Happy birthday, Nadine. I hope you had a good day with Maddie and so sorry I could not be with you to celebrate on your birthday. Perhaps we could have lunch together when I get back considering as our pre birthday celebration was so rudely interrupted. Enjoy spending your voucher.
It was so lovely chatting to you and Maddie this morning, she is so chatty and cute, I miss her so much, please give her a big hug and kiss from her ganny.
And now back to a day in the life of Jane and Lorna on the Camino trail.
Oia was a lovely very small seaside village, we went for a walk and apart from almost getting washed off a break wall whilst the locals watched in glee from a safe spot as we negotiated the waves before making a mad dash for it between waves, we could not even find a little supermarket for supplies.
So after meeting a few of the widowed local ladies in black, we decided to do what any self respecting pilgrim would and joined the locals for a beer outside one of the little hole in the wall type bars to watch the locals going about their business.
This morning our hostess gave us the best breakfast to start our big day, freshly squeezed orange juice, toast with homegrown tomatoes, cheese, fresh fruit, homemade cake and the best coffee (Gill, Lucille and Margo - my coffee buddies, I kid you not, the coffee in Spain has been piping hot, strong and consistently the best I’ve had anywhere else).
By the time we bid farewell to our hostess, we were all three best buddies after communicating via a phone translation app, I wished her luck with her poor sick 80 year old Mum in hospital with Pancreatic problems, (however do I know all that about her just over breaki, maybe I am inquisitive or just genuinely interested in people and genuinely concerned about their welfare, she was so worried) she wished me well with my Mum.
Anyway, we are now all three best buddies (oh and Wendy, would you mind making up a spare bed as I invited her to stay at Laurieton the next time she was passing through, although to tell you the truth, she was still in the
same house her and 2 sisters grew up in, a beautiful old traditional style Spanish low ceiling home).
Our walk today was tough, the book said it was going to be and it was, all 30kms by the end of the day. It was beautiful again, right beside the coast most of the way but with many switchbacks when occasionally the path went up onto the road, then 500 metres switch backwards onto the coast again.
We had to traverse two mountains to get over the saddle and short cut a couple of peninsula’s, obviously these pilgrims were pretty tough buggers.
The first couple of hours we had a few very light showers of rain but the wind was incredibly strong, luckily it was at our back but at times it would get under my backpack and literally almost whisk me up into the air like a modern day Mary Poppins.
The last hour or so, we experienced torrential rain which was not great but we kept our sense of humour and continued trudging along up and down dale.
The beaches were mesmerising watching the massive waves Lund the rocks and blow up sky high.
We missed the only opportunity for a morning coffee as it was too soon after our big breakfast and then although we passed through farming villages along the way, no coffee shops.
The locals in passing would all wish us a Bueno Camino and we met a lovely Canadian couple along the way and not too many other people, the occasional car when beside the main road.
Lorna and I have walked so well together, our pace is exactly the same, we agreed at the beginning that I would go ahead and wait for her if her pace was too slow, however, like me, Lorna is a solid walker. What a pleasure.
When we finally arrived down the bottom at Baiona, a much bigger pretty holiday seaside town with a large marina and plenty of history attached to it, all I could think of was a hot shower and dry clothes.
Lorna had a better idea, we stopped at an outdoor cafe (too wet to go in anywhere) had a coffee whilst locals made a fuss of the two elderly bedraggled looking pilgrims, then a massive roll with egg, ham, tomato, cheese on (we were starved as about 2.30 by then) and a glass of wine.
Recovered by this stage, we discovered we were staying (up the hill naturally) in a Parador, a beautiful (probs the most luxurious) old fort Hotel overlooking the sea. As we arrived so did a beautifully dressed wedding party, we were surprised to even be let into the place as we dripped over their marbled floors and our socks and boots squelched across their carpets.
Following a much needed hot shower we ambled out into the rain again to explore the town and after a beer plus free tapas of course (this is after all Spain) in a delightfully decorated pub, we went looking for somewhere to have dinner, and who should stop us but the Canadian couple we’d met along the way.
So we spent the evening with them filling up on free tapas and local cheap wine , a lively couple although Paul kept saying to me ‘oh Jane, I don’t know how you didn’t get blown clear away today’ , ha ha).
Paul had actually cycled from Brisbane to Newcastle stopping in at Port Macquarie many years ago.
Gill you might know him, a handsome very interesting man with a moustache and lovely wife who stayed with his friend in Kirribilli about 20 years ago. (Wendy, would you mind making up a spare bed at Laurieton, Paul and Jan are coming to stay with me after I invited them to stop over sometime).
By then we were full of wine and tapas so stopped on the way back to our Parador for a strawberry crepe and coffee, it was still raining.
A very big day, quite challenging so today is a rest day in this lovely seaside resort, dry out our clothes and regroup before a massive climb on Sunday.
This hike has far outweighed my expectations, sadly the weather is not looking great for the next few days but I am enjoying it so much, the challenge, Lorna’s company, the local people, food, villages, scenery, it’s been such a fun thing to do.