This is still Day 7
Day 7 – Comillas – San Vicente del Barqueria to Cabanes
We left the coast with a long beach walk in the drizzle just in time to catch the bus at San Vicente de la Barquera to head into the mountains of Picos Europa.
The clouds were breaking and the apples were refreshing as be began our hike on:
The Way of the Monks
First stop Cabanes. We had a wonderful hike up from the Lebena bus stop up 1,300ft. The weather cleared as we were hiking revealing blue skies to us.
Our arrival at Hostel Cabanes was early and though they were closed the attendant said they would open at 3pm and we could just make ourselves at home outside. The best part of the arrival was they had an old and odd vending machine just inside the gate and we were able to purchase refreshing Fanta’s!.
With the clear dry and windy air we did a much need wash and then joined the group for a great dinner….enjoying conversation with our new German fellow pilgrims.
Day 8 – Cabanes to Refugio Aliva
This turned out to be an amazing day. With a long but lovely hike down to Potes, stopping for some local cheese in the next village. We had a bit of trouble interpreting the bus schedule, but eventually with the help of an English couple touring the area found our way to the end of the bus line at Espinama on a school bus. From there we hitchhiked to left station at Fuente De.
From here we hike to our Hostel/Hotel Aliva. It was and almost mystical experience as the fog rolled in and out.
Day 9 – Aliva to Santo Torbino & Potes!
One of our longest days. Luckily it was largely down hill. Day opened with greeting the sunrise, and being surprised at how many people cars were up here….seems there was a major treking race taking place and we were in the middle of the final section. BTW. Racers started on the coast at midnight!
It was almost dark when we made it to Santo Toribio, the famous Pilgrim Destination for The Way of the Monk’s or Camino Liebana. One can get a special indulgence here, especially in the year of Jubilee, but best to not the conditions first. It is possible to enter into the Door of Forgiveness when it is open. This is the smaller door on the right and I think we did enter into though that one, but we didn’t meet all the other conditions.
Day 10 – Potes to La Hermida
Our last day in Picos de Europa. This was totally unplanned.
Awaking we expected to take the bus to beach and then hang out until we need to go to Bilbao the next day. But our German friends tempted us with the offer of hot springs of La Hermida….so we got off the bus almost right after we started. By 9am we were having breakfast and had checked into a wonderful private room over the river for just 30 Euros! There was a picture on the wall in the breakfast/bar of a famous hike from Urdon to Tresviso, high in the mountains. The climb was about 3,000 ft and the route was truely beautiful. The hotsprings were also worth the wait. Just the public ones in the river, not the fancy resort.
One final night’s dinner with the Germans.
Day 11 – La Hermida to Bilbao
We finally did get an ocean swim. A short dip back at San Vincente. Before heading to Bilbao by bus.
Read about the final night in Bilbao, back on that page: