On the Day 10 of our Camino de Santiago del Norte we hiked from the coastal village Oriñon in Cantabria to the town Laredo.
That day we left the camping quite late at around 11 am cause we slept in (you know it happens sometimes when the alarm rings and you don’t want to get up). The camping itself was ok but it could be much better for the price when we payed 20 + euros for the standard pitch with a car and a tent which we feel is very unfair to the backpackers like us. And it wasn’t the first camping doing that. As well as paying extra for electricity just for charging our phones and cameras.
So we left it and started walking uphill from Oriñon to Sonabia. We were told by locals that there is an alternative way to the city of Laredo where we were heading to today taking the mountains path instead of going on the national highway. It seemed like a great idea to us so we planned to do that. Especially for us who always would take and alternative closer to the coast and escape the noisy car roads. It was a 13 km hike.
So we started walking and the first thing we saw was the falling tide and it was a stunning scenery. When we yesterday came to Oriñon it was a completely different picture and a different beach.
Then the indicator directed us left, we walked a bit along the gardens and then started ascending the mountain. Already seeing that probably there won’t be any shadow all the way up. And the day promised to be very hot and clear, without any clouds. But we were fresh and ready for the challenge.
Right away when we hiked a bit higher we started to see the splendid views of the ocean and rocky cliffs. And we must say the mountain that we were climbing was a very beautiful one itself. First we climbed in the sand then the ground was turning harder and rockier and the path was becoming steeper and steeper. And in some places it was even dangerously steep and very narrow so we had to watch every step. The ocean was magnetically attractive and we felt like we could sit and stare for hours on end at it. But the way was calling and we continued on. At some point the path became so steep that we had to use our hands to be able to hike up so it looked more like rock climbing than hiking. But our experience in the mountains and hiking several summits helped a lot so it wasn´t bad for us at all.
But we got it why the Camino doesn’t go this way and why we didn’t meet any pilgrim on this path. It just simply not for everyone. For someone with the bad knees or any leg problems or with a heavy backpack for example it would be hard to impossible to do. You have to be quite an experienced and confident hiker to be able to do that. Also if you have a limit of time, you need to do more kms and you’re not starting in Oriñon like us it may not also be for you. But for us it was worth it and we’re happy we did it. In the future we plan to do the same, we don’t enjoy walking on the car roads at all.
We took lots if great pictures there and even had time to sit at the edge of a cliff and enjoy the view. The downhill wasn’t as extreme as an uphill so we didn’t even noticed how we were down. And so after probably 8 km we saw the Camino indicator so we understood that we were back on the Camino again. And we met the first pilgrims that probably just turned from the highway to this dirt road.
It was the last 3 kms to Laredo, and it seemed to us very easy if it wasn’t for the heat and lack of shadow. The city of Laredo seemed like an island from above and looked very intriguing and we were assuming that we’ll have to cross the channel in a ferry tomorrow. So quite quickly we got to the city and found a church where we got our next stamp, it was the second time we were able to do it in the church in 10 days after the very first day of Camino.
The route was a mesmerising beauty that day and we wished that every day from now on would be like this one. We will remember this day for a long time and we’re happy that we were able to film it.
Here is the link to Google map to follow the hike: