13 May 2018

The Via Romana XIX

This morning we were not the first out the Albergue, but were the first from our little cubicle! Rain was promised today, but thankfully it held off till we got out of the city.

Interestingly we also followed these little blue lights out as far as the river. We think they actually marked a water culvert.

This was just before the bridge in Pontevedra.

Sometimes we have been confused by the Camino markings, but this one really confused us, so early in the morning.

Today we saw and were passed by many pilgrims. Some we think were groups of young Spanish and Portugues who do it only at the weekend, though we are not sure. There were many other pilgrims from other nations too. It always gets busier the closer you get to Santiago.

We often think how did the Romans manage to march and conquer as they did with nothing but leather thonged sandals? Our BBF’s feet and knees have taken a bashing and he has the benefit of modern foot wear! We followed this famous old Roman road more or less all the way into Caldas de Reis today.

And then it rained, not really hard, but enough to put all the covers on. When it eased Alan was able to slip out of his, but kept it on the pack ready for the next shower.

The route was a mixture of country roads and forest paths which kept it interesting despite the rain.

Often we crossed gushing little streams like here. 

57 has always been a special number for our BBF. He was first Commissioned into an Infantry Regiment which had been in its past the 57th of Foot, The Die Hards! Hanna was born in 57 Betrather Straße in Mönchengladbach! So when we saw this stone we said a special prayer for her, especially as today is Mother’s Day in Germany!

We had to cross many such small fords as this one when in the woods. 

This one forest we now went through felt to us like a Spanish Rain Forest. All the trees and the banks and stone walls were covered in moss. A river ran through it and we followed this. Today it was wet anyway, but we could sense that the humidity in the forest was high all the time.

Strangely there was no moss on the Eucalyptus trees though?

Was this a Roman or a Medieval bridge, either way we were grateful for it.

We emerged to follow the railway a short distance before crossing it and continuing on roads for a bit.

The smiley stone says that your smile is a gift for you and for everyone! 

After some 9 kilometres we came to a café where breakfast was had.

Leaving it we followed another road, but not for long.

Firm sandy tracks were always welcome to walk on.

This was a fine example of the stone corn on the cob stores found throughout Galicia.

We had been looking out for the 50 kilometre stone and now sang fifty bottles of beer on the wall, take one and pass it round song and danced a jig in memory of Pat and Dan who had taught us it back on our first Camino!

By this one, sadly there was not one with plain 50 on it, was a railway embankment.

You’ll have to take our word for it, but to the left of the yellow arrow it says, less is left!

We did our best to play Pooh Sticks whenever we could, but the water was gushing so fast we did not always get to the other side fast enough to see who one! 

At our next stop we had a tortilla and a soft drink. The owner made his own wine and Alan was sorry we still had some way to go as he would have liked to try it!

Up on the left you can see a bird of pilgrims disappearing up the major road which we fortunately only had to follow for a short way. By road trout we are nearly there, though Alan doesn’t like us asking that. He always says that we’ll be grown up when we get there! 

Off the road we went through nice countryside peppered with vineyards. 

This fine example of a wooden grain store actually had corn on the cob stacked in it as we could see them through the slats. 

Was the owner also a pilgrim or was he just showing us the Way?

Again we followed the road for a short way before it was back in the country. 

That blade of grass is our Pooh Stick, Alan’s never reappeared, so he lost again. He’s a glutton for punishment for he just can’t win, so why does he keep asking us to play?

We followed small country lanes now into town.

Most of the way today and as we write we could hear mortar and artillery fire as well as small arms fire. All day it seems the Spanish have been playing some game of cowboys and Indians. 

Our BBF though when he first heard the mortars was reminded of a conversation he had had, with a retired Major General, then the Colonel of his Regiment. He had asked him what was the best rank he had held in the Army? The General replied, a Captain! Now years later Alan is in agreement. One of his best times in the Army was as a Captain and as a Mortar Officer of his battalion!

The rain stopped so we took off the rain covers.

More road kill! Was it a rat, we wondered? 

At last a sight of Caldas de Reis, our destination for the day!

We were not able to get the whole of this art work in the picture to the left are larger versions of a traffic column and on the right larger versions of animals and fish. We thought that it represented the Food Chain!

In town we bumped into the American brother and sister Ann-Marie and Dan who were looking for something sweet to eat!

Eventually we found our hotel and are pleased to say we are dry and warm. Alan had a big lunch and is likely to go off now for Vino and Tapas. We wonder what tomorrow brings? Buen Camino 🐻❤️

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