Day 3: Grado to Salas

22.7 km / 14.2 miles

Yesterday was a 16 mile day that felt like 12. Today was 14 miles and felt like 20. That’s how it goes on the Camino sometimes. I think day 3 is when your body starts to get defiant in accepting the torture you’re putting it through. Usually by day 5, the body understands the full routine and is more up to the task. Today also had endless ups and downs for elevation including a brutal hill at the start leaving Grado.

Today was meant to be sunny all day. I saw the sun, sure, but saw more clouds and the occasional rain – including some short downpours. I never did get all my rain gear out but stood under trees to wait out the heavy rain. That seemed to do the trick since the weather changed within minutes.

An older working farm dog that had made the rounds along the fence, while two younger dogs kept an eye on the cows in the pasture. It was clearly time for the old one to stop and take a rest.

Today I saw more cows and horses, and beautiful views – though I’d say yesterday was overall a prettier walk.

I did also see more pilgrims today. This route is much quieter in general than the Camino Frances or the Portuguese, so I’m noticing that I’m seeing the same few people over and over. There also seem to be a larger percentage of pilgrims from Spain on this route compared to the other routes I’ve walked in the past. This makes me wish I had started in on Duo Lingo Spanish sooner. What I’ve learned on there has certainly helped me out on this walk, but more would have helped. Despite that, I’ve had some good conversations with folks that don’t speak English and I’ve had to try to use the few words of Spanish I do know.

Wishing I had my good camera for this shot.

So I mentioned the horses. Those in the pic above seemed up to no good. When I was walking near them they had just run up the hillside. Unfortunately in their goofing around, it appeared one had a recent scratch on their back that I gather was from another’s tooth. My guess around this is because one had some blood on it’s nose that it probably got from adding that scratch to the other’s back. Nothing too serious, but hopefully their owner was able to attend to them soon after I walked by.

My other, more pleasant, horse encounter today was when one of the locals in a village was about to walk his mare and foal down from the small barn at his house to the pasture about a quarter mile down the hill through town. Mom was lead by a halter, but baby was able to follow behind at their own pace, which meant lots of stopping to smell things and take bites of grass. Little one was tempted to follow me on the Camino, but I told them they should follow their mom – and so it did.

I love the simple Camino signs, but I must say that those that are decorated in unique fashion are a deposit in the emotional bank account while walking.
There are old fountains every so often on the Camino, many with potable water for pilgrims to fill up their water bottles.

Salas is a charming little village to wander around. I arrived before the albergue opened and I hadn’t made a reservation in advance so I ended up with a top bunk (my worst nightmare of the Camino) in a nice little albergue. Many of the same folks that stayed at my albergue last night are there as well. The bunk bed doesn’t have roll bars on one side, so wish my luck that I don’t fall off in the middle of the night. 😳

Due to there being so few albergues along the Primitivo, I’m starting to think I should start pre-booking a bed, especially in a small town. It’s not the way I want to walk, in case I decide not to stay in a certain town one night, but I also don’t like the stress of worrying about walking up to an albergue with a Completo (full) sign on the door.

Tomorrow is a shorter day with only minor gradual elevation gain. Hopefully this will be a good way to get my body to accept what we’re doing before the bigger climbs of this Camino start.

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