Backpacking,  Camino de Santiago,  Camino del Norte,  Camping,  Hiking in Europe,  Hiking in Spain

Escape the city and beautiful camping | Camino del Norte from Santander to Santillana de Mar – Day 13

On the Day 13 of our Camino de Santiago del Norte we got from the village Somo close to Santander to the village Santillana de Mar.

That morning we got up very early and quickly left the camping. We didn’t want to stay in this dirt for no longer and found a good spot on the beach to cook our breakfast. We weren’t sure whether it was a falling tide or a tidal wave but the water was coming at us and we decided to back up to the dry sand to be safe.

The morning was absolutely stunning from the beach de Loredo with the foggy views of the city Santander, the lighthouse at the Cape and the enlightened by the morning light fluffy clouds in the background. We even saw the photographer with a big lense trying to create the great photos. Surfers were already on the go again and later we realized that it was a falling tide.

So we had our breakfast and went to take the ferry. We finally made a decision that for our own sake and for the sake of video material we needed to escape this big city again and take the public transport to where the more natural places start. Because our aim wasn’t to do every single km of the way but rather to enjoy it and to show the natural beauty of it and explore it as much as we can. We knew we won’t film anything in the caos of traffic and walking by warehouses and factories. We thought it would be for the better and went with our intuition.

At the Somo where we were taking the ferry we saw two indicators of Camino one going straight to the ferry and the other was obviously taking a round and getting to the city from land and it would be 27 km more of the way – so you have a choice. Overall in Cantabria we saw lots of alternatives offered by a Camino which we think is very important as in such way everyone can make its own unique Camino.

The ferry trip that we took was nice it was the longest one that we took here on Camino so far. You get the panoramic views of the port and the city and we personally think it is the best way to know it – is from a distance. When we took off the ferry we walked a bit through the city to the train station. And we assumed that this area was the central one because of the beautiful facades, lots of national banks and governmental buildings.

We got to the train station pretty quickly and the lady from the information said that there were two buildings for the trains departure one was for long distance and the other for proximity neighbourhood lines, and we needed the latter. We bought our ticket from automatic machine it was pretty easy knowing the stop we needed and also having lived in Spain for the last 4 years helped a lot cause they have similar system everywhere. The train itself was very small and a bit old. It had only two wagons and a narrow track.

After 8 stops and probably 15 minutes of a ride we took off on the stop Rejuejada. We chose it because we saw on the map that the the Camino goes close by it. And sure enough we found it very easily and started to follow it.

All the first hour the Camino went along the highways and one big factory, this part assured us that we made a right decision by skipping this 20 kms of the way – it wasn’t anything exciting or enjoyable. We were very happy when we finally turned off these big roads and could enjoy a bit of quiet time and fresh air. And wondering why the Camino couldn’t escape such polluted areas we made a conclusion that probably it couldn’t because there are simply no alternative way and there are lots of traffic and factories all around.

With these sad conclusions and thoughts we progressed further on the way. It was quite similar to the yesterday’s one when we walked through lots of farmhouses, fields and green hills. All the route was on the car road but thanks god this time there was almost no traffic. It was mostly sunny that day and walking on the asphalt it gets even hotter but there wasn’t any major uphills or downhills so it was ok. And at the end of the day the clouds came out.

We decided to stop at Santillana de Mar village that day because it had some supermarket but we were ready to search for the stealth camping spot in the fields. To our surprise walking away from the city we stumbled across the camping Santillana and having a look at it it wasn’t bad at all. With that last bad experience we were really cautious. But it was clean and spacious close to the forest area so it seemed to be quiet. So we headed to the reception and there they had a good service too letting us to choose any free place that we want and giving a good price. They even put us a stamp in the credential and used it as a document for making a registration process. They didn’t even ask any other documents and that was very unusual and cool experience.

Because we were early at the spot we could walk in this village Santillana de Mar a bit. It was a cute old village but quite touristic though with lots of little shops of artesanal things, hand made things and local food. And with lots of hotels and guest houses as well. So that day we had time to rest very well and could go to sleep early that almost never happened before.

Here is the link to Google map to follow the hike:

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