The Viking

Day 11. Pontevedra to Caldas de Reis

Jaqui and I shared a small double bed last night. We laughed in the morning that we’d both hugged the sides and left a big gap in the middle. And at some stage we were both hot and kicked the covers into the middle but then it became cold again we must have grabbed them back… but only one cover each; so neither of us really got warm and the room was pretty cold when we got up. We all dressed quickly and left early in search of breakfast. Pontevedra is a big town but we struggled… eventually we were directed to the same square where we ate lunch yesterday… hot coffee, toast, free churros and orange juice. Perfect.

Happy with our find we set off into the cold morning following the path out of town across the old pilgrim bridge and into the forest again. It was another chilly morning; you see every breath and the grass is white with frost. But the weatherman said sun today so we are hopeful for warmth when the sun gets high enough.

On we walked on this very beautiful morning. Sun broke through the trees and we heard the odd distant bark and cockerel crow but it felt like a lazy morning where even that sounded like it was too much effort.

Just as our feet started to grumble we walked into a village with a bar on the sunniest side of the street. We stopped for coffee but got free cakes too. There were lots of pilgrims here and we chatted to a South African couple who had been out late last night celebrating success with their university results.

We drank and ate and wiggled toes and when we were done we waved goodbye and carried on.

My feet are coping… I think that is the best I can say, my ankle is about the same. I keep telling them only a few more days and they can rest.

As we walked along a young chap greeted us. Jaqui and Sara had met him previously but I hadn’t but I knew who he was. He was maybe 6’3″ and strong looking… maybe 25 years old with long blond hair, blue eyes and a cheeky grin. Hello I said… you must be the viking! He laughed and said his workmates call him that. He was actually Dutch and was very good company for a while but as the sun got warmer and we got hotter we stopped to remove coats and we let him stride out without us… see you maybe later he called.

As we walked on I thought of my young man at home. Our viking was walking to try to resolve some issues and I thought of my youth. I don’t remember the feeling of pressure that maybe we’ve placed on our children. All this talk of study and university and professions and I wonder if, instead of giving our kids opportunity we’ve actually just given them stress. We talked about this as we wandered along… it’s an interesting perspective; ultimately all I want is healthy and happy loved ones. I miss them.

We walked on in silence lost in our own thoughts.


Yesterday at the tourist information we were told we should take a mini detour today to go visit some beautiful waterfalls. She had said at 12km but it was more like 15km. We thought we’d missed them so we were rather jolly when Jaqui spotted the sign.

In the event they were kind of ok… but I’m not sure it was worth the extra kilometre… but maybe in spring with more water and happier feet I would feel differently? Anyway, it was beside a small bar so we decided it was perfect for lunch… hold drinks and a cheese bocadilla.

Across the road as we sat and ate we looked at our first roadsigns pointing to Santiago. Not like the little local signs but nonetheless it’s on the horizon… 40km drive from our lunch stop.

Reluctantly we put our shoes back on and headed back to the path. Only reluctant because of foot pain… the path is very pretty. We’re guessing this is wine country as there are a lot of vines. We pass little farms and churches and we are overtaken by and gaggle of jolly German girls bounding with energy… I looked on with envy and considered my feet.

The kilometres ticked away and we passed three little donkeys enjoyed fresh hay in their little stable. Hello little donkey says I… on this dusty path says Sara…. there’s a song there we agreed…

Little donkey little donkey, on a dusty day

Little donkey carry Jaqui safety on her way

It could work… it was perhaps funnier at the time but it amused us as we walked and before too long we reached town. We have a private room again tonight as we heard the Municipal Albergue had got bed bugs… yuck!

We’ve showered and tended our feet and we’re waiting for our washing to dry in the secadora so that we can go for a well earned drink!

4 thoughts on “The Viking

  1. Fantastic photos again. I met a “viking” lady on my walk who had some serious “issues” to resolve. It was amazing that people could talk to strangers about such a “trauma” and lighten their load – we all carry too many burdens! – and walking to cast them off is great!!

    Liked by 1 person

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