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Sunday, 15 May 2016

From Pontevedra to Caldas de Reis

It's Day 4 of our Camino walk.  When we reached our destination today, Caldas de Reis, we had covered about 80 kilometres of the Camino trail, including today's 23 kilometres. There is some 40 kilometres ahead of us over the next few days.  

Today, the terrain was not unreasonable, but it was muddy here and there.  We passed through more lush, green fields, dense bushland, and lonely tracks.  Last night, we ditched a lot of stuff from our day time carry bags, and today just carried the one bag between us, which we shared.  I have to say I much prefer carrying nothing when walking long distances.  Otherwise, I don't know how anyone enjoys it.

A regular and unwelcome Camino companion has been the 'unseasonal' rain.  After we left picturesque Pontevedra this morning, and crossed over the Ponte Burgo, there was no rain for about an hour.  It then rained for at least two hours.  For the rest of the day, there was no rain, but occasional patches of mist.

We continue to see familiar faces, such as the English ladies and Welsh ladies who are staying at each of our hotels, and, like us, have booked this Camino through Camino Ways, an Irish company.  We continue to see Richard, who is walking together with his nearly 80 year old mother.  Richard has walked many different Camino routes, and is writing a book about it.  He has a website: marymichaelpilgrimsway.org. We met a young Ukrainian woman who has lived in Portugal for 10 years and who believes she now speaks better Portuguese than Ukrainian.  I saw the German lady from yesterday, and I said "Ich gruesse dich".  More appropriately, I should have said "Ich gruesse Sie".  But she smiled and greeted me back with "Ich gruesse dich". And we met a small army of elderly American women who, full of enthusiasm, are walking at least their second Camino.  

The American ladies' first Camino was the final stretch of the Way of St James.  One of them said that on that route there was no lack of coffee shops and facilities, unlike this route in which you have to pray for coffee to come up soon.  On this route, you also have to pray for the toilet to come up soon.

I feel sorry for women walking the Portuguese Way.  If one is in the middle of nowhere, a woman must often just hold on and hope to encounter a toilet soon.  Men, on the other hand, can 'pick their moments', and hide behind a bush, or take advantage of a secluded bend in the road where a field of weeds has grown quite high.  At one point today, I 'picked my moment', running on ahead of Jean at a time when we were well ahead of the American ladies, and quite a way behind others including Neil and Carolyn.  When Jean caught up to me, she gasped.  My hand was brushing against a stinging nettle.  I poured water on it in a bid to avoid any stinging sensation.  Throughout the afternoon, however, my hand has stung somewhat.  When it comes to stinging nettles, I should have known better.  Needless to say, matters could have been far worse.

In the last two hotels, my phone has managed to get the Internet at least a part of the time.  However, my iPad, from which I publish my blog posts, has failed to connect.

A roof with scallops as tiles


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