We had a good reason to sleep in this morning. Rain was forecasted until about 10am. So we left our campground in Sopela around 11. Then it rained. But it didn’t rain long enough for my worn out rain jacket to start leaking, so all was good.
Today we saw several pilgrims, the people who are walking the northern alternative route of the Compostela de Santiago. Good chunks of the route are on roads, which wouldn’t appeal to me, but everyone we exchanged greetings with seemed content. Perhaps they were content because the roads were quiet, the shoulders wide, and the views of beaches and forested hills pleasant.
Carrie and I were content too. After navigating through the outskirts of Bilbao and over its transporter bridge, we were worried that our route on the national roads toward Santander would be anything but pleasant. But our worries were unfounded.
Some time recently Spain built a new freeway system to link most cities. Before the new freeways however, Spain already had a well-connected national highway system, albeit on smaller roads than the new multi-lane freeways. Since the freeways run parallel with the old national roads, almost all of the traffic has moved over to the freeways. We hope this means that the national roads continue to offer a fine option for cyclists and walkers.
When we arrived in Laredo we happened upon what appeared to be a renaissance fair. People were dressed in olde tyme clothes selling olde tyme things, like drinking horns, swords, and flower tiaras. There were a bunch of food vendors too. We bought 9€ worth of olives. I asked for a little bit but we ended up with enough for several meals. I have to improve my Spanish.
We then began our search for a campground. Laredo had a few to choose from. We ignored the first option because it was close to town. We figured it would be loud from people drinking too much mead at the fair. The second option was closed. We arrived at the third and final option, but it appeared to be closed.
As we were turning around to leave, I spotted a guy who was cleaning up the campground. I asked if the campground was closed and he started saying a lot of words that I didn’t understand. I turned to Carrie for interpretation. She spoke with the guy for a minute. It eventually became clear that the guy was the campground owner and that the campground was closed but that he wouldn’t mind if we camped for one night. Great! We had the place to ourselves, which meant a peaceful night’s sleep.