DAY 48. 24 JUNE 2016. AVILÉS TO SAN ESTABAN DE PRAVIA

 Shock and grief

Shock and grief

I heard the result of the EU referendum in the dorm this morning and am feeling shocked and sickened. One of the pillars of my identity has been kicked out from under me; I thought I was living in a Modern European democracy. It appears not. I commiserate with a Yorkshire couple and a man from Northern Ireland; goodness knows what's going to happen now.

 I can't see the arrows today

I can't see the arrows today

It's a warm wet day: I set out with my umbrella from Avilés, but the yellow arrows give out, or I'm so shocked I can't see them. I'm distracted and have to use my app to get out of town. I realised that following the arrows requires mindfulness and constant awareness; I'm thinking about what country I might emigrate to and whether my pension would be valid abroad. Not a good space to be it.

 Talisman on a granary wall

Talisman on a granary wall

The route today is inland on roads and logging tracks; some full of mud and water. I have to scramble up a steep bank at one point to avoid an impassable section.

 Pilgrim's Progress

Pilgrim's Progress

At Santiago del Monte I shelter in a chapel porch from the heavy rain and meet a young American guy doing the same. He has blisters so I give him some wool for his shoes.  The chapel is C12th and dedicated to Nuestra Señora de los Remedios, which was a hospital for pilgrims. I feel in need of Los Remedios right now.

At Soto del Barco a few km further on, we pass a castle perched above a bend of the river.

 Nuestra Señora de los Remedios 

Nuestra Señora de los Remedios 

A couple of German girls in the dorm told me that there is a nice hostel and sea-views at San Estaban de Pavia, so I take their advice and head there. I arrive at 4pm after a long 22km in the rain. It's an estuary port with a single track railway and dock side cranes on a wide stretch of water. The hostel is pretty dowdy and luckily I get a bed in a room by myself, but it's definitely bed-bug sheet territory.

I meet the German girls in a bar later; I don't think it's quite what they had imagined either. They have the Pilgrims Menu in house; I go out for an overpriced tapas of mussels and salad.

While I eat supper I'm reading BBC News and the Guardian online and when I get up to pay the bill, I burst into tears at the bar. The barmaid looks completely bemused and doesn't understand what I'm trying to say; I feel foolish and hurry away to bed.

 Boarded building on the way into town

Boarded building on the way into town