of harms way and out of the arms of unsuitable suiters).

I had succumbed and bought myself a piece of memorabilia of my walk along part of the pilgrims way, I got myself a very nice walking staff, with a gnarled head, I found myself very fetching as I strode up the hill to the campsite, I think once I get my old friend on top of head I shall be the envy of all respectable pilgrims.
Back at the camp site the reception was now open, Linda went in and payed our dues, I got the Camper disconnected and ready for the road, Linda got on board and off we jolly well went in the direction of Gijon. I decided as it was just a short journey (200 kms) we would take the pilgrims road, I am so glad I did, as not only did we pass many hardy souls on their way to Santiago de Compostela (many not knowing why and most wishing they hadn’t by now) but also we passed through some wonderful villages, drove along some magnificent shorelines and crossed some spectacular hills, it could have been Northumberland.

More Pilgrims Progressing

The Shoreline

Good Old Osborn
One of the many beaches that the Pilgrims can plodge in
Our Sat-Nav could not find the Campsite at first and we ended up at a surfer’s place right on the waters edge on one of the surfing beaches in Gijon, so we about turned and eventually found the correct one. This was a municipal site, with trimmed hedges, swimming pool, bar restaurant and a gravelled even pitch, perfect. Unfortunately, the site only had WIFI near to the main buildings. We chose not to go into town but to have a meal sitting by the swimming pool, which was empty and being pressure cleaned in readiness for the summer season.

So Much for the diet!
We ordered a glass of Rosé and checked out the menu, Linda ordered Calamari rings and I ordered chaperons (baby squid) cooked in an onion and wine sauce, we shared a large plate of Patas Bravas, we sat in the sunshine and indulged ourselves, I indulged myself in another two glasses of wine. We paid up went back to the camper, me to sleep and Linda to sit in the sun and read her book.

When I was rudely awakened by Linda informing me it was 19:00 (if I wanted to know the time I would buy a watch). I went down to the reception buildings, to read my mails, post yesterdays blog (only semi success on that front) glean some information about tolls on Portuguese motorways (the fools have gone all electronic). Linda popped down to see what I was doing, we then went back to the camper, Linda to sleep and I to write up this load of drivel. So night, night all. 

No comments:

Post a Comment