We woke up on Day 23 of the walking the Camino de Santiago with absolutely no motivation to walk. That’s the thing about the Camino, though, it’s your pilgrimage. If you feel like being a tourist for the day then you should be a tourist for the day.
And that’s exactly what we did in the beautiful pilgrim destination of Oviedo.
I say that Oviedo is a pilgrim destination because – since the 9th Century – pilgrims on their way to Santiago have diverted to Oviedo, which is the origin of the first pilgrimage to Santiago. Also, the cathedral in Oviedo is said to contain remnants of both the True Cross and the Crown of Thorns.
We diverted to Oviedo as well, following in the tradition of so many pilgrims before us, so that we could experience a taste of the Camino Primitivo – the original Camino route – and so that we could see Oviedo.
Since seeing the town (and not the church) was our goal, we weren’t all that disappointed when the line to get inside the cathedral looked similar to the line to see the Mona Lisa at the Louvre in Paris. Lizz and I took one look at the tour guides waving flowers on sticks and wrangling sweaty tourists who scrambled over one another to get a better spot in line – and we went the other way.
We wandered around Oviedo, watching the dancing and listening to the street performers before making our way to the train station.
On this impromptu rest day (in which we still logged five tourist miles!) we planned the rest of our stages.
Our plan had always been to get back to the Camino del Norte after our detour to Oviedo. Since the detour had cost us a day, we needed to make up for some mileage in order to get to Santiago on schedule. So, we got back to the Camino del Norte by way of a long train ride to Cadavedo, jumping ahead two Camino stages while we were at it.
Once in Cadavedo, we stopped by a grocery store before checking into our hotel that had a kitchen – and we cooked dinner for the first time in more than 23 days.
While we cooked dinner, we waited in anticipation for Lizz’s friend Margo to arrive. Margo had made the trip from sunny San Diego to northern Spain so that she could walk with us for a whole week. And we couldn’t wait to see what she thought about the Camino.
We also dealt with some nerves because, if all went as planned, we were enjoying what would be our last rest day until we reached Santiago.
Stage Miles: 55
Actual Miles Walked: 5 (tourist miles rather than stage miles but they still count!)
Bus forward Miles: 55 (train)
Total Miles Walked So Far: 266 (428 kilometers)