Pontevedra - These boots are made for walking, and that’s just what they’ll do!
Oct 14, 2018
|‘One of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you’ Nancy Sinatra - or walk all over Spain more likely.
Today was one of those days ...... When planning this trip, we had limited time so instead of wasting time walking through some of the boring towns or industrial areas, I cheated and cut them out by using trains and busses so we woukd only walk between the interesting towns where the pathway has mostly been away from main roads.
So yesterday, Lorna’s maths skills were utilised together with my Broking skills, and we agreed that it was more economical to hire a taxi rather than catch two busses and then a taxi to travel between Baiona and Redondedela where we were to start walking.
This meant we had to be ready by 8 am and breakfast was only served at 7.30 am, all a bit rushed.
We awoke to no electricity in our room, so I showered in the darkness whilst Lorna somehow convinced the receptionist to pay us a visit at 6.30 this morning to introduce some lighting to our dire situation.
Lorna was outside at 8 am trying to pacify the taxi driver whilst I ensured that my nourishment was being attended to at the breakfast table, not to mention my ablutions thereafter.
Outside was another story, it was pitch dark at 8 am, there were trees and branches everywhere after the storm during the night, the wind was howling and the rain torrential as we piled into the taxi for a pleasant day of hiking.
Half an hour later and we had arrived at our cheated destination town to start walking after sneaking out of our taxi so the real pilgrims did not notice us. As luck would have it, it was daylight, no wind and no rain just a few more pilgrims than we had been used to seeing.
We had the best day, the scenery was beautiful, farms, bridges, rivers, crops animals, we met pilgrims along the way and apart from a couple of light showers, we were so lucky with the weather. I believe we will not be so lucky tomorrow.
The route was supposed to be 19 kms however as usual, it ended up being 27, funny how the last 3 kms are always the hardest and then we start questioning whether we have missed the town with our bed in altogether.
As we arrived in town we stopped for our Jamon roll and beer and were highly entertained by the very popular bakery across the road from our little lunchtime cafe, everybody bought a loaf of French bread and immediately snapped the top off and ate it before rewrapping and taking it home. It was yummy bread, mind you.
We are again staying in a Parador, most beautiful, exotic old Spanish mansion in the old city, such a delight and something a little unusual. Our accommodation has been interesting and varied throughout our trip.
We went out after our shower and thoroughly enjoyed watching the local people do what they do in Pontvedra on a Sunday afternoon, over a glass of wine. So entertaining, another pretty town with an interesting Old City through which we wandered and after dinner are now about to collapse in an exhausted heap, quite early in readiness for tomorrow’s big hike.
And now, my walking partner, Lorna, has decided to add a Guest Blog to my Travel Journal, more a take on the way she has seen today and I thought was well worth publishing, especially for those of you who are acquainted with my mad hiking buddy:
‘Today I write a guest peregrino blog for Jane about our mission to Santiago. Some of this is true but not all of it.
My Spanish has some way to go but Jane is worse.
Today I travelled with three spirits of the Camino: Geographica, Mathematica and last, but not least, Janica.
I wake up and Janica is in the shower. There is no light anywhere, not a single light in the room works.
Mathematica; Dial 9. Use Spanish dictionary in the torch light. “Pour Favor room uno cuatro dos, I have no influencia in my room.” Response: “Miguel here, madam, I am very sorry I cannot assist with your relationships”. Me “no, no electric”. Miguel, ”very good madam I will be with your shortly to reintegrar your switchboard”.
Geographica: Janica was disoriented in the dark in the shower and shaved off her eyebrow.
Mathematica: An issue with book keeping. Rani is a virgin peregrino and she sits with us for breakfast. As an accountant from the Singapore office of PWC she has not prepared well for the future, her forward deposits are very concerning as she has no map and is headed south today. We check her notebook. Rani only has biblical quotes as preparation. Statistically Rani will not fulfil her mission to Santiago.
Geographica: Salvatore arrives in his Mercedes to take us to Redondela. It is ten to eight, pitch dark and mucho fluvio. This is because the Spaniards pretend they are more western than they actually are and also so they can go out eating and drinking much longer hours in the evening. The real time zone should be 9am.
Janica cannot be pulled away from the spread on the breakfast table. I go to tell Salvatore that we will be ready soon, actually on time at 8am. Salvatore points to the stars “No! No! you go find Janico”, “No, no, you don’t understand. Janico is eating”. Salvatore points to the stars: “No! You go tell her!” Janica eats her fifth slice of Jamon.
Mathematica: An issue with addition. The taxi has blacked out windows so other peregrinos can’t see we are cheating by taking a cab instead of walking. Our Canadian peregrino friends can count though. They will know that we left one day after them but are arriving in Pontevedro at the same time.
Geographica and Mathematica. An issue with heights, gradients, speed, distance time and incongruence. Salvatore drops us in Redondela where all the peregrine are waiting for the sun to rise – incredibly - at 8.30am. We climb two very large mountains, both are taller than Friday’s single mountain. We walk for six hours, two hours longer than Friday. Janica’s pedometer says we only walked half the height and 60% that we did on Friday.
Mathematica. An issue with synchronicity and predictability. Synchronicity exists in the mountains. The long train of peregrino (including he with the brace on his leg who will not fulfil his mission to Santiago) in unison stops and bends. To be fair this is because it starts to rain and they are looking for their ponchos. Sempre fluvio.
Geographica. An issue with paradox. We encounter a paradox in nature. We meet our first American. He has walked longer and further and completed more caminos than anyone. He tells us what an A grade peregrino he is, he is much better than us. We meet him down by the river and the romantic bridge of love. This is a paradox.
Mathematica. An issue with probability. Janica and I walk faster than anyone else because we are older than them 60 + 61 years = 121 years of experience which eclipses all other peregrinos we encounter. We will fulfil our mission and make it to Santiago.
Janica. Four pm. We are at our hotel room. I lie on the bed. Janica says “What do you think this is – a holiday camp?”
I open my computer to write this blog. Google has sent a pop up advert to me ‘ten ways to tell if you are autistic’.’