A cold and windy start to our first full day in Spain, the sun was shining but there was cloud over the mountains and the tops were still covered in snow. My first ride of the trip was from Santander to Ribadesella with Kaye following in the motor home.
The first section of the N-611 out of Santander was busy but once clear of the city the traffic eased. Almost at once I noticed was that my route was following the Camino De Santiago and I could not believe the number of walkers with boots, rucksacks and walking poles that were making the pilgrimage, Santiago de Compostella is a busy destination all year round.
I Followed the N-611 to Polanco before turning onto the CA-131 to stay closer to the coast and met up with Kaye for coffee at Camillas, after a brief stop I pedaled on as the gathering clouds produced a drop in temperature and a few drops of rain.
Although you are near the coast the roads are undulating, no steep hills but you always seem to be climbing or descending, the plus point is that the roads are well maintained with smooth fast rolling tarmac that certainly helps progress.
I turned onto the N-634 and descended to cross the bridge into the beautiful town of San Vicente de la Barquera, it looked to have some lovely beaches and a couple of trawlers were tied up on the harbour wall, the main street was bustling and I can imagine it would be very popular with Summer visitors. I followed the N-634 through Pesues and Bustio and there afterr it ran alongside the E70/A8 for a good few miles through Vidiago and San Roque del Acebal, again I was surprised that I barely saw any vehicles and the road surface was like a billiard table, pity we can’t import these roads into the UK.
My next waypoint was to meet Kaye for lunch at the lovely named town of Poo, fed and watered I enjoyed a fast run with a tailwind into Ribadesella. We had details of a campsite and I arranged to meet Kaye there, I had just climbed to the top of the steep hill 200m from the entrance when Kaye phoned to say it was closed. From the top of the hill we had a good view back over the town and we could see a camper van parked in a large empty **car park. After weaving our way through one way streets we found our parking spot next to beach and crashing surf, a picturesque spot for an overnight stay.
A very enjoyable first day on the bike, 75 miles and 5,000ft of climbing and apart from road surface the one noticeable difference to cycling in England is the width you are given by passing motorists. The law in Spain is a minimum passing distance of 1.5 metres and most obey the rule, there are signs on all roads reminding drivers of the law and I think this is what is required in UK.
** Car Park next to the beach in Ribadesella N43.46802° W5.07651° no camping or caravans