Exploring – Llanes, Asturias, Spain

Our morning walk this morning took us along the coastal path, looking out at the calm blue sea with fishing boats bobbing around in the distance. The walled walkway along the coast took us all the way from our campsite to the beach at the far end of Llanes. We arrived in time to see the sun hit the walls of the Palacio de los duques de Estrada which dates from 1611, though there are town walls which date from 1200 in this quaint little town.

Through the centre of town there was a small market setting up and sports boats bobbing on their moorings in the marina in the centre of town. There are lots of restaurants, cafes and independent little shops. A very vibrant looking place even at this early hour with not a single empty retail space that we saw.

We were enjoying a post breakfast cuppa when we were greeted by a knock at the door. Our second Spanish visitors since we arrived admiring our truck. It seems the 4×4 thing is quite unusual here and they seem especially impressed with ground clearance. My Spanish is a little basic in such subjects and they had little English but a lot can be achieved my mime in such situations 😂 A nice couple who had a full tour of the van and labelled it magnífica!

Next we were into town to try to get a Spanish data SIM card, as the withdrawal of roaming from most UK SIMs will not allow us the full rugby watching capabilities we had on our last trip. Although O2 for example still allow roaming (and we have converted our mobile contracts to this), fair usage allowances limits this to 62 days. Therefore we concluded we needed a local SIM for our van wifi system. Unfortunately Mobistar, who have the best coverage refused to help at all. They can do 30 day contracts but you have to have a Spanish residency card and Spanish bank account to get it. Orange were able to offer a pre-paid SIM option at least which we now have available for when we reach our roaming limit on our Superdrug mobile SIM.

We then headed out for a spot of lunch. The many outdoor dining spots through the town were filled with people. Though they mostly appeared to be drinking wine etc. perhaps 1.30pm was early for Spanish lunch. Anyway we managed to get a nice spot with a bit of sunshine by the marina. I ordered the mushrooms and patatas bravas and the waitress actually asked if I was vegetarian. I am still unsure the expression she used and had to use Google translate to understand and said I was. Ah she said, “sin jamón” (without ham) I agreed. I was so taken aback that the concept of vegetarian was not only understood but actually recognised. It is clearly not part of the culture here, which I understand entirely and generally “get what I am given”, which generally means even vegetarian sounding dishes like mushrooms or mixed salad include meat, being insufficiently rigorous in my adherence tone content to pick it out. Though I did later realise the dogs had missed out on their usual treat as a result.

Lunch out in Llanes

We walked by home via the coastal path but poor Lola is not a sun seeker was panting a lot in the 20min walk back despite courting the shade and water before during and after our walk. I am really not sure how she will cope with southern Spain. So we had to head back to the cool of the van for siesta.

Lola seeking shade

This post is dedicated to Bella, my sister’s beloved dog. Much loved and much missed.

Bella ❤️💔

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