The 24 bed private albergue only had 7 peregrinos. It's a shame for Maria, the owner, but it was our best night yet. I slept very well and woke up naturally at 6:30. James and I were very quiet getting ready because we had answered 7 when Mary had asked what time we wanted breakfast. Coffee had started by itself and everything for tostadas was laid out.
We had a good talk with Maria during breakfast and she wanted a photo which one of the other guests took when they came in and we were ready to leave. Mary went outside with us to show us a shortcut. We highly recommend her place! She so cares about her pilgrims. We parted with hugs!
Right away a steep uphill walk. Today we have two "ups and downs". We hardly had started when we had to take off our fleeces.
Basically we started today at 80 km to Santiago! (where we took the second layer off).
A little further: have not seen this before. Martina from Holland was here at the 20th of August ha-ha.
How in the world am I describing to you today?
First we have to "conquer" Alto da Lomba (153 meters). It's steep up and down but so beautiful. It's early in the morning when the birds are waking up. The forest floor had a layer of pine (thicker then in this picture) and it was just lovely. And sometimes we go through those eucalyptus woods.
When we were at sealevel again we met a major highway. There was a lady offering sello, a stamp you collect in your peregrino passport for proof that you have walked all that way. We are supposed to try to get two each day.
The walk along the highway was not so pleasant but suddenly we remembered we had left without saying a prayer. So we just stopped and had that moment.
When we got away from the highway it was much nicer. We went through little villages, narrow alleys, interesting around every corner.
When we reach Arcade we see just what a cute little town this is. It's low tide. There is something about towns at seaside or rivers. Just love it.
We had walked for a while with two girls, one from Poland and one from Lithuania. One offered to take a picture of us.
And then on the other side.
After Arcade it is uphill again "conquering" Alto da Canicouva (145 meters).
This was soooooo steep. I huffed and puffed. For the longest time. It was strange when young people overtook us like mountain goats. But is this not to be expected? I am not complaining though. It was incredible and if I took 1000 photos I couldn't show you how beautiful it was.
I should say though how nice everybody is. Locals or peregrinos (from many countries) say greetings like "buen camino" or "buenos Dias".
Several times we thought to have reached the top of it but then it wasn't. But this really is it! Downhill selfie!
Passed fields and vinyards.
The girl from Lithuania had told us that she was wishing for light rain. Silly girl. She got her wish. It was starting to fizzle. It wasn't enough to get the back pack cover out or the poncho. But it was not pleasant. And we missed (unfortunatly) the turn to the beautiful alternative route through woods and along the river. Instead we walked the old route on the side of a busy road. We had walked non-stop for pretty much 4 hours when we felt like wishing for a cafe. Elevensies! We had to stop for a short rest on a bench in a bus stop. And then finally there was a cafe. Two coffee con leche and two Aquarius (electrolites) and free tapas with it.
With renewed energy we went into the town of Pontevedra. Loved this roadside business offering pulpo. Would not have minded having some. Tomorrow!
The yellow camino signs go right through the middle of the old town. Sooooo charming (even in the drizzling rain). There are several albergues but we pass them all. We had decided that we didn't need to prove anything and that we deserved to spoil ourselves once in a while. (Drumroll!) James had called ahead and reserved a room in the Parador. My Spanish friend Lali will know what that means. Or those who have seen the movie "The Way" with Martin Sheen. Every self-respecting bigger town has one.
Yes, the Parador. Looking forward to a bit of luxury mainly a hot soak in a bathtub. We arrived short after 1 pm.
Kick it off!
The soak in the hot water made our muscles feel better. Everything o.k. there.
James then confessed that he didn't feel so good. It had started early in the morning but now had got worse. We asked the clerk at the reception and he told as where to go. We went to one clinic and then were led to another ... What Is it with James and Spanish doctors? Anyway we feel now better knowing what it is, an infection, and got medicine which means he should get better soon.
We wanted tapas in the hotel so James could take his med with something in his tummy. We had gone to the hotel bar where we expected to get nibbles. We asked for the tapas menu which we got. When we ordered he said the kitchen didn't open till 8:30 pm. So, why give us the menu? I had the brilliant idea to ask him whether he didn't have some dry bread and a little time later he came with pieces of French bread and cheese, well done!
We did venture out for just a little while, stopped at a bakery and a supermarket for something to drink for James and something different (wink) to drink for me.
The hike today was incredible. Our fourth day of walking and every day different. Pontevedra has a lot of charm. We decided to stay another night in this hotel which will give us the opportunity to see more of this city tomorrow. No need to haste. Nothing to prove. All is good. Today we walked 18 km but the guide book says The hills make it count it for much more.