and you can take a route that basically goes straight up and be rewarded by magnificent views, or wind your way along the valley and stop at the monastery on the way past. I took the high road and loved it (looks down on the monastery), but I think the low road would be very good too. Cheers, Janet
The bifurcation comes after Villaviciosa, and I just wanted to put in a plug for taking the little detour down to the monastery of Valdedios, with its 9th century church next door. The setting is spectacular, and if you're attracted to pre-romanesque architecture, this is a "not to be missed" little detour. We left villaviciosa in the morning, visited the church, and were in Pola de Siero that night. The next day was a very easy (16 km?) walk into Oviedo. Oviedo is a beautiful town, and easily worth a rest day, more if you want to go visit the incredible pre-romanesque sites a few km out of town.
Buen camino, Laurie
I have two posts from when I walked that might be of help to you (one year I walked the Norte, another the Salvador and the Primitivo).