Monday, September 14, 2015.
Last night I got an email from Larry, astonished that he and I have each met Erika! He writes that he’ll be in Buelna by 10:00 am. today, but we don’t want to wait to start walking. Besides, he will definitely catch up with us, at least with me, on the way to Llanes, and I e-mail him that message . . . “See you on the trail somewhere.” Ria, Erika and I begin the walk along the coast to Llanes, rather than on the road, again, each at our own pace. But first we walk through Buelna and realize that our albergue is just on the edge of a delightful little town, and the sea is on the other edge.
The day is again beautiful. So few days of walk-stopping rain here, though more than on the Camino Frances when I walked that trail. And with the coast to my right on much of each day’s walk so far, it’s a joyous thing, no matter how hard the actual walk might be. I have to remember that some days, and pace myself, as we have all encouraged Erika to pace HERSELF. But we know we will meet in Llanes this evening. We have beds tonight at an Albergue in the middle of town.
On this part of the coast there is a phenomenon called the Bufones (the Jesters), and there are two or three separate locations, I think. Over centuries, most likely, a specific pattern of waves has made holes in the rocks on the coastline, and when the tide is highest, the water shoots up under these holes and through them, causing mini-geysers, or so we’re told. Erika looked for the first set yesterday, but was walking when the tide wasn’t high enough. This morning we want to walk to the next location of the Bufones. Within ten minutes of leaving Buelna, we are each on our own course, at our own pace, but all moving along the same path, following the shells, the arrows, and the sea.
I get to a Bufones site, read the information on the very large poster, and walk as near the edge as I dare, because there are warning signs everywhere. I can see that the sea isn’t at high tide, so I just watch the dramatic coastline and the waves, and try to imagine how long it took for these holes to become Bufones.
You can click on this YouTube video if WordPress will let you, and see for yourself. I too have only seen them on YouTube just now. Below that link is one that tells how they came about . . . so interesting, and I’ve never heard of these before.
I continue on my walk and begin to get into hills and valleys. Cows pepper this hillside as well and I come upon a multiple of something I’ve seen before only in singles . . . watering tubs for the animals. Bathtubs lugged up the hillside, to catch the rainwater for the cows (and horses and sheep, I imagine).
As I walk fairly easily but slowly uphill for a time, I hear a friendly voice behind me . . . “Could you walk any slower and still be moving forward?” I turn, and there is Larry. He gives me a big hug, and we walk together for a bit, but of course, I AM slow, and he is not. He teases me once more before he moves ahead, but at the top of the hill, there is Erika, and then Ria. A mid-day Camino reunion, one none of us could have expected two days ago. Ria just met Larry for one instant at the end of the Camino Frances in 2013, and of course he and Erika just met two days ago, but we will spend a few days together on and off before we each arrive in Santiago.
As we walk, talk, split up to walk alone (I am always last, of course), I suspect the others are doing what I am doing . . . deep in thought when alone, deep in conversation when together. As I approach the top of yet another hill, I see the others waiting for me.
“We missed a turn somewhere, ” says Larry. “We’re supposed to be down there.” He points to the city of Llanes, but we’re nowhere near the ground-level approach.
“Oh, well,” one of us says. “We can see it, so we’ll get there eventually!” And of course we do. But not before we see some unexpectedly beautiful sights along the “wrong” way.
We do get to Llanes, and it seems nearly effortless, this 20 km day. Larry has a bed reserved in our albergue, but I know he will cancel it and find a private room somewhere. He doesn’t really want to be in a bunk room . . . he just got carried away with the reunion and had me make him a reservation when we stopped for lunch somewhere after the Bufones.
Erika wants to walk along the water, because there are some sort of famous blocks there, commemorating something I’m not quite sure of. So we go . . . I hope I can find a bit of background to send along with the photos.
After a long walk along yet another rocky and stunning coastline, we find a dinner place, run into other familiar faces, have food and wine, and then, as usual, head off to our bunks. It is raining when we turn off the lights.
Keep scrolling. Lots of white space on top of the next photo . . . but you’re not down yet.