It’s now Tuesday morning, three days since I arrived in Salas with a scratchy throat and I’m sat in a hotel room back in Oviedo!
The scratchy throat developed overnight in Salas to a head cold and with it being Sunday and no pharmacy’s open in Salas or the town further on I decided to go back to Oviedo by taxi and plan out what to do next.
Knowing how colds operate for me I knew I’d be laid up for at least 3-4 days, there’s no way I’d be able to complete this section of the hike with a cold as I’d already struggled to get to Salas without one and with limited time it made sense to recover and then restart by camino from Lugo. This is far enough back to qualify me for the Compostela and I’d still have enough time to complete the walk and get to Finisterre – this is assuming I am well by Friday!
So back to the walk from Grado to Salas. The first few kms was all up hill to the point where you were actually walking in cloud. No sooner had we reached the peak than the drop back down over loose stone became visible and it took almost as long to pick my way down the track as it had to pull myself up it. I was continually passed by young guys bounding down the slope who didn’t seem to see any danger.
The countryside in the Asturias mountains is beautiful but it’s ever so steep. Having now trekked on four of the Camino routes I can say that this one is certainly the toughest in terms of terrain and endurance. These first two days wiped me out and yet the guidebook marked them as moderate. You need to be fit to do this walk!
There’s not much to say about Grado, Salas or the smaller towns I walked through they’re regular working towns and villages in this agricultural part of Spain. The people here though are exceptionally friendly both pilgrims and non-pilgrims alike do seem to be more welcoming than on the Frances and Portuguese.
If I do start walking on Friday I will be back in the group I started walking with and will look strangely fresh as a daisy. As tempting as it will be to not let on and see their reactions I will fess up to my time off trail.