Camino de Santiago has always beckoned us since we watched the movie, “The Way (2010).” We wanted to explore the older, less travelled but more difficult Camino del Norte route. After facing reality, we decided we’ll follow the route…by car.
Our route: From Toledo, we drove 5.5 hours to our base in Asturias, Apartamentos Rurales El Picoretu in Mistas de Con.
The Apartamentos Rurales El Picoretu has pastoral views (cowbells included) with the towering Picos de Europa as a backdrop. In this little town, there is a friendly restaurant where locals hang out and a charming corner store where we foraged the region’s Sidra (cider), Cabrales blue cheese, chocolate and ingredients for their famous fabada.
We hiked (but not seriously) along the Cares Gorge in the heart of Picos, around the glacial Lagos de Covadonga, and the beautiful but treacherous shores of Bay of Biscay. Here we also discovered the story of Pelagius (Pelayo), Christian king of Asturias who spearheaded the Reconquista (700 AD).
As we drove and hiked thru towns, we were reminded many times that we were indeed on the Camino del Norte.