Up early and out of the door at 7.20am for a long slow slog out of Santander. Urban sprawl goes on for miles, at first under leafy boulevards and then tyre repair workshops, sanitary ware warehouses and double glazing outlets. We have breakfast one in a bar and breakfast 2 when we leave Santander behind us. The route is mainly on tarmac but we are also walk alongside a railway track and through a random field, beside a motorway and then drop down to a wide river, the 'Ria de Morgo'.
We have coffee and tortilla at a deserted hotel/bar at Boo Pielagos and later walk past an albergue and railway station. Little did we know we would return.
At some point I missed the short alternative route which requires walking on a railway track (or taking the train one stop over the railway bridge), so by the time Annie said her feet could not manage an additional 17km we were half way round the river loop and sitting in a bar for a late lunch. I looked on my online map and there was an Albergue shown nearby; so off we set but it wasn't to be found. I knocked on a locals' door and he kindly drew a map - which took us all the way back to the albergue we had passed this morning. A long uphill drag but we eventually got there about 3pm.
It's a nice new Albergue, it is run by a young woman and has several clean airy dorms, a sun terrace on the roof and beer and crisps for 1€. So not all bad! Then a few minutes later in walked Christine, the American from San Miguel - great to see her. It all sort of feels meant to be- despite our detour.
Annie and I tackle our washing and sit in the sun; the €10 supper is delicious - a huge mixed salad, egg, bacon and chips, ice cream and bottles of wine. We have a fun evening on a table of French people and a lone Brit, who has lived in France for 13 years and speaks French with the most English accent imaginable! The wine flows- it's time for bed.