We were expecting a fairly cushy walk today of only 15kms but we were so wrong. The trail was well marked nearly all the way till we got to an overpass. On the way I was interested to see a few fountains that people still take water from. This one not far out of town was restored in 1593-1734 and 1993 and was still being used.We crossed a mid 13th C bridge which had a very amusing folk tale attached to it. The bridge was built with arches for pedestrians to get out of the way of carts. In the middle was a cross with the image of Saint Telmo the patron saint of sailors. On a stone table, the altar piece had three souls. Fertility rites were celebrated upon this bridge. After midnight, women who couldn’t get pregnant had to persuade the first man crossing the bridge to pour water onto their wombs and be godfather to their babies. We think they white washed that tale!
At the highway there were conflicting arrows. One path went beside a little creek and the other went over the road via a blue overpass. Anne and I took the overpass because there were more arrows pointing that way. Bill and Irene who were a bit behind us took the stream. Anne and I waited about 20 mins then rang Bill to find out where they were. Once we had made contact Anne and I decided to continue and Bill and Irene eventually caught us up. We stopped at a grassy spot for lunch and for Irene and Bill to catch their breath.
There was a beautiful brown horse in the yard opposite. Irene had left her sticks against the fence and he started to nibble them. I was chatting to him and decided to give him half my apple. He seemed to be rather excited by that. He was quite friendly and let me pat him and took the apple gently. He must stand there pretty frequently to get the attention and snacks from pilgrims.
Some signs we saw along the way on a wall.
We resumed our path and crested the hill where we found a few bars which our notes suggested would be a good place for lunch as there was nothing till the end from now on. We had no need for more sustenance so we continued up into the forest. There had been many steep inclines through semi rural areas and we all stripped off our outer layers. We made quite brisk time till the hill top forest, then it all went pear shaped. No arrows to be seen to guide us. There were three roads and the notes seemed ambiguous. Bill gallantly rode down a steep incline to see if that had arrows but he didn’t see any and returned UP again, so we took the path straight ahead that a woman had assured us was the way.
Unfortunately it wasn’t. We walked along a dirt road for what seemed like ages. We could see the town below us but no path appeared to take us down. I was tracking our distance and we were almost at our 15 km goal but not the end of the walk. Eventually we resorted to google maps and took a logging track down the hill. It was amidst a blue gum forest and the path was rough and ungraded with loose stones. Anne was anxious about her knee. Bill had to manage the bike and his sore foot and Irene was feeling really tired. As we got further down the hill my spirits lifted because the houses were getting closer and eventually we emerged onto a street at the very edge of the town. We went straight down to find our destination, the 12 th Century Church of St Salvador de Coruxo. And it wasn’t even open. Here we saw a few pilgrims again and yellow arrows.
Others had had difficulty with this stage too so we didn’t feel too bad but we had walked a couple of extra kilometres over really rough terrain. We felt very pilgrim like!
We then found a cafe where we got our well earned stamp and had drinks while we waited for the taxi to come and return us to Baiona. It will bring us back tomorrow to start the next leg from here. Poor Bill had to ride back to Baiona and will have to ride out again tomorrow because there are no vans available to transport his bike. He will have earned his Cerveca Grande( large beer). The next leg will take us on to Viga and we won’t be so blasé!