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Sunday, 7 June 2015

The long hot Sunday

This morning it was with great willpower and a combined team effort that we dragged ourselves away, kicking and screaming, from the beautiful setting of  Playa de Cesantes, where we both could have ended our Camino and spent the rest of the week on the beach, drinking local wine. The journey continued in a relaxed mood until we left the seafront and started the long climb that would eventually take us to the top of Alto da Lomba where we collapsed at a local cafe and enjoyed coffee and toast. The views going up the hill looking down onto the bay, dotted with boats and outlined with several marinas was, I am led to believe, something special, but all I saw was the road as I leaned over and struggled to make the top. Sometimes on these journeys beauty and culture have to be abandoned for pure survival. The downhill stretch did give me the opportunity to soak in the beauty of the coastline and before us unfurled the outline of a narrow stone bridge leading into the old fishing village of Arcade and there sitting at tables, in a most picturesque setting, were several fellow walkers enjoying a drink and a well earned break. It would have been rude and indeed could maybe have caused an International incident if we had walked on so we joined, Irmi and Jasmin (Germany), Shirley (NZ), and Karen (Aust), for a refreshing drink and a chat. After a prolonged break we started the steep climb out of the village that led us up through the forests and eventually topped the Alto da Canicouva. This was brutal climbing and it was an exhausted group that finally made it to the top and took a well earned rest. Mary and I parted company with the others as we headed on down the hill through the trees to the old Capela da Sta. Marta where we took a few minutes respite from the hot, burning sun.  During a short stretch of walking on the busy road we met Greg, an in between jobs, Pastor from California,and it would have been nice to really have time talking to this interesting man but the busy road and the hot, burning sun wouldn't allow that. For the same reason we took the alternative route from Tio Tomeza to Pontevedra because it followed a river as it meandered through a forest and would offer shade from the burning sun even though it was slightly longer than the normal route. During this quiet peaceful walk as we were regaining our composure from the tough hot walking in the hot sun footsteps behind us indicated that we were not alone and the Aussie accent told us we had met up again with our Camino friend , Karen. It was too hot and too close to the finish to stop for a chat so we arranged to meet later for dinner. This was a really wonderful four kilometre path that had an abundance of wildlife and the sound of birds and the sighting of fish was preferable to noisy smelly cars speeding past on a main road. By 3pm we had made our destination in Pontevedra and were sitting down to a well deserved beer.

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