Friday Oct 7. Islares. 0 km Camino walking.
Our second night stay in the same lodging. Not having to unpack every night, and pack every morning is a small luxury. It’s also one of the biggest attractions why people take cruises. We have met people who have taken double digit cruises as a preferred way of vacationing!
We woke up about 30 mins later than usual this mornig, i.e. 7am. Perhaps our bodies have been conditioned for an early wake up, that we cannot sleep in?
We decided to take a bus into Castro Urdiales as Islares is really a small sleepy town with not much. Google Maps is must-have app as it shows the directions to the transit point (i.e. bus stop in this case) plus the buses (schedules, bus #). Using Google Translate, I was able to confirm with a local lady who came a few minutes later, that this was the right bus stop to catch the bus to C-D. Again, she later confirm the bus must be running late, as the printed schedule on the bus stop showed an earlier schedule than Google Maps (fortunately, latter was correct, otherwise, we would have an hour’s wait).
When asked which is their favorite season of the year, almost everyone will have a response and reasons why. A similar question in the same vein is which time of the day is one’s favorite?
I know many catch the sun set, but not many catch the sun rise. But from a photographic perspective, the morning sun shines the best soft light on objects. See if you agree from the following pictures.
We did walk in C-D; and Joon’s Fitbit buzzed that 10,000 step marker soon enough. We ended up with 14,000 steps (yesterday, we clocked in at 40,000 steps!).
We enjoyed being tourists for the morning – checking out the sights, taking pictures, having cafe con leche and cafe solo with pincos at a sidewalk table, people watching, popping into the various panaderia to wonder at the range of pastries, and taking advantage of the ‘menu del dia’ (menu of the day – which comes with 1st, 2nd courses, bread, dessert and water or table wine). One cultural difference is that the restaurants (in general) ask us to re-use our silverware from 1st course. Imagine the amount of water, soap and labor saved if America adopted this for non-5 star restaurants!
The rest of the afternoon was some logistics planning. Earlier in the morning, I had posted on a Camino Forum a question about an upcoming coastal route. These Camino Forums are a wonderful resource of real life experiences. I had already booked a hotel on an inland route, and I was trying to assess if we could do the longer coastal route, as it seemed there was no accommodation options. To cut a long story short, I got a response, was able to re-arrange all my bookings for that stretch without any cancellation fees! Timing is everything.
Getting back to our hotel in Islares was a bit of adventure. Google Maps indicated we needed two buses (I suspect it didn’t have the local bus line in their system). So, we opted to walk about a km to a spot that we knew for sure, the return bus will pass by. Before we got to that target spot, we came across a bus stop, and a bus pulled up. I asked the driver whether it was going to Islares, she responded in Spanish that I should be waiting for Line 2 bus. The doors closed before I could sign-language whether this was the right bus stop. Well, what happened next was amazing. As the bus pulled away, I could see an old lady seated behind the bus driver gesturing to me that we have to walk further up to a different bus stop to catch Line 2. As we walked further upwards, Joon looked backwards (why?) and caught sight of Line 2 bus coming up. I was further ahead, and when I heard her called out, I saw the bus and instinctively put out my hand. Mind you, we were not at the next bus stop yet. The bus pulled to a screeching stop to let us in. The driver confirmed it was going to Islares. Second wonder! Is this all luck?
Finally, a Rest Day will be incomplete without restoring our inner spiritual balance. We spent time in the morning in Iglesia Santa Maria de la Asuncion. Joon spotted this hidden inside a gated chapel.