|Pontedueme in the rear view mirror|
Today began as usual with two pilgrims trying to get sorted in a small pension room as the growing daylight reminded us that we should already be on the road (or path). We have practiced our preparations to the point that stage directions are no longer required from either party. We just do what needs to be done and somehow get out the door (smiling). Today was no different. We popped out into the morning half light and bolted for the nearest bar for a quick desayuno (breakfast). Toast, coffee, and juice and soon thereafter we were ascending the narrow streets of Pontedueme. The Camino Frances is replete with hills and valleys. The Camino Ingles is as well, but everything just seems a bit steeper. My guess is that the terrain is reminiscent of the Camino Norte’s first days (from what I hear). So, my point being, we started burning through breakfast about 5 minues after we had eaten it.
We climbed out of Pontedueme and were rewarded with some spectacular views. We moved onto a variety of trails, paths and roads throughout the day, and all were quiet (some sepulchral). We stayed dry finding ways around the few bogs, found the ever present scent of eucalyptus very settling, enjoyed the elevated views of bays, rivers, estuaries, and the pleasant towns and villages we passed through. It was a beautiful day weather wise (and on all other accounts) and that certainly added to our enjoyment. Locals have told me that the warm, and dry, weather (almost hot) is not the norm, but that is what we had. I walked into Betanzos wearing just a t shirt. My base layer was slung over the back of my pack. Temps were in the mid 60’s F. An interesting anecdote, Robin and I were perhaps 2.5 kms from Betanzos when we passed a beautiful orange tree whose limbs were bending with ripe fruit. The branches were overhanging the path, and I commented on how great one of those oranges would taste. But, we didn’t reach up, and help ourselves. No more than 10 minutes later, perhaps less, we passed a woman leaving a gate with a full plastic sack in one hand. She said hello and asked if we would like an orange. She gestured to a tree, just to her side, and said “from there.” She reached into her sack for the fruit, we accepted, thanked her, and continued on our way (simply wondering). We arrived in Betanzos at 3:00, and found our way to the Hotel Garelos. We are now booked in there and enjoying a cold beer on their sunny (at least for today) patio. The owner’s daughter, Adriana, who speaks excellent English, has been very helpful. Good spot (recommended). Off to Bruma tomorrow to see what all the fuss is about the hill. Stand by for an update. Beautiful day, today. Robin and I both loved it. This is a pretty part of the world.
Ciao for now