Pig's Ear Park and Other Adventures

Tag: Via de la Plata (page 1 of 5)

Day 56 Santiago!!!!!!

Made it and have the piece of papet saying 989 ks , pity they did not round it up…
After breakfast at the lovely casa and even managing to filch some lunch food we left for the last 18 k plod. Another glorious sunny day, have been aooooooo lucky weather wise.
Trotted along the 525 for about 10 k then rejoined the path wwith the road sign daying 6 ks Fibbers , on the path it took us three hours to do what would have been 6 on the road
And we were moving today, the end was in sight…
Up damn hill and down dale , very pretty countryside but it went on and on. Saw two very flat little voles and the usual sodding barking dogs.
Certainly a nicer way in to santiago than the other two routes i have been on
Finally spied the steps in the city wall and we weree up them like rats up a drain pipe
In thru the winding city streets full of scruffy camino walkers, some hobbling , some not…thru the long archway into obradio (sp) square and there it was….more covered in scaffolding than last year.
Admit to a sniffle as i went thru the archway with the galician pipes playing….
Not long to sit about as k had to collect her bag
Off to our hotel and a bath and a really good lunch and we then wandered back to town,
You have to queue to get your compestella and it can take up to 2 and a 1/2 hours..
Queue was short we were in!!! Took 45 minutes, interesting to hear others stories. A young couple had camped out and walked forty ks. a day often!!! They were definitely a bit whiffy!!!
Went to the English prayer session at the cathedral…bit snivelly again as I asked for prayers for my friend Bob Campbell

So thete it is all over!!!
Many many thanks to Jackie , Joan and Joss who emailed me moat days , david who rang me and emailed me john who emailed and rang me, Catherine who egged me on and tormented me with talk of green vegies…Contact like that kept me afloat. Joan in particular stopped me from running away in the first two weeks
No more Caminos , roads are now too busy and in the middle after zamora the path is hard to follow with all the new roadworks.
So will walk cross the top of sweden next year!!!

Day 55 Galegos

We left our Yarpies who were good fun behind at the badly run but beautiful Pazo de Bendorio and headed out for the above. Badly run, well about five us ended up being locked in on the first floor and although we could be heard in reception there was nobody there…finally a staff member arrived and let us down for breakfast. Some good filching there which we later wnjoyed for lunch. Went to pay, nobody around, all very fawlty towers

Another lovely sunny day ….
We did quite a lot of road walking today choosing when to walk on the Camino. We actually walked 4ks less as we did not almost double back on ourselves as the path does. Road was very busy though so had to be careful.
Flowers , Well the orange blossom is out and lots if it around. The roses are glorious, mainly a red very similar to Dublin Bay and a dark pink similar to Zephrin Druin.

Saw the first barn housed cows of the trip happily eating fresh grass carted to them by the farmer
Heaps more pig sheds, they must house at least a 100 pigs and gee they are whiffy, gag making stuff.
Country side becoming much more populated
There are lots more roadside cafes and bars….still not many pilgrims.
We finally tottered into our surprisingly good accommodation about 3.35 too late for lunch but we were given a very nice soup
Accommodation is a 400 hundred year old house on a vineyard. We sampled thevwine, very nice , the albarino grape , were served by the wine maker, owners son!!!! Owner spoke excellent English.
Maggie and Paul arrived for a drink , they did not know we were there so we had an interesting hour with them.
Maggie will have walked from the Mediterranean tobthe Atlantic. Malaga to Finistere…
Now thete is a thought….
Dinner was probaly the best we have had.
Asparagus, pate, and baby trout followed by a wild strawberry mousse.

Could almost come back to this place, even has very hot eater all for 40e a night
Including breakfast,
Ladt day tomorrow…cannot imagine not having to put the pack on each day ….

Day 53 when two supposedly intelligent women got LOST

We got up and headed out if Lalin heading for a rural Casa ehich is supposedly wonderful(you know trouble is coming).
Only a short day today and we decided to make it shorter by walking mainly on the road…

Saw our first fox,dead on the road, so squashed we never took its photo,smaller than uk foxes…
Then we came across a pond eith lotsa lovely frogs and no snakes
Plodded on nice morning only about 10 ks this am
Tried to poke my nose into a very smart albergue and was told to shove off loudly in Spanish by an officious old tart,i backed out but the inside was very upmarket from what I saw wonder if they ever have pilgrims?
By this time we were st Prado,pretty little village but the road was getting busy so we weakened and took the camino path which i now realise can add at least five k a day compared to the road sign distances
From our reckoning the flash place was just out of the town of Laxe. We walked on hopefully to the town. Saw a robin and took a picture of a cute donkey…walked on We even saw a small deer .Realising we were in the wrong place,,,we came out at the next town along,Silleda,Bugger, iwn fault if course We bever checked our maps.
Ran into English Paul he was with Maggie who is Anzac Brian’s friend. They had walked 28 k in the time we had walked 16
We had lunch ,salad and octopus,,,Quite nice
Then decided we would go back to the flash place and get ourselves back to Silleda somehow tomorrow morning. No way would the flash place come and collect us,we got a taxi….
All fine taxi was only 8 e and he would come back tomorrow and collect us …
So all fine into our rooms,big beds nice bathroom..
Threw off the clothes into the bath luke warm well maybe a shade above but certainly not hot and not conducive to lying in for an hour to ease old aching bones…
Lept out if the bath rang reception .Nada . Threw some if my clothes back on and set out for reception encountered the snotty receptionist chatting up the South africans guide. Whole bunch of yarpys here on bikes
Both came to my room and assured me that. Y water was hot,this very same thing happened
to t and i not far from here eight years ago.
Said get out ..
Then got dressed and went down for a g and t ,long wait, three communion fiestas going on.,,, now outside drinking above listening to crap music blaring out across the countryside,similar to last nights Zumba music.
Karen went and told teception her water was cold as did lrobably most if the wTer in an hour , too late Trip Advisor here I come…
Thank heavns not mch longer..

Day 52 Lalin

…and guess who has a room over the yard with a hysterical alsation barking outside..,
I now poke or wave my stick st the dogs trying to eat me, certinly gets them going..,

Well a 23 k day today, one of my feet has changed shape hope it is temporary otherwise it is orthopeadic hoppers forever
Innards proved problomatic this am
Karen is saying ‘man approaching ‘ while i am huddled in a heap beside the path…
Manage to get myself up and smiling while evidence in the form of a mound of tissues
is right behind us and my poles and guide book are in the middle of the path where i had abandoned them.., englishman never noticed just entralled by blonde Karen(sorry Paul!!!)
K kept him chatting for next few ks i dived behind a stone wall at one stage
Not sure if either noticed.., it actually was the beginnings of one of those horrid tissue piles that are such sn awful part of the camino frances …fenale doggy bags are now suggested there

We swapped names etc with the pom and think Anzac Brian he may have been walking with your Maggie… She may have more than a phone to write her blog!!!
Anyway we were off to Lalin to another
Dubious place
Up bloody hill and down dale anf finally arrived
Out for our gins then to find somwhere to eat having arrived too late for lunch
Saw a zumba display in the nain square… Mad but great all these prople doing zumba watched by spouses etc bit different for a sat night

Given the name of a restaurant wow what an ecperience, had a tapas prepared just for us only ones there too early for dinner
It was 7.3o
We had another very large gin then asked for sopa owner said he had sometimg specisl for us, two slices of fantastic dessert
plus an amazing white wine BUT then the sopa appeared, a minestra so we pushed the dessert aside and scoffed a wonderful veggie laden soup…then back yo the dessert
More wine then a layered coffee and a liquer we had just given up by this stAge and eaten and drunk everything .
K avoided the layered coffee but i drank it so i am still awake now …
Bill for all this including two horse knock out gins, 38 e
So back to the hovel and the barking dog…
Short day tomorrow about 13 ks and supposedly a nice place to stay but tonights experience eill take some beating’….

Day 50 and 51 Ourense to Cea

Day off was spent in slothful idleness
Then back into it with a vengenance…
Described as a 200 m climb over 3 ks Karen clocked it ad 500 m on her tricky machine and that Is what it felt like….
We just went straight up,
We had the option of two routes to Cea one was shorter so we chose that silly us…. Back with some of the people we met before detouring to Verin,the Japanese girl and the French girl, do we look as tired as them?
Weather is being very kind not too hot, about 24 ,bit chilly in the am but gets us going.
Over ^#£¥+ Roman roads ,they are very hard to walk on….About two ks of it just out if one of the villages.
Was a pretty walk today, oak trees ,chestnut trees and about four stone housed villages usual small plots
A number of pig farms,the housed inside ones…
Part of our day off was spent organising our accommodation for the remaining days, about nine,,,what a mission. Little accommodation avaiable a this is one of the 100 k routes from ourense so all the tour companies book the good places.
We had to go a few ks out if Cea. Lady came and picked us up ….as we got of the car we both said ‘pig farm’ she grabbed our bags and hustled us inside, kept my windows shut.
Everytime the main door opened the eye watering stench drifted in…
Drank quantities if wine to ivervome the smell of course…
Saw the my first hollyhocks out… Broom still flowering madly but does nit seem to be the variety of wildflowers up here.
Only about 80 ks to go

Day 49 Ourense

All Spanish dogs , particularly the ones in Galicia should be debarked. Every house in the little villages here seems to own three dogs who bark madly and rush at the fence as we go past. One little mutt actually threw itself at the gate in an attempt to get us. We have been thru wolf territory and some of the dogs up in the hills showed some wolf chatectistics, long dark fur in places quite unlike the usual alsations.
Lots of small holdings, real subsistence stuff up in the Galician hills. Also lots of deserted houses ,stone of course,most in a real state of disrepair. One village was totally deserted. The odd village had some refurbished houses probably weekender.
Long long walk today but luckily quite
We finally tottered into Ourense quite late in that hiatus between lunch and dinner,(4 pm to 8 pm)
Ended up in a food court and had a most satisfactory meal. Pasta,salad,chicken skewers and if course chips and bread all for 9.50 e each
Ourense seems a nice place op 105,000 may go and look at the old city today
Have a day off, after over 130 ks in six days,
Just hope I have the last 106 in my legs….

Day 48 Allariz

Which is a lovely little town with a very old historical centre.
Set down in a valley though so means we have to climb out again ….
Was soooo cold yestetday am that i put my wet weather gear on ad well. Never really warmed up probably went from 7 to 17
Good walk though dome of it , fadt, along the road then into the scrub with the yellow arrows.
Reslly into Galicia now, small holdings with both men and women working in the quite small fields. An enlarged grubber seems to be the tool of choice
Lot of potatoes but onions lettuces and the ever present tall tough looking kale

The best part of the day was walking about two ks on a roman roaf, part of the originsl via de la plata . Huge grooves had been wirn in the solid stone . Also in some parts thete were high single piece stone walls . All set in a lovely oak forest with a steep drop on one side down to a stream…
Very good day
Even had an almost teasonable late lunch however we both now have dodgy tums…cannot handle half way decent food anymore!!!!

Tomorrow, today, actually another twenty k haul but the weather is still chilly so easier to walk

Day 47 Zinzo

Not much to say about today really we got up from our lovely beds at the Parador then walked up hill and down dale for hours finally arriving in the above
Crop du jour here is potatoes, acres of them
We are in a very large valley so the secnery is still quite pretty with hills all around in the distance
Highlight of yesterday was K throwing a large stick at a water snake to stop it killing a frog
We were walking beside a large stream teeming with sex crazed frogs when we heard a new note from the have sex have sex call, a frog scream… And there was a frog in the snakes nouth, think it may have got munched but was slowed up.
It was about a metre and a half long. Check out spanish water snakes for him,,,
Temperature is due to drop from over 30 to 22 today so thqt should make walking easier

Day 46 Verin

We are taking a route just below the usual Camino Sanabres, still has the Camino markings but only hotels etc so consequently nobody around. We went down,we went up and then did it all again for damn hours yesterday…in red hot heat. But somewhere ong the road we passed the 200 k left marker….
On day 43 i thought I was done for.feet were so sore,thought I was getting the dreaded plantar fascitis or whatever the thing is that gives you very tender spots…I did have tender spots were damn stones had embedded themselves in my inner soles.
Changed to new soles and scraped all the little bits of atone out of the bottom of my boots. I had been shaking them out eveyday but more than that is needed
Feet now fine
We are staying in a Parador again,identical almost to the one in Meridia.
Food is better though apart from an egg and chip entree that came with our aet meal…
As Catherine said,total correlation between good food ,good bed and well being…
So a few bits of trivia from the trail…
Along the wildflower filled path of the day before there was a lot of pig sign, ground rooted up and even pig poo,darker than dog!!!!That day a lot of the paths were very boggy which adds time to the day as you negotiate your way thru,in and around the boggy bits.
Lots of stone houses now,there are literally stone mountains along the trail so no problem getting raw material.
Interesting thing here when asking for directions is there seems to be no local knowlege beyond about ten ks. This of course makes it hard to pinpoint places…
I have discovered the power of tipping..
Lots of dogs on the loose yesterday in tbe small villages most of whom barked msdmy at us and made sure we never hung around thier property

Day 45 A ‘Guidina

Don’t make a booking to come here in a valley with a cement works and a large foad making site BUT it does have a clean and reasonably nice hotel…Plus large gins…
We walked 26 ks yesterday by the time we got to the hotel over incredibly varied terrain and ever increasing heat.
After leaving Lubian it was straight back into another pass, another 1300 m BUT some wonderful wild owers,primroses and violets were the standouts. I wasted lots of time taking photos.
An older American couple walked with us,she is 84 and has had nine children,walked the hills…..she scampered along.
A German couple also started with us but she lingered looking at flowers with me and husband yelled T her,last we saw of them…

Out of the pass,which looking at the hills surrounding this place suspect is not the last uppy bit…and on the flat thru nice fields THEN into a rocky arid section That went on and on and damn well on
By this time we had picked up a French woman who was having a bad day, we put her in between us and headed on..she shared her warm coke with me..
So someone out there thinks two kiwi women are OK
Finally saw this town in the distance but as usual took another hour to get here. We were out for 8 1/2 hours yesterday, someone said it should be done in 6!…
Off to Verin today which is not on my schedule but avoids a 34 k day and a hostel…
K is definitely not a hostel girl. Met up with the Dutchman from days ago and we had dinner together.meat meat and chips….what a surprise
Around two bundred k left

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