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Comillas to Llanes – Friday

Friday is market day in Comillas. We followed the people with shopping bags to find the market stalls set out in the cobbled streets of the old quarter around the Church of San Cristóbal. The buildings surrounding the market are traditional, stone built with wooden balconies many of which were still festooned with bright red geraniums and trailing petunias. You could have thought yourself on an historical film set but this is real. As proof there were the usual clothes, bags and sunglasses on sale but also local produce; jars of Cantabrian anchovies, dried beans, goat, cow and sheep milk cheeses from this pasture rich region, breads and colourful vegetables.

From Comillas we continued west along the CA-131 to St Vicente De La Barquera, just 12km away,   passing several pilgrims making their way to Santiago de Compostela along the Northern Camino de Santiago or Way of St James which runs along the coasts of Cantabria and Asturias, .

We paused in St Vicente to reacquaint ourselves with this fishing port we stayed in six years ago. Memories of a very good fish meal came back to us as we walked past the restuarants up the promontory to visit the Castillo de Rey and Iglesia de Santa Maria de los Angeles. There are good views from up here over the estuary towards sandy beaches and inland towards the mountains.

This was one of our lucky dip nights with no accommodation pre booked. We found Llanes fairly busy still (it is a popular seaside town) with little room in the central inns but secured a perfectly serviceable, tidy room in what I think of as an old style hotel and dined very well by the harbour – 3 courses and wine for 12 Euros each.

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