Day 4: Salas to Tineo

19.8 km / 12.4 miles

Today was probably one of the worst days I’ve had on any of my Camino walks, conditions wise. It was also one of the toughest mentally. I left Salas around 6:30am in overcast but comfortable weather and feeling lots of energy. I felt good about today, because it would be a shorter and “easier” day. Ha! If only. 😃

As I reached the edge of Salas, it started raining. It didn’t stop for a few hours. In fact, it turned to downpour conditions for some of the walk. My poncho could have used it’s own poncho…that’s how drenched I was getting. After a bit, I felt like I was walking upstream because the Camino path essentially became a small stream. Oh and did I mention that all day today was mostly uphill? Somehow even the fact that it was a mostly gradual uphill didn’t make it hurt my legs any less.

Oh and I got my first blister since my feet were soaked while walking all day.

Trying to look happy even though I don’t enjoy hiking in the rain. 😃

For the first four miles I felt good, despite the weather. But nearing the top of one of the long hills today, my legs just felt sore and dead. I knew I hadn’t done enough training on mountain hikes before this trip and today I felt that lack of training. But nevertheless, she persisted.

I had a not so great encounter with a younger German Shepherd. I thought he was chained up as you see many farm dogs here. But he had freed the chain from whatever it was attached to. He seemed friendly, but then he started following me and lunging at me. I think mostly to play, but when you don’t know a dog, having them run and lunge at you can be a little disconcerting. He followed me well around the corner from his house, I kept yelling at him to go home. But then again, I don’t really know how to speak to dogs in Spanish about such things. He kept following me and occasionally running at me trying to grab at my hiking poles or my feet. Some other pilgrims came along and they helped me get him back to his house. A couple times he tried nipping at their feet (common practice with dogs trying to herd things) and being a larger pup, I wasn’t sure he knew how to hold back. Luckily his owner came out to bring him inside when we led him back to the house. I generally don’t fear dogs, but not being sure of what to expect here, it did throw me off a bit.

Around every corner was another hill.

I think one of the things that made today harder was that I didn’t notice even one bar or cafe open to stop at. So I never got to sit down for a short rest, didn’t get my typical Coke Zero, didn’t even have a real bathroom as an option. I’m really starting to notice the lack of Camino “infrastructure” on the Primitivo vs the other routes I’ve walked. Cafes and bars are fewer and farther between. On past routes, you could expect some sort of available stop in most villages and sometimes randomly on their own. Today was short on villages and even those I walked through didn’t have options for a good short break. I found a vending machine where I was able to buy an electrolyte drink, but that was it.

Yep. The trail.

I had booked a bed in a hotel that also has an albergue, but after the challenge of today’s walk, I decided to cash in a free hotel night and got myself a single room at the hotel. No dealing with top bunks, no dealing with school groups that take over the kitchen/social area so nobody else could use it (as happened last night), and no listening to snorers. Plus the room came with a bathtub, which made my legs and feet really happy.

It turns out Tineo is in a beautiful area when the rain stops.

Tomorrow has the opportunity to be a short day, which I might be tempted to take, but I may also consider walking farther so I can make a future long day even shorter. We’ll see.

The Camino has tested me today and with the looks of the forecast, it may continue to do so over the next few days. But I’m still happy I’m here.

12 thoughts on “Day 4: Salas to Tineo

  1. i was excited to see these emails again, pop up on my “annie – camino” category. i’ve been too busy to read them, but today’s subject caught my attention and the drudgery was palpable. “blisters in the rain” is a song i am all too familiar with. take care.

    Liked by 1 person

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