Today's walk was very nice. No big climbs today and no getting lost. It was quite warm and bright sun with not a cloud in the sky, but I have had warmer days, and with only 24 kms to walk, all in all it was a good day. I arrived at the Albergue just before it opened at 4:00, long enough to take off my boots and stretch my feet and rest in the shade.
The route was in 4 parts, with only a very short bit on road.
The first 8.2 km was along the Ruta de la Piedra y del Agua. The route was a recreational trail along the Rio Armenteira, which was actually more of a fast flowing stream than a river.
We had climbed a fair height the day before and so the stream and the trail plunged downward On the opposite side of the mountain we climbed in a small ravine in which the stream flowed. It was nice to walk in the shade of the treed ravine listening to the fast flowing water. Perhaps it was more of a river in it's day as it was clearly the key to industry in the area in times gone by. There were about 20 or more stone mill buildings in various states of ruin or reconstruction and information displays along the way. Previously this river was a hive of activity.
About half way there was a recreation area which also contained a small statue garden. It was nice just to sit and listen to the water and the birds singing.
The next section was a 5.5 km river walk along the Rio Umia - a wide and stately river. Again, it was a recreational trail and there were benches and picnic tables every so often. I was quite happy to walk the quiet trail. of course I had to stop and dangle my feet on the river. It was very cold.
I had left my Albergue mates behind - they were still waking up when I left at 8:00 and I did not see any other pilgrims all day. Apparently there are two others, who walked with the group of 6 for a while, but they stayed at the Monestary and they had not checked into the Albergue today, so not sure if we will be 9 on the boat tomorrow or not. In any event, this is a much quieter route than the main one.
The time sped by and soon I was walking along roads and back streets through vineyards. This section was probably no more than 5 Kim and was quite pleasant as there were few cars and lots of flowers to enhance the view of the houses which sided the vineyards.
The last section was along the beach. We arrived at the beach maybe 5 km south of Vilanova de Arousa and I quite enjoyed the ocean breeze cooling down an otherwise hot pilgrim. I found a quiet spot and enjoyed a bit of beach time. The toes appreciated the cold, salt water, but I resisted getting more than my toes wet as there really was no where to change and I was worried about getting beach sand all through my pack. Perhaps tomorrow I might actually get to go swimming - I have my bathing suit!
It turns out that the boat to Padron (actually Pontecesures) is at 2 in the afternoon tomorrow, so I will have some beach time in the morning! The Hospitalera at the Albergue said I could leave my backpack at the Albergue and collect it before I go to the boat. The times does though present me a bit of a challenge. If I arrive at Padron at 3:00 ish then I really can't walk on another 14 km to Teo as I was planning. Good thing I have an extra day in my schedule. I can stop in Padron and also in Tui, for 2 short days and arrive in Santiago the morning of June 30th. I guess I could also walk straight through to Santiago from Padron - it is only 24 km. Something to think about.
I was scheduled to fly from Santiago to Madrid on the 1st but I received an email advising me that due to strike they will not be able to handle checked luggage - and of course I have checked luggage. So I have canceled that flight and will need to book a train instead. There is a high speed train leaving at 9:00 am and arriving in Madrid at 2:30 pm, which would work just fine. I tried to book the ticket on two different web sites and didn't get anywhere so will need to buy it at the train station. There seem to be 2 high speed trains a day, so should be fine if I leave the booking until I get to Santiago - or maybe I can go to the train station in Padron. Perhaps if I get to Santiago on the 29th, I could have 2 days in Madrid, we shall see.
The building you see above is a Horreos, which is a kind of granary found in Galicia. I have seen many of these, but never seen one as used. The one below was being filled with corn.