Today started with a real treat - a sleep in and slow start! Since I was not walking this morning and I had a late night last night, it was great that I didn't have to get up and get at 'em at 6:30 am!
Last night as I was starting to think about winding it down for the night my Albergue mates invited me to join them for dinner. They had decided to cook dinner at the Albergue, and as these Europeans are late diners at 9:00 they were in the middle of a cooking frenzie. Not to be impolite, I abandoned my plans for an early night and spent the evening with these folks. The group consisted of 5 Portugese (a brother and sister and three other women) who lived in Vilanova do Castelo and one Italian who was a new friend they "picked up along the way". They started at Pontevedra on the Friday and only 2 of them are taking the boat tomorrow. The others are heading by train to Santiago today and then heading home to Portugal at the wnd of the day. They have to be back at work on Monday! We had a great evening of good food (fried padron peppers, fresh tomatoes and pasta) and good conversation, albeit with my broken Spanish and their broken English. Fortunately, two of the women spoke reasonably good English. I have one word of Portuguese: obrigado (thank you) it is a good word to have, but doesn't further the conversation much. We ended up with a sing song and Roberto, the Italian man sang opera and quite beautifully! When it came time for some Canadian songs we sang some Leonard Cohen tunes. It was nearly midnight when I got to bed. The latest I have been up in a very long while.
|Across from the Albergue, low tide|
The morning was overcast, but the weather forecast (yes, this Albergue has Wifi!) was a promise of sun and a high of 28 today. I spent the first part of the morning sitting in a cafe with my cup of Joe, watching the folks wander by and the beautiful view of the sea.
|This odd statue was on the route to the Albergue|
After I was adequately fuelled with coffee I set out to find a nearby beach to work on my suntan. It seems the back of my legs are tanned but not so much the front and of course I have a bit of a farmer's tan going on my arms. My top front is white as are my leg tops and of course I have a tan only to the top of my hiking boots. I have an odd look.
At 12:30 I headed back to the Albergue and found that my 2 Albergue mates, who were to join me on the boat, had made lunch and invited me to join. It seems I am doing well as far as mooching food is concerned. After eating we started getting ready to head off to catch the boat for 2:00. At 1:30 a man arrived to tell us the boat was leaving early and we should rush. Off we went to catch the boat.
|All set to sail|
|The captain gave us a great amount of information about the area and things of interest - in Spanish.|
|We viewed the mussel farming platforms on the estuary.|
The boat ride was wonderful. The weather was hot enough that the wind was cooling rather than cold and I enjoyed the hour ride in the open boat a lot. The boat crosses the Arousa Estuary and then heads upstream on the Rio Ulla. The significance of this route is that according to legend the remains of St John the Apostle was carried upstream in a stone boat before being taken overland to present day Santiago where the remains were buried.
|Roman bridge at Pontecesures|
Once I got to Pontecesures it was a short 3 km walk to Padron where I secured one of the last spots at the Albergue. Having said goodbye to my Portuguese friends I did a tour of the town and found a place to eat. Sadly, wifi was not very available. So I have written this blog offline and will post when I am able. Postscript: I found a bar with wifi where I finished the blog over a glass of vino. :)
|My two Portuguese Friends - saying goodbye|
I have also found out that I cannot buy a train ticket at the Pradron train station and will need to get my ticket in Santiago. Now I am a bit concerned about getting a ticket for the next day, if I arrive on the 30th as planned. I may push forward tomorrow all the way to Santiago - 24 km. We shall see.