As Robin and I were enjoying breakfast I checked today’s weather for the umpteenth time. Yes, it would rain, and yes it would be windy. We walked out of the Parador in Pontevedra and found light rain and light winds. This we could handle. No problema. We set out across the bridge that takes you out of town on the Camino. At the far end a little pilgrim tienda was doing a great business selling flimsy ponchos. Everybody got sorted out as best they could with their new rainwear and the herd headed up and out of town with all sorts of bits and pieces flapping in the yet light wind.
The nice thing about walking out of Pontevedra is that if you leave from where we started close to the Parador it is a quick exit. We soon found ourselves out of the city and on a rural road that became a rural path. All of this was quite nice and easy walking. So onward we went. We pulled over just before noon at a popular bar for a coffee and juice. We sat quite still just enjoying being off our feet as a pool of water gathered around us. The table next to us had three Germans draining very large beers and downing even larger bocadillos. Two were men and one was a lady. They were definitely having fun.
As we settled up and stepped out the door to a change in the weather. The light rain soon became a torrent and the light wind soon became a gale. So for the next two and a half hours we were knocked about with gusty winds and hosed off with heavy showers. Fortunately our gear is pretty watertight and with the addition of our umbrellas we were in as close to a sweet spot as one could hope for. We plowed on in a little cocoon of tranquility created by our umbrellas and a following wind albeit a very strong following wind.
One thing I did notice that folks with umbrellas seemed to keep walking while those without seemed to stop at every available bar. This is purely unscientific survey but an umbrella can be your best friend on the Camino in rain or shine.
About 4 1/2 hours after leaving Pontevedra we arrived in Caldas de Reis dry to the ankles but soaked from there down. We remembered a nice bar from a previous visit and set out for shelter and a bit of lunch. The owner, Claudio whipped up a fresh tortilla, some ham, cheese and a nice tomato salad to fortify us. A couple of beers and a glass of wine later we were in a taxi heading to our hotel, the Torre do Rio. We are now relaxing in splendid luxury with a spiderweb of clotheslines crisscrossing our room. We are here for two days, and the heat is on so things will eventually dry out. Let’s just say today was a bit challenging but was still great fun. Lay day tomorrow and then off to Padron (yes, the same as those peppers you love) on Saturday. This will put us in Santiago the following day, Sunday and bring this Camino to a close. Not there yet, but definitely closer.