Day 11 – Laredo to Guemes

5/21/17 – 32.5km/20.2mi from Laredo to Guemes with relatively flat walking except for one steep climb on a cliff nestled between two beautiful beaches.

The trail today was lovely but long, and there were points where the sun was baking us on the road as we walked. We walked a few miles along the beach from Laredo, and caught a boat across the Laredo bay to Santoña. We then continued a few miles more until we hit the beach there, climbed up the cliff I mentioned, and then walked a few miles more into Noja. After a nice lunch, we had a long and hot slog for the next six hours.

But everything, truly everything, was worth it when we arrived at the albergue we stayed in tonight. La Cabaña Del Abuelo Peuto is owned and run by Ernesto, a man who has led a fascinating and long life of traveling, of spirituality, of learning, and of service – giving of himself to others. I’m sure we all get caught up in materialism every now and then, but when I hear people like him talk, I think of how much I’d like to be like that. On top of that, the entire place was beautiful. It had a great lawn where Joe and I did nearly 30 minutes of yoga after an eight hour hike, and instead of being difficult, it was freeing and relaxing. The place had an amazing dinner, and we got to listen to Ernesto’s great stories. I even got my new friends to join in on some of the games I’d brought along. I can think of no better hostel, hotel, or albergue I’ve stayed in, on any walking trail I’ve ever done, that is better than this one – facilities, ambience, atmosphere, everything. Do the Camino Del Norte, and come to this place. You won’t regret it.

Another small treasure I found at Ernesto’s place was a little laminated sheet that I found at Ernesto’s place showing some of the common points of many of the world’s religions. Say and believe what you will, but it only solidified my belief that the best lessons of every religion are the same: they try to teach us to be better, and to treat others well.