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Published: October 23rd 2016
Hotel O Cruceiro
Not one of our favorites.
26 September 2016, Monday, Caldes de Reis to Padron, Day 27, 14.8 miles. Hotel Pazo de Lestrove, a member of Pousadas del Camino network of hotels.
Ruminating on Roman Roads. Ah, Karen here. Remember I have said, a number of times, that this blog is to serve as a memory jog of certain feelings, events or memories of our Camino. So, bear with me as I do not want to forget these roads! I read the guide and see we have a section of a Roman road coming up and I am both delighted and filled with dread! I love these roads but how my feet dread them. And what is the appeal of a Roman road? One steps upon the first big stone and, for me, I enter another world. These roads were built before the time of Christ; they have since been trod by thousands from many lands, all with a story to tell. How many weeks, months, or even years, had they set forth on their journey toward Santiago - and for what purpose?! It would take such a long time to reach their goal, and upon achieving their feat in reaching Santiago there would not be
a plane ticket awaiting them to travel quickly home to friends and family. It would take them many moons to reach their home and many times family members would not be there to greet them. Or, if they were, would not be able to understand the changes in their beloved returnee. Pilgrims, soldiers, scoundrels, clergy, educated, royalty and illiterate have labored over the very same stones you are now traversing. Sometimes one can almost visually imagine those who have gone ahead and hear their voices. Our little band has fine tuned into each other and often we will cover these areas in quiet - well, perhaps with a moan or two as the boot hits a sharp rock edge. Yes, a Roman road provides a very special magical road into the past.
We agreed to meet at the old Roman bridge near the cathedral at 0830. We arrived a little before as my google maps took us right to it. So, have a few photos. The bridge was on the Camino and we started walking from here. On the grass near the bridge was a metal frame that was filled with clear plastic bottles making a Ready Kilowatt type
character sculpture. Around the grassy area and streets they were setting up for the market.
Along a stone wall of a building, near an horreo we walked past, was a beautiful little statue of St. James the pilgrim. Further on someone had made a heart from stones and leaves with a nice "S" in the center along the path. We pass more wayside crosses and stop for our morning coffee break at Esperon Cafe. The other four are off while I am still putting on my backpack so I photo them disappearing around the cafe corner.
We walk for a short distance and pass a very old country church with a pilgrims'registry outside. Sheep are coming up the road as we get to the church. Just beyond we see two nanny goats with young kids. Two are trying to nurse and the other three are just playing near their mother.
Now I see something I cannot believe. An oak tree that has a hollow in its live trunk has a pine tree growing out of this live tree! My next surprise is a very large pot-bellied pig. I am just tall enough to see it over the
stone wall. All the others, who are ahead except Jo, miss it. So our Iowa girl has to find a way to photograph it also. There are many flowers along the Camino. Today I capture two more blooms near a museum of hand made farm tools.
Karen finds a garden statue of St. James with staff and gourd. Next we see a church wall which, somewhat humorously, has put a gourd on its electric conduit to make it look like a pilgrim staff. Karen explores this church, near San Miguel de Valga, with its fantastic array of wall crypts. Near here we find a very busy cafe, San Miguel, for a drink and our lunch. This is also a mini-mart so doubly busy. We pass a mile marker showing less than 30 Kilometers to Santiago.
The most unusual mechanical feature of the day was a robotic lawn mower. The video of this machine will not load into the blog but was great fun to watch. Then we came to the butternut squash hanging from a trellis like the grape vines. We all have a rest while studying the nearby wayside cross, Cruceiro de San Lazaro. As we enter
Padron along the river we see the power plants and clear water. We cross the river near the market and walk back to our lovely Hotel Pazo de Lestrove. This hotel is part of the network of Pousadas del Camino. We had good memories of these quality hotels from our Camino Frances last year. We are weary and we open the door to our room and the curtains are billowing from the windows of our corner room. The room smells so clean, fresh and inviting.
There is a chapel at the river bridge, Igrexa de Santiago. This chapel has a nice spiritual atmosphere in spite of the number of pilgrims visiting. The Romanesque church houses one of the great Jacobean treasures for here lies the original stone or Padron, from which the town takes its name. Legend says this is the mooring post, to which the boat carrying the body of St. James the apostle, tied up to the quayside along the river bank. The church is built over this sacred spot. The docent here is most pleasant and answers all questions.
We then made the hillside climb by the Stations of the Cross to a mountain top
shrine, Monte Santiaguino. Here, allegedly, St. James preached and converted and baptized Iberian Christians. So we walked the kilometer back to the chapel and climb up the 238 steep steps to the shrine with its cross. (This was not quite as many steps as advertised). We met and visited with a young Irish couple who graciously took photos for us.
At dinner we share the table with Lee and Fritzi, two of the Florida dozen. We have a very nice dinner and relaxing evening. Fritzi is immensely entertaining. TOMORROW is SANTIAGO!
Tot: 0.537s; Tpl: 0.019s; cc: 10; qc: 51; dbt: 0.0127s; 1; m:saturn w:www (18.104.22.168); sld: 2;
; mem: 1.4mb