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IRUN - SANTANDER
Camino del Norte

Liendo to Santoña

4th October 2022

From clifftops to an endless promenade,
then a ferry from the beach, and
finally anchovies and squid.

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Another clifftop view


We went for coffee and tortilla breakfast to the local cafe with other pilgrims, and then set off with Scott and Justyna through the early morning mists up to spectacular clifftop views, and then down again to Laredo. As luck would have it, the church of Santa Maria of the Assumption was open, so we collected a stamp for our pilgrim pass and looked around the church. The medieval entrance still exists, although converted to a chapel, and several periods of building are evident. From there we walked through the old town which, judging from the number of disco bars was clearly more for tourists than pilgrims, We then set off for 5 km along a desolate promenade past high rise apartments designed for holiday makers, hoping in vain for a café or even a drinks stand. We heard from other pilgrims later that walking along the beach would have been a better option. At the end, we turned past more desolate apartmen blocks and an expensive looking yacht club to look for the ferry to Santoña. The sign said that the ferry left from the beach, and sure enough, it turned up on an empty stretch of beach! Santoña was much more pleasant, and we were greeted by an old man who turned out to be the hostel manager who settled us into the hostel, despite some language issues. we went for a stroll along the promenade to St. Maria del Puerto church ,dating from 13th to 18th centuries. An interesting feature at the door was two banks of four oars either side if the aisle in slits, as if ready to be taken out and used. Later that evening, we wandered the streets with a bunch of other pilgrims looking for somewhere to eat, and eventually found a cafe where Angus could sample the local anchovies and octopus. The region is famous for its anchovies, and when we got back to Switzerland, we discovered that the local COOP sold anchovies from there!




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