Primitivo Day 2 – Grado to Salas 25km

The walk on day 2 was similar to the first day , plenty of ascent and decent and some shady sections of hillside forest walking . The temperatures in the afternoon have hit 30 degrees and this has made the walking tough.

I reached the small town named Salas around 4.30pm and booked into the municipal albergue. I was allocated a bunk bed in a room catering for eight people and all my room-mates turned out to be French. I wandered across the road to a bar where I rehydrated on a couple of bottles of Asturian cider whilst watching the Sporting Gijon v Barcelona game. The bar was full of Oviedo fans , like myself , and given my new found hostility to Gijon I was delighted to see them spanked 5-0 , as was everyone else in the bar.

I then had a stroll into the town and fell into a conversation with a Spanish Pilgrim with the splendid name of Juan Fernando Peredes Batista. Juan told me he had trained as a GP in Spain but then went to work for MSD , a big American pharmaceutical company . He worked all over the world , ended up as a vice-president and took early retirement a few years ago. Since then he has worked 2 days a week as a GP in Madrid but he takes a few months off every year when he travels by motorbike across continents . He then writes books on his travels. He has travelled South America North to South , USA East to West and latterly across North Africa while researching a book on the Spanish influence in that part of the world. His own Grandfather had to flee Spain to Tangiers during the Spanish Civil war as he was on the Republican side , as did many others. He told me that his book on this adventure , Buscando a Hercules , has sold a lot of copies in Spain.

After dinner I headed for the albergue about 9.45pm only to find all the French asleep and the lights out in our room. I undressed in the dark and got into the top bunk trying not to make any noise. I then realised I’d made a schoolboy error and had replaced what I’d lost in sweat only with Asturian cider at various points in the day. I spent the night tossing and turning due to dehydration. I got some funny looks again this morning …..

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