6/6/17 – 26km/16.2mi overall from Cadavedo, to Luarca, with only 1-2 major climbs. The actual walk was fairly short, but I loved Luarca so much that I walked for several miles all around it for photos and sightseeing, bringing my daily mileage fairly high.
The day began with a leisurely exit from awesome Casa Carín – some of us needed the extra time after last night’s massive birthday celebration!! – and a peaceful walk through forest paths and small villages. Yesterday we added another member to our “Camigos Del Norte” crew, Anne, who joined us and brought the team back to 8, although of course our departed friends Katharina and Joe will be missed. Every now and then we got a glimpse of the sea, as the path remained close to it the entire day. We stopped for lunch at a little bar in Barcia where we met Arturo, a delightful (and talkative) local who told us about his previous Camino experiences, and much much more – and we understood about 20% of it… David and I are speaking and understanding Spanish well enough, but some people have thick accents!
An hour or so later we arrived in Luarca, about which I cannot say enough! Its town center and marina is nestled between 2 peninsulas that keep the ocean more or less at bay, but the town also constructed a major breakwater to ensure that its beach remains peaceful. We had lunch/dinner at Bar Cambaral, which is named for a legendary pirate who was captured in Luarca but then entered into forbidden love with the mayor’s daughter! It’s worth reading the full story here: https://www.slideshare.net/m…/isarevi/the-kiss-bridge-carmen. At the bar, what was legendary was the chicken fingers! Totally homemade, with an incredibly tangy sauce, and gluten free as they were breaded with corn flakes! Someone ordered them while Victoria and I got salads, a piece was shared, then another piece was shared, and next thing you knew we had 8 orders of the things poppin’ out of the kitchen. I couldn’t tell if the lady cooking them was flattered that we liked them so much, or exhausted from all that chicken-makin’.
After that I went strolling around Luarca as I mentioned, hoping for good photos and views. And it was awesome – I climbed up through the fishing village of Pescaderia for stunning views of the Ria Negra that snakes through town, as well as the 2 beaches nearby. I climbed back down, and then climbed up the other side, to go to the 1862 Luarca Lighthouse, and the Church of the White Virgin and the sea-facing Luarca Cemetery nearby. I was surprised to learn that Severo Ochoa de Albornoz, winner of the 1959 Nobel Prize for medicine, for his discoveries on the workings of RNA and DNA was buried there, alongside his wife! He couldn’t have asked for a better view into eternity. Finally I checked out the breakwaters and the marina again before heading back to our albergue to rest up for a 20-mile day tomorrow.