Camino de Madrid

Camino de Madrid
Camino de Madrid

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Day 21. October 4, 2015. La Vega to Oviedo. 26 kms

It was only a drizzle, 
And hardly a pizzle
When I set out for breakfast this morn.
But when it did fizzle,
I continued to grizzle,
For I'd gone without coffee at dawn.

Indeed, it was barely light when I left the albergue this morning, hoping that one of the town's two bars would be open, but no luck, so I had to walk ten kilometres into Polo. That's a long walk for breakfast!

Polo is a sad industrial town with more graffiti on the walls than I've ever seen before, and not only on abandoned buildings, but on occupied ones as well, a measure perhaps of high unemployment, for I have left behind the more prosperous coastal towns supported by tourism.

And then it was a longish ten-mile hike into Oviedo along highways and byways, surprisingly quiet most of the time, as it weaved between the railway and the autoroute and avoided housing and industrial development.

I have lost my earlier companions of the walk, but have fallen in with a Danish fellow, Preben, who gave me the idea of making this little detour through Oriedo. But Jack the Kiwi, Gal the Israeli, Frederika the German, a Czech couple, and the smoking Danish mother and son, all have disappeared, and are likely way ahead of me, now that I have lost another day by this detour.

It was worth it though. The old quarter was typically Spanish, with winding streets leading into large plazas, where everyone is out walking and meeting or eating and drinking. How the climate has influenced their culture, encouraging an openness and outwardness, in no small way contributing to the difference from northern nations in everything from art and music and sport to industry and economic prosperity!

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