Baiona 26 th April

We were assured of lots of cafes on the way today so no lunch required but the toilets were a long way apart! The trouble with a coastal walk is the lack of bushes and the open nature of the walk. There were some tense times for us all. Eventually we headed into the hills and some genuine steep inclines. After all the flat walking it came as a shock. There were quite a few packs of cyclists and some found the rocky decline challenging. It was hard for Bill to push his bike up the hill and then negotiate the descent. I think we all enjoyed the change of environment but we still had glimpses of the coast. This part of the coast of Spain is called the coast of death because of its rugged rocky coast on which many ships had foundered.

We met a few new pilgrims from America and lots of Italian and Spanish cyclists whizzed by scaring me witless. They are so focused on the terrain and they don’t have anything as sissy as a bell.

It was a lovely walk through eucalypts again. They are so common here and in Portugal that it seems a bit surreal. No wonder they are suffering the forest fires that are so familiar to us.

We entered Baiona and stopped at a very old church with most unusual features. We discovered later it was Saint Liberata’s Sanctuary. It was built in 1695 and dedicated to Saint Liberata, her sisters and her nursemaid Sila. She was the first Christian woman to receive martyrdom on the cross. The high altarpiece represents scenes from her life and also an equestrian figure of the Aposttle Santiago.

We stopped for refreshments at a cafe but while the German women pilgrims were there everyone was smoking and nobody was offering service. We decided to move on and round the corner we found a fabulous cafe where the Empanada had just come from the oven and there were no smokers. We saw the Canadians from Victoria B.C. who recommended the pizzas too. It was delicious and such a nice change from our usual fare. They directed us to our hotel which was at the bottom of the street.

Anne and I were delighted with our room because it had a large bath and roomy bathroom. We both took a long soak. I have begun to get into the swing of a good soak after a walk. It is such a treat. After we had bathed and washed our clothes our pristine bathroom looked like a laundry. This place had lots of hangers too!

All spruced up we went for a wander around town. It is a pretty place on a large round bay and with the sun out and the sea sparkling it was very attractive.

We were in the quaint old part of town and eventually we settled on a restaurant that would take us for dinner at 7.30 pm. We had a lobster paella which was delicious though the local lobsters were fairly small. Bill just about catapulted his rice and lobster across the table in his attempt to get the meat out of the shell. It was a messy, delicious and expensive experience. Our budget was blown big time.

Replete, we returned tired and ready for bed. Anne was struggling still with her cold and desperate for sleep. I heard this snapping sound and when we looked into the square we could see the bar putting the chairs away. It was 10.00pm and we were delighted. Our delight was short lived. The street either side of the hotel is sprinkled with little bars and restaurants which only start at 10 pm. The revellers caroused all night till 5.30 am. We couldn’t sleep at all, even with the double glazed windows closed. At about 6 I finally drifted off to sleep, only to be woken at 8 am for breakfast. Irene and Bill had also had the same problem. This is the disadvantage of being in the old part of town!

We both decided we needed to change rooms if we were here for three nights. The guy at the hotel said initially it was a holiday and shrugged but we were not deterred and asked for a room away from the street. By the end of breakfast the reception staff had found us an internal room so we shifted straight away.

Author: fleetfootkath

I am a keen walker and traveller. I love to explore and learn about new people, places and cultures with a sense of joy and gratitude for this fortunate life. I believe walking is a wonderful way to really connect with the present and the beauty of the world that surrounds us. It makes me happy.

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