Monday 23 September 2019

Monday 23rd sept Redondela to Pontevedra

We had a nice breakfast in our “Casa rural” 😳🤣this morning. We were the last to leave and the hostess of our breakfast asked if we would like to take bread with it would just be grown out. She proceeded to make us ham and cheese sandwiches for the road. This was much appreciated as often we find when we reach lunchtime, or just hungry time, we are usually in the middle of nowhere.
The route took us through town, it was early and traffic was whizzing around, kids were going to school and we were searching for the yellow arrows that would lead us to our “way”.  As was often the case we would inquire “which way?” , of a person who looked like a local and the local would Point us in the right direction. This time it was an elderly man who gave us direction and then I guess he figured we would never find it without him so he walked with us to the edge of town.
There was a lot of elevation to begin and the weather was threatening rain. We were seeing a lot more  pilgrims, ones we had never seen before as well.  We were now within 100 kms of Santiago, give or take a few kms. In order to receive a compestella from the official pilgrim office you must prove you have walked the last 100 miles. You do this by collecting stamps in an official pilgrim booklet....and a sworn statement that yes, you did walk the distance.
So the trail was very busy with walkers, there were people in groups of 6 or more and some singles. A lot of people looked like they couldn’t walk half the distance but one foot after another and they were doing it! We met up with people we hadn’t seen for a couple of days. Lots of Canadians on the route.
We walked for awhile with a girl, Christine, from Norway, she was a huffing and puffing, preferring to jog a little then rest. I was concerned, she was alone, the tour group she was with had gone ahead. I suggested she should be using poles, at which time she took mine thinking I had offered them!  I didn’t mind and they really seemed to help her. After walking together for more than half an hour she told me she couldn’t talk, handed me back my poles and said I should catch up with my friends.  It wasn’t too long before she caught up with us again. You really meet all kinds!
We stopped for coffee in a town called Arcade, very nice coffees and gratis little cakes. The place was  super busy serving all the pilgrims.  Some of our route was on very busy road with huge trucks driving very fast.....going uphill too, but much was through wide forest paths as well, a nice diversion  took us along a path by a small river. The rain held off but there was a stiff breeze. We came across a box of fruit that had been left for pilgrims to help themselves. Another time we saw a large display on a fence with hundreds of pilgrim shells, people had written their name and or country where they had come from on the shells.
We reached our destination, Pontevedra at about 2:30 after 20 kms and stopped for beer before checking into hotel Avenida. We showered and did some laundry.
Later on we did a stroll around town, visited a couple of large churches, had a glass of wine at a sidewalk near the square, were entertained by a couple of gypsy boys and their fire sticks.
At 8pm we could enter a restaurant for service earlier. We shared 3 dishes, one, new to us was roasted small green peppers which were delicious. Wine, water and a milk pudding with 4 spoons finished off our meal.  At 9:30 we walked back to our hotel.....pilgrims go to bed early and rise early......although tomorrow is a short day for us.
Fit bit is registering 36,700 steps!


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