Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Camino Inglés: Day 3

Before I move on to Day 3, here's a foto of the slope we had to slog up to get to the centre of Betanzos and our hotel Tuesday evening at the end of 21km. Now, that does look steep, possibly because the buildings give perspective:

And so on to Day 3 - Betanzos to Hospital de Bruma.

Here's the town receding into the lower distance, as we climbed for 40 mins and 2km first thing yesterday morning:

And here's the map and profile of the whole route:

Now, the 18.5km to Santo Tome de Vilacoba might well look easy, compared with the remaining 9.8km, but believe me it wasn't. Lots of hills again, particularly the one mentioned above, out of Betanzos. Though I have to admit there were some welcome flat or flattish bits and quite a lot of off-tarmac walking. Some of it through dense woods. And we managed to find 2 or 3 bars along the way, one of them pretty new and not yet in any guides, just after the albergue in Presedo.

This time though, when we arrived at the restaurant at 3pm, it was open. Though they'd given our pre-ordered food to 3 other pilgrims they'd mistaken for us - they said - 2 hours previously. Fortunately, they had more stuff in the fridge and the menu del día was excellent. Best pork ribs I can recall eating, done by a young man - Santiago - who'd had one year at catering school and picked up a lot from his mum. He was delighted with our well-deserved compliments.

Two of us ducked out of the very arduous climb upt to Fontenia, opting for the free lift offered by our pensión. The third gave us his rucksack and tackled the challenge (very) alone. Arriving at the pensión 3 hours later, he insisted he'd really enjoyed. And gave every sign he meant it.

As for fotos . . .  Not many. Essentially a day of rural tracks and the occasional small church:

San Estevo de Cos
Santa Eulalia de Leiro
If you're not familiar with Spanish burial customs, the contructions around the churches are burial niches, rented from the church. And emptied if you don't keep up the payments.

And here are 2 views which I must have had a reason to snap at the time. But I can't recall what these were:

Today, of course, is the the day of the Brexit vote back in the UK. Notwithstanding my personal view, I expect the vote to go against this by as much as 10%. Though this will still be a close enough result to ensure that - like Scottish independence - the issue won't go go away any time soon. Whatever the outcome, it's a game changer. Don't believe anyone who tells you they know what its consequences will be, either way.  Time, as ever, will tell.

Finally . . .  It's an important few days in domestic Spanish politics as well. Six months after a general election which produced no government, the Spanish go to the polls on Sunday to have another go at it. But no one expects the outcome to be any clearer. And coalition talks will re-start on Monday morning. Again, no one really knows what will happen, though there's rather more confidence that a government will eventually emerge than there was last December.

Meanwhile, here's an FT article which is surely right in suggesting President Rajoy's days are numbered, whatever the outcome.

Interesting times. That famous Chinese curse.


Maria said...

Actually, the niches are rented out in city cemeteries. Next time you go by a small parish church, look at the top of the niches. You'll see "Propiedad de...". In small parishes each column of niches is bought by a family. Sometimes the family will sell one or two and then you might see "Propiedad de..." in the middle of a column. Private property reigns in the villages, even at the end. Must be a result of too many years of feudalism and being "caseiros."

Colin Davies said...

Many thanks, Maria.

Sierra said...

...meanwhile, on a lighter note - the Spanish motorist will try anything to beat the traffic:

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