While packing this morning discovered that a bottle of conditioner had exploded. Fortunately it was in a plastic bag, unfortunately everything else that could leak was also in the same bag. Spent 45 minutes cleaning everything up and repacking. Missed my bus, which was no big deal since I'm only going a little over two hours and I'm not planning on hiking until tomorrow. Buy my ticket for the next bus (6pm, I'd forgotten it's Saturday and thus a lot fewer busses). Wasted the time until my bust departure walking around the old town, checking my email at an internet cafe, and buying some water / hiking snacks.
It looked like a spectacular drive, but most of it was rainy and the windows were all fogged up, so couldn't see much. Not being able to see much, the mountain roads, inadequate ventilation, and the many chain smokers combined to make me feel quite green. Never got sick, but it was a close call at times. Near the end of the trip the skies cleared a little and the scenery was spectacular. Jagged peaks and long ridges with sheer faces, thick forest, small old farms, and crystal rivers and streams with ancient decaying stone bridges.
Got in to Arenas de Cabrales a little after 8pm. Spent the next hour and 15 minutes looking for a place to sleep. All the pensions were full, even the one I had to hike 2km (uphill, I think both ways) to get to. Finally found a nice (translation: expensive) hotel. It's costing me almost twice as much as I was paying in Madrid, but at least I've got a roof over my head! It's a very small town, in a beautiful setting. Most of the buildings are stone, dramatic peaks rise in every direction, and two streams cut through.
Had fabada again for diner. This one wasn't nearly as salty, but it also didn't have nearly as much meat. I definitely experienced the effects of all those beans this morning, but at least tomorrow I'll be hiking outside...