That’ll put a smile on your face.

I think the fact that I seem to have started taking an interest in the sex lives of dragonflies might suggest that I’ve been away from home too long already, or at the very least that I shouldn’t be spending quite so long in the midday sun…but you’ve got to admit, that does look remarkably like a very large grin on his face. Not quite sure about the way she’s looking at me though (and who can blame her?).

Which leads me in a very Smashy and Nicey way to my own reason to smile today; I’m officially a third of my way into this journey, having covered 11 stages of the 33 that make up The Northern Way across Spain.

Unfortunately that doesn’t equate exactly in mileage as some of the stages for the next two thirds of the trip are a bit longer than the ones I’ve been doing up til now. But I’ve still covered around 250km or 155 miles, and I’ve got to say, I feel pretty chuffed with that.

Today’s leg from Castro Urdiales came in at a very respectable 36km and was one of my favourite days so far. There was a pretty long stretch of B-road out of Castro which my knees didn’t thank me for, but after about 3km there’s a turning down a dirt track and the view changes from this:

To this:

After which it’s pretty hard for any part of your body to stay grumpy.

What I liked most about this leg was that it somehow seemed to tie in all the different aspects that I have experienced so far; so yes, I had the long stretches of road that I’ve been moaning about in the last couple of posts…

But I also got a slightly more interesting visual version of them:

And I got to return to the mountains, although the paths that took me there didn’t lead relentlessly upwards, but actually gave me the easier option occasionally (I couldn’t quite believe that the path on the right was the way that the omniscient yellow arrows were pointing towards):

Yet despite that, I still got to enjoy the stunning vistas of a few days back…

…on the way to the coast at Laredo, which looked remarkably like this:

Now, it may look a bit built up, but after 36km it could have been Torremolinos for all I cared; there is nothing quite like walking onto a beach in a pair of hiking boots and a rucksack, dumping it all on the sand and jumping straight into the sea.

And the beach is actually gorgeous – I’ll try and remember to take a picture of it at sunrise tomorrow morning on my way out of town when it’s not packed with sizzling bodies to share on tomorrow’s post.

But for now, I’m going to try and find somewhere that serves a high protein menu to get me back on track for tomorrow

Although not quite this high protein:

And just one more thing. On arriving in Laredo I found that all the Albergues were fully booked, so I’m devastated to say that I won’t be sharing my bed with 30 other people tonight; a fitting end to the day, I’d say. Although I’m not sure that the name of the Pension that I found to put me up for the night is entirely in keeping with the austerity measures of yore. Esmeralda indeed – and spread over TWO portions of my Credencial, the trollop…

Filed under: On The Road Tagged: Charity, Dragonflies copulating, Photograph, Rethink Mental Illness, The Camino de Santiago de Compestela, The Northern Way

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