Thursday, May 18, 2023

Day 11 - 17 May - Redondela to Pontevedra

As Squeeze famously sang:

Now Andrea’s doneAnd I'm out on my feetA wee bit of sunstrokeMeans nothing to meAshley has goneBut a sore toe persistsWith limbs full of stiffnessAnd coffee in bed

Not yet nine o’clock and I am sat in bed drinking coffee and eating cake. The life of the idle rich eh!

Truth be told I haven’t been in tip top form for the last three days although that fact has only really dawned on me earlier today. With hindsight, all this walking in a generally northerly direction has meant that I have had a bit too much sun to the back of my neck and left me just a fraction off peak Cookie physical condition. To rectify I have today been wearing my peak cap back to front which makes me look like a complete dick or, even worse, Jurgen Klopp. But it seems to have done the trick and I am hoping for a first really good night’s sleep in four to get me back on the straight and narrow.

Andrea has struggled today. Not my man-flu-esque, I’m-feeling-a-bit-off-colour type of thing, but a dodgy tummy from the off which I have put down to that bar yesterday which didn’t sell wine. I have a suspicion that the bottle of water she drank instead of a vino blanco has somehow compromised the delicate balance of minerals which she has thus far maintained and hitherto ensured non-dodgy tummy. We endurance athletes have to be careful.

The guidebook suggested that we had a twelve mile day ahead of us today but we were intending to take some alternative routes to keep us off busy roads which, at the very least, would slow us down, if not add to the distance. Accordingly we hit the road at eight o’clock and headed north out of Redondela taking the optional coastal route from nearby Cesantes. All the way up to the town of Arcade, two to three miles away, the spectacular coast line looks out to the Ria de Vigo which has the appearance of a small sea. The views are sensational. We even did a bit of beach walking and, for the first time on this Camino, got some good shadow images.

All this while, Andrea was struggling but not prepared to stop walking. We will look after her carefully over the next couple of days.

For those of you with long(ish) memories, Ashley appears to have jumped ship, we think probably somewhere in Portugal. At least one of us is walking with a renewed spring in their step.

Mick’s poorly little toe from way back is still Mick’s poorly little toe a week or so later. I have offered to perform an amputation if it helps.

Mrs C remains as fit as the proverbial flea. I think it must be all the wild bamboo everywhere which sees her morph into Dick Van Dyke on regular occasions throughout the day.

We stopped at a coffee shop in Arcade where, in addition to our coffees, we were treated to a plate full of complementary cakes (which I am finishing off now).

From Arcade, we crossed the stone bridge over the Rio Verdudo into Ponte Nova where we then began a short, steep ascent up to Alto de Canicouva, peaking at around one hundred and forty metres above sea level. With the sun beating down, the shade afforded by the eucalyptus forests was welcome, allowing me to dispense with the Jurgen Klopp impression for much of the time. We took regular rest stops, ostensibly for Andrea but we all needed them. Three miles out of  Pontevedra, we found bar Casa Fermin where I ordered, I am embarrassed to say, an Aquarius soft drink. One more hour and we were on the outskirts of Pontevedra but it transpired that we still had another mile to our accommodation in the old town, which in the event turned out to be a rather quirky apartment. We were all gasping when bar/restaurant Novo Sozo came into view. This time I did man-up and ordered an Estrella Galicia. Most unexpectedly, we were treated to four bowls of a chickpea stew which was just perfect. They are so generous these Galician bar owners. 

We checked into our quirky digs at around four o’clock. We all had a kip but Andrea has stayed kipping all night so it was just Mrs C, Mick and myself who set out to explore the town a couple of hours later. We had a couple of beers at Dulce de Leche Alameda and another one at the imaginatively named Disc Burgers. But that was me then done. My brave boy pants were just about worn out.

Mick was in need of food and chance would have it that we happened upon Tim and Laurence on the way back to the apartment. They were sat outside a restaurant, having only just ordered food and were kind enough to take Mick off our hands as Mrs C and I continued home.

The nature of this Camino changes from tomorrow and I will bore you with the reasons why in later blogs. We have booked the next two days ahead but with contingency built in if one of us , or more, is not up to it. Like the musketeers, we are all for one and one for all!

No comments:

Post a Comment