ok, so this trip to the north was meant to be an escape from the smoky crowded noisy city to the calm peace of the seaside and the relaxing rhythm of walking each day and meeting new people each night. I was prepared for all weather and really looking forward to the challenge.
Sadly, it was not all i hoped.
The weather all over Spain for Easter was strange - I am used to the joke about it always raining over Easter in Sydney, but apparently they have the same joke here.... and rain t did.
I dont really mind walking in the rain, in fact its quite calming if its not flooding your path or making it full of sticky mud......but my problem this time was waterproofing. My "yes, maam, its totally waterproof" pack cover is not as waterproof as I would have hoped. Much like sleeping in a tent in the rain, when you touch the sides, little rivers of rain soak your bed. Well, these little rivers made great friends with my dry set of clothes, so after a very long and very frustrating day searching for non-existent way-markings, I pulled into the "closed for renovations" pilgrim hostel, trudged on with the last of my energy to an overpriced room i a hotel to find every item wet enough to make them unwearable. So I passed a lonely night rotating my clothes over the spluttering heater and watched "FAME" in spanish.
I stayed in the north for 5 days and then decided to cut my loses and go back to Madrid. In all that time, with misdirections, closed or non existent accommodation, easter prices, and total lack of "camino spirit" I only managed to walk about 18-20 km on 4 of the days and nowhere near the 117km I hoped to cover. I was so disappointed - and it was temporary - that I felt like Id "failed" or something. It took me a day or two to settle back after the aborted mission and now I see it for what it was - a good break, a bit of reconnaissance, and ann opportunity to see Bilbao (big and industrial) and Santander (beachy and lovely).
So after complaining to Ruben, he reminded me that we are only a 4 hour train ride away and can easily go back in the warmer months when the hostels are open and enjoy it together!
So, not an amazing adventure but there is always something to take away from these things. Plus I got to talk to cows and goats again in twisting winding country roads, so it was worth it for that alone.