Thunder, Cobbles, Lush Green and… Wait… Cider?!

Sort of in that order, but let’s start at the beginning.

In the beginning there had been a reasonably good night and the traditional ferry breakfast at 7:30am with not quite horrible but gale-force cappuccino, croissant and don’t-call-it-fresh orange juice whilst sat at the window staring at the endless sea. Bliss.

Time passed fairly quickly with reading and chilling until 13:15 when we arrived in Santander with a nice warm breeze and just a few clouds in the sky. How lovely.

What a start!

It took until well after 2pm though before we actually left the boat and standing around in the sweat pit (the belly of the boat where all the bikes are parked and all the kitted up bikers wait for the big door to open) with our lighter gear was certainly a massive improvement over last time.

Quick faff by the side of the road to set the GPS to our first stop and off we went… Eying that very big and very dark patch of sky that had appeared ahead and sported the occasional lightning. Err… what?!

I assured Rich that we were not going that way and indeed we weren’t, but after navigating roundabout after roundabout making our way through Santander we found our own nice dark patch of sky just out of town. Stopped at a supermarket car park just in time to put our new onesie waterproofs on without much of a hop around and they kept us dry rather nicely for the next five minutes as the heavens opened with thick heavy rain and occasional hail. How lovely…

There was no choice but to find shelter as we couldn’t see anything with lid up or down and riding on flooded roads was asking for trouble. Found a petrol station and waited out the worst. Phew.

Rain in Spain?

20mins later we were back on the road and made it the remaining 30mins to Santillana del Mar without another soaking.

What a wonderful little place. All cobblestones and old buildings it was like traveling back in time. Ahs and ohs. How lovely!!!

It was already half four and we were proper hungry, yet most places were shut so we took the hit and sat down at the one restaurant on the main square.

Waiter asked us straight if we wanted beer… Must have identified us as Brits. I was glad he was only speaking Spanish so I had an opportunity to practice mine saying we were here for food and some water. Go me! Ordered croquetas and rabas de calamar each thinking it was tapas size. Instead we got quite the portions more like small mains. Ouch. Still managed to eat most of it, haha.

Very nice spot.
Rabas de calamar. Yum!

Onto the second leg of the journey to Llanes where we had booked our first hotel.  Thought we leave the waterproofs off for now and got as far as around the first corner coming out of the car park before heavy rain drops started yet again to fall from the skies. C’mon!

Onesies on again and tell you what… No more rain. Argh. Of course not. Blue skies even! Rode on the CA-131 through lush green lumps and bumps and small villages and towns. Most notably San Vicente.

Arrived just before 6pm in Llanes, parked up right in front of the hotel and check in was in Spanish and quick. Loved it.

The lock of one of my panniers broke when I tried to take it off. I literally had the cylinder in my hand with the key still in it. Eventually I managed to take the pannier off, but can’t lock it now for the rest of the journey just in case it breaks for good. Thinking leaving mostly my dirty sweaty clothes in there just in case someone chances it.

What could possibly go wrong

Showers first then out for drinks after I managed to ask in Spanish if we can leave the bikes where they where over night. Great I am forced to use my little Spanish.

Very nice little town with a chilled yet beautiful centre. Hunted around for a Sidreria and found one rather quickly. Really good cider and we are allowed to say that as Somerset affiliated. Poured in the traditional Asturian way to invigorate the aromas and create a foamy layer.

A hint
Watch and learn

We wondered if we were allowed at all to pour ourselves one or if we had to wait for the waitress to come back? So we had a go ourselves.

Asturian style

As we sat there two of the bikers from the boat walked past and we had a quick chin wag, what were the chances, eh?

53 miles today from Santander to Llanes

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