Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Day 3 - 24 October - Santa Mariña to Olveiroa

Psalm 23:4

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy poncho and thy various wet weather paraphernalia they comfort me.

We awoke to the sound of a howling wind almost drowning out the crowing of a cockerel. It was raining very heavily too. In fact, the cockerel may well have been drowning for real, such was the extent of water falling from the skies. Weather wise, my Mexican Lucky appeared to be running out of steam. 

Confession time. I wore my Mexican Lucky tee-shirt throughout the day on Sunday. And Monday. And I thought “what the heck” when I put it on again this morning. Maybe it would bring positive influence to bear on today’s pretty dire weather forecast? It didn’t.

We prepared for the day appropriately, including the application of kinesiology tape to the back of Mrs C’s right knee. After coffee in the Casa Pepa bar, we hit the road at nine o’clock in theoretical daylight, wet weather geared-up to the eyeballs. Our revised itinerary meant that we only had eight miles to conquer today and we set off in high spirits despite the conditions. 

The rain was relentless, made all the more penetrative by near gale-like winds whipping it across the sodden and partly flooded fields. We were mainly walking along tarmac’d country roads today with an initial steady climb up to Monte Aro before a long gentle descent into Olveiroa. Wet weather gear can only ever be, at best, adequate. When faced with an attack from all directions, it will only keep some of the wet out and within the first half an hour or so we were squelching along in our supposedly waterproof footwear. 

The kinesiology tape appeared to be doing the trick for Mrs C and, whilst we weren’t motoring, we maintained a steady pace except for one particular off-road uphill where the rain and soft scree surface demanded nothing more than second gear progress.

The landscape has changed from a couple of days back with forests replaced by rolling countryside, agriculture and livestock, predominantly cows. Farms of various sizes, with accompanying aromas, are everywhere. It may not be as attractive as that which came before but it remains a joy to be part of it, even if it was a very wet joy today.

We were not on the road for much more than three hours in total but the wind saved its most challenging gusts for the final third of the journey. The wind buffeted us about to the extent that we were at times staggering as opposed to walking. Mrs C’s flapping poncho slapped me in the face twice and my poncho kept blowing up from behind and over my head thus leaving my rearguard exposed (rather like Mrs C yesterday). The now irreplaceable and trusty walking staff also whacked me on the ankle a couple of times, entirely accidentally Mrs C assured me. 

We arrived at our accommodation Casa Loncho in Olveiroa not long after midday, wet and bedraggled but nonetheless still in good spirits. Our private room is way and above the best of the trip so far and afforded us sufficient space to remove all wet stuff, hang it up to dry, put on our dry stuff and then head to the bar for a coffee and bite to eat. The bar itself is large and functional but unattractive, certainly in terms of a prospective venue in which to spend a few hours later on. We retired to our room and had a kip whilst the weather outside perversely took a modest turn for the better. 

By five o’clock we were ready to explore Olveiroa which, as it turns out, warrants about ten minutes of exploration if you do it once and then do it a second time in the hope that you might have missed something the first time round. As with so many of the villages in this part of Galicia, Olveiroa is not much more than a collection of stone buildings, some magnificently restored whilst others dilapidated, which add up to not much more than a church, farm buildings, large horreos and accommodation/ bars to meet the needs of the Camino peregrinosGoogle maps had alerted me to Cafe Bar O Peregrino which I was hanging my hat on, not really wanting to contemplate spending the evening at our large and functional but unattractive bar at Casa Loncho. Sadly, Cafe Bar O Peregrino was able only to match the latter of these three features which saw us moving swiftly on after just the one beer. Was I really all out of Mexican Lucky? 


My (by now) washed and dried Mexican Lucky tee-shirt was back in the game and working its magic. Bar As Pias was just down the road. Someone has spent a lot of money converting this traditional stone building into a fabulous little bar with accommodation. We plonked ourselves down by the window and within minutes were chatting to Alex and Laura, two young ladies from Australia and Switzerland respectively, who have been walking the Camino Frances route and now looking to arrive in Finisterre by close of business tomorrow. By the time they got up to leave and return to a certain large and functional but unattractive bar elsewhere in the village, Mrs C and I had determined that we should stay put and try out the food at As Pias. We were not disappointed. My Galician Stew had potential to bring on more meat sweats, such was the generosity of the serving. By the time we got up to leave, all was good with the world even if it had started raining again.

Tomorrow we head for the town of Cee on the Galician coast,  in theory another relatively easy day’s walking even though more rain is forecast but we will of course have Mexican Lucky on our side. Thank goodness Mrs C didn’t go for the Sheffield Wednesday shirt option. 

No comments:

Post a Comment