24 September 2016, Saturday, Redondela to Pontevedra, day 25

Spain's flag
Europe » Spain » Galicia » Pontevedra
September 24th 2016
Published: October 18th 2016
Edit Blog Post

Little bay off Ria De VigoLittle bay off Ria De VigoLittle bay off Ria De Vigo

Scene as we leave Antolin Hostel looking out to Enseada de San Simon
24 September 2016, Saturday, Redondela to Pontevedra, day 25. 15.3 miles. Parador Nacional

Our stay at Hostel Antolin was quite pleasant. Today we decide to interact, as much as possible with the locals! The morning was cool as we walked back along the bay, retracing the way we had come yesterday afternoon. We reached the Camino arrows going over the railroad tracks. We could see the railroad tunnel we had been close to at the hostel, now some distance away. We have a clear view of the bay as we leave and we are greeted by an elderly man leaning out of a second story window! He greets us and, in short order, we find out he is 84 years of age and from Goteburg, Sweden. He speaks both English and Spanish.

Then our next greeter is a dog running along the wall of the yard of a house above the road.

An elderly woman is using the communal wash facility. We greet her and a burst of rapid Spanish is forthcoming, none of which can we comprehend. All at once, in the midst of the monologue we hear the phrase, in Spanish, 'de donde son?' for "Where
Our Swedish greeterOur Swedish greeterOur Swedish greeter

He called out from his window as we passed by. We pause to converse.
are you from?" We tell her and she smiles broadly in recognition of the city Las Vegas. I have not met a person yet who does not have a reaction to the words, Las Vegas.

As we get to the point where we turn onto the trail there is a big white arrow and "Santiago," written on the road. The wooded path ln which we walk is nice. I take a photo of four of our group of five, walking abreast, something we almost never did. We see a frame which holds shells that have the names and locations of many pilgrims from all over the world. This is the first time we have seen this on either the French or Portuguese Camino.

We converse with a father and his adult son. We had initially stopped to watch their dog playing with an old soccer ball. Both are fairly fluent in English. It is especially interesting to see some of the older generation speak English. Some do and some don't and you wonder what circumstances prevailed that some have the language skill and some do not. Of course the younger generation have had classes in English since early primary years.

We greet three German girls who pass us. Well, to be truthful, almost everyone passes us.

A little after 10:00 we are on the road entering the town of Arcade and looking for a coffee shop. A man tells me, in Spanish, it is straight ahead on the left-hand side of the road. But the group is ahead of me and following the arrows to a street behind the main road. Fortunately, we are able to find a path and sign to the restaurant where we enjoy coffee and a pastry.

Refreshed we wind along the path to the road again to cross the old Roman bridge over the Rio Verdugo. Upstream of the bridge is what appears to be a bride on a horse leading it into and out of the water. On the downstream side of the bridge is a railroad bridge with its reflection in the clear water. Across the river is a collection of varied and unique horreos.

We chat with a young Irish man who is having severe foot issues. We also talked with a group of six Brazilian ladies who were walking the Camino. They are from the state of Victoria between Rio and Bahia. Two young girls from Brisbane, Australia converse with us. I (Karen) chat with a slightly built young boy with a most glorious mane of hair. He tells me he is fourteen but he appears to be more like eleven.

A couple of new waymarkers also are seen; one a marionette type figure and the other a carved stone pillar. We see the blue Fatima arrow with the yellow Camino Santiago arrow, pointing in opposite directions. This has been an easy day to follow the route.

We begin a long upward climb on a path of very large stones, an old Roman road. At the top of the climb is a mobile oasis. One person provides water and drinks to bikers and plays the guitar, while the other, Manuel, sells leather crafts which he has made. The larger person in the photos, Manuel, is also deaf but has a special hearing aid that helps him to hear. These two tell us to take the route along the small stream with historic buildings, not the shorter route along the highway, so we did. As we read all the things to see on this route, we went an extra 2 kilometers in anticipation but do not remember seeing any of these historic places. Karen here. Well, I am very happy we took the alternative river route! It was a beautiful little meandering stream crossed by wooden and stone bridges in various states of disrepair. We could hear the birds singing. The information plaques were very well done but also with great detail of interest to, perhaps, a botanist or arborist, but I think not to a passing pilgrim. Almost the type of info you would use on a local school field trip. The alternative would have been a noise road. Finally we come to the tunnel at the end of the river walk. Those following our blog may recall how Jo hates tunnels and rats. She believes every tunnel has rats but this one is a little larger and she follows me through without a problem while Julian, Karen and Moira come along behind.

At Fontes De Montes De Figueirido we stop in to visit the Capela da Sta. Marta. We are reminded of Pastor Marta, who, along with her husband, started New Song, the church we attend when we are home. And also we are reminded of our past travel companion Marta Hurwitz.

In Pontevedra we pass several groups of statues and a fountain that has kids (statues) playing in the water. We find our way around the square, Praca de Peregrinos, past a church, with an evening pilgrims' mass, and to the parador. The waymarked route follows the original Camino Rua Real that goes right through the centre of the ancient quarter.

As we get to the parador, there is also a group of cyclists from Belgium who come riding into the parador, which is a 16th c. Renaissance palace.

We also notice several men with robes and hats outside the parador. Upon inquiry we find they are at a convention of wine makers. They make the Galicia Albariño wine we have come to like very much. Galicia boasts five denominated wine regions (D.O.s). Rías Baixas, closest to the coast, is the largest and best known of them, where Albariño is the dominant grape.

We went to the pilgrims' mass at the old church (Santuario da Peregrina) in the medieval core of Pontevedra, a few curvey streets from the parador. It is a beautiful 18th century chapel built in the Baroque style in the shape of----what else....a scallop shell. The sermon was all in Spanish. Julian and Moira, being Catholic, could follow the order of service while Karen, Jo and I were lost. However, it was good to sit, mostly with the local population, and participate in the service. The beautiful little chapel was packed! A gentleman was very kind and so concerned we have our pilgrim passport stamped after the service. Harlan had not remembered to bring ours!

A light rain started as we were leaving. It was quite pleasant to experience Galician rain in a kinder form than the horizontal rain with gale blasts we had last year on the Camino Frances. Our weather has been marvelous the last two weeks. Although all is lush green in the countryside there is a drought going on in this part of Spain.

The quality of everything is fine at the parador so we went there and had dinner in the bar. We talked with four of the group of twelve from Florida. These were the four who had made their reservations before they started the Camino. The lead personality of the group is Fritzi--yes, her actual name.

Additional photos below
Photos: 63, Displayed: 27


Two pilgrims between myself and Jo and Moira aheadTwo pilgrims between myself and Jo and Moira ahead
Two pilgrims between myself and Jo and Moira ahead

They darted into the grass to the left next moment. I think to take a photo.
Old Roman bridge over river VerdugoOld Roman bridge over river Verdugo
Old Roman bridge over river Verdugo

Karen is starting over the bridge. The reflection and arches make for a wonderful scene.

25th October 2016
Our Mona Lisa smiles

Loved your Mona Lisa Smiles
Have enjoyed your blogs all along the way. And liked that the two of you shared the writing of your experiences. Nice to see that the Capela do Santa Marta made you think of me (your friend Marta) and all the wonderful travels we've shared over the years. Karen, I enjoyed your reflections as you walked the ancient Roman Road -- step by step on the same ancient stones that the early pilgrims who made their way to Santiago de Compostela. I found it quite moving that you thought about how when they completed their pilgrimage -- there was no airplane to whisk them back home to friends and family. We're eager to see you home again. We loved your Mona Lisa smiles! It was amazing to follow you two and Jo as you made your way along the Camino for the second time. See you soon.

Tot: 3.057s; Tpl: 0.055s; cc: 9; qc: 52; dbt: 0.0485s; 2; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 2; ; mem: 1.4mb