Natural Beauty of the Camino de Santiago Norte

From its coastal pathways to its sandy shores and surrounding mountain ranges, the Camino Norte provides a continuous experience of natural beauty and peace.

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Camino de Santiago marker in Colombres

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Path approaching Bufones de Arenillas

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Shoreline along the GR E-9 trail between Pendueles and Bufones de Arenillas

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Picos de Europa Mountain Range

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San Antolín Beach 

Last Chicas begin our journey in Santillana del Mar and spend the first days walking in the rain. This is perhaps the only drawback of traveling along the Camino Norte, particularly in the region of Asturias.

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The weather begins to lift as we exit Comillas, walking along this estuary until the path turns and heads toward San Vicente.

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We arrive in San Vicente de la Barquera over la Puente de la Maza. The Puente (bridge) de la Maza dates back to the 15th century and was built with stone over an older medieval bridge made of wood, dating from the 6th century This Puente stretches more than 500 meters and has 32 arches.

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Puente de la Maza

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San Vicente de la Barquera as seen from the Puente

It’s a fiesta day in San Vicente de la Barquera with few accommodations available and an albuergue, the usual accommodation for peregrinos, not highly recommended. But our good fortune leads us to a lovely hotel along the Cantabrian Sea (the coastal sea of the Atlantic Ocean along the northern coast of Spain) and we enjoy a short respite before continuing on the following day.

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Cantabrian Sea, San Vicente de la Barquera, Spain

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13th Century Gothic Church, Santa María, in the distance

Traveling toward Llanes we come to los Bufones de Arenillas. The bufones are a geological crack formed within the cliff, that act like a spout for eruptions of seawater, sometimes as high as 20 meters. We arrive on a day when the sea is quiet and no eruptions are visible. But the rumble of the ocean is audible, like deep breaths from beneath the rocks.

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Bufones de Arenillas

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Bufones de Arenillas sea view

On another day we see the Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de los Dolores,

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and later in the day arrive in Piñeres de Pría, greeted by these sweet goats.

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We walk beside both wild,

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and domestic animals,

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as well as many flowers and fruits…

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Even in the city of Gíjon, sea and sky dominate the views:

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And the overwhelming beauty of the Camino keeps us coming back for more…

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© 2015 by Lisa Howells and Mary Reynolds. All rights reserved.

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