The taxi arrives to take us to Torrelevega bus station at 9.15am and Dad and Linda set off to sunny Salamanca and I catch up with emails and blog in bar with wifi until 12.45pm when I catch the bus back to Gijón. It's a very grey journey with low clouds and no mountain views, made more sultry by the anti-glare film on the bus windows.
A British couple behind me are squabbling because the weather is so grim. It is! This isn't the bit of Spain to visit for non-stop sun.
Since I've already spent four nights in Gijón; I make a decision to escape the time-warp and travel to Avilés by bus. The motorway journey takes 30 minutes through a heavily industrialised landscape and I'm rather sad to miss the grit of the walk. We pass several coal-fired power-stations belching dramatic clouds of steam en route. However when I arrive I realise it was a good decision; it is the natural next stop on my journey and preserves the correct order in my Credential. I discover that Avilés is an interesting mix of old and new and the albergue is clean, well run and costs €6.
But it's back to the bunks and men in skimpy underpants. An Italian chap moves into the bunk next to mine and starts a loud conversation about kilometres with a fellow Italian across the dorm. Mmm.
I have a nice hot shower, do some washing and go to explore. First stop Centro Niemeyer; a cultural centre designed by the Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer. It is reached by a dramatic Cor-ten steel bridge across the old docks and has splendid views of the belching power-station, coal depots, cranes and ships. This is an industrial city with chutzpah.
Then I turn inland to the Old City with its marvellous arcades, cobbled streets and spacious squares. It's a University town with an art-school. I stop in an arcade bar for a beer and then a Pilgrim's meal for €9. Fabada bean stew followed by tortilla and pudding with a bottle of red wine. I only manage a couple of glasses.
It's EU referendum night. There's lots of stuff flying around on the internet and I'm glad I'm a thousand miles away.