Stage 2: San Juan de Villapañada – Bodenaya


m. cumulative ascension


To awaken quite alone in a strange town is one of the most pleasant sensations in the world.
Freya Stark

I slept with Darth Vader next door, guys.

And with a few who should have done a master’s degree in snoring. They were all perfectly synchronized. But not snoring at the same time, no; the snoring was chained into a melody of second voices, and thirds, and fourths, of different tones, turning the calm of the night into an infinite snoring that only Darth Vader’s breath dared to break.

Today, 30 km further to Bodenaya. May the force be with us.

San Juan de Villapañada Camino Primitivo

Starting the second stage

This past night, in San Juan de Villapañada, little sleep has been made. The early risers have begun to prepare shortly, and as the snoring has not let sleep to almost anyone, who more who less has left the bunk long before the sun rises from the cave where it must hide. We’ve dressed, each on their own, we’ve had breakfast, here there’s been more variety, and we’ve sat around the table, everyone. Until the first ones have decided to go out still at night, that’s okay if you have a front. The rest have been parading progressively. Before the sun brought out the little head from behind the Asturian mountains, the hostel should already be empty, many towards Bodenaya.

I’ve been one of the last to go out, I don’t like mornings. It had been a while since I walked at night. By the mountain, I mean. It was about two years ago, once I went to Aigüestortes, a Catalan National Park, in October, and I started walking at 6, to try to listen some deer bellowing. And nothing. There are no deer there.

It wasn’t much mountain, either. Today’s route, I mean. They were low mountains, and a lot of asphalt road. And on the asphalt, I get tired. And it makes me forget about the places I go. Don’t imagine how hard I’m having a hard time remembering how the day has gone. So, it may happen that what I explain is not 100% reliable. In the next Camino, I promise to take notebook and pen, with the smartphone makes me laziness to write single sentences.

In short, of the first stage of the day, I only remember the loss of the buff (tubular scarf) that I had bought in Chamonix when I made the trail of the Montblanc. You cannot imagine the sorrow I have felt, I had taken a lot of affection, to that buff.

Empenzando el día en el Camino Primitivo

Cornellana and Salas before Bodenaya

Arriving in Cornellana, it seems that we have all stopped for breakfast in the same bar, which was just the first thing that was at the entrance of the town. It was full of pilgrims with whom I had shared the hostel. The snorers, btw.

Breakfast was short-lived, and soon the pilgrims were divided into two: between those who entered the supermarket opposite to buy food, and among those who continued walking to Salas, the other town of the stage where to buy groceries. The morning went by quietly as I watched work emails and Instagram likes.

Shortly before arriving at Salas there is a small stone bridge, very nice, ideal to sit and rest and eat a couple of bananas. While doing it, three pilgrims have arrived who wanted to sleep in Cornellana: a Zaragozan man, a Zaragozan woman and a Basque (you will forgive me, but I never remember the names). They would therefore be the first casualties of the first night. As they marched, I saw that the Zaragozan was carrying my buff hanging in his backpack. I was lazy to run to ask for it (I was starting to have bad feet and had the first discomfort in the Achilles tendon), and I thought I would find it before we separated. But no. The second banana has been lengthened, and I have not seen the Mr Zaragoza any more. Not to my buff.

In Cornellana, shopping in the same supermarket as me, were Leonie and Agata, the Lithuanian girl. He is 26 years old, likes the blue colour, and permanently shows a charming smile.


Agata, peregrina del Camino Primitivo

Bodenaya temple

We have done together the last eight kilometres to Bodenaya hostel, which I had been recommended. We have been greeted by Cris, who last May doing the Camino went through this hostel and liked it so much that he told David that, if he did not care, when he returned he would stay to help him.

Cris is from Hospitalet (in Catalonia), and we have been telling us about life for a while, in the street, taking advantage of the splendid day he was doing; she would sunbathe, and I would burst and cure the blisters. He’s a very fascinating person, Cris. Then he accompanied me and a Valencian man to the pharmacy closest to Bodenaya: our feet needed help.

Bodenaya hostel is a mandatory stop. It is where the hospitaler spirit come true. It is the Rivendell of the pilgrims. Sit back and rest, tonight you shouldn’t worry about anything. It is a place full of rest, charm, smiles and hugs. Humanity. And almost a magical place.


Photo Gallery

The track


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