Monday, May 29, 2017

Day 27: Flooding on the trail!

Oct 13: Amanda got a very early start on the trail this morning leaving the hostel at 7:30--well before sunrise! I didn't leave until about an hour and a half later, about 9:00, shortly before sunrise. I just couldn't get the photos I needed much before 9:00. It was too dark before then.


With a 90 minute head start, it took a few hours for me to catch up with Amanda in the small town of Caldas de Reis. The walk was largely uneventful. I met a couple of older American women walking the trail, Jenni and Suzi, who I walked with a bit. They were walking with a larger group of people but took a taxi that morning to skip ahead a bit and were thrilled at their discovery that it felt so wonderful. I couldn't help but laugh. Amanda would be jealous if she listened to them go on about how wonderful it was to skip half their day's walk. The group they were traveling with was going a bit faster than they preferred and they didn't want to overexert themselves.

The weather was foggy and overcast all day long. Pleasantly cool, but it left me wondering when the rain might start. It looked like it might start at any moment.

Caldas de Reis I found strangely disorienting, and eventually I figured out much too slowly that my map of the town was oriented so north was facing to the left side of the page. Once I realized that, it was a lot easier to follow my progress through the town.

The town is best known for a hot spring which has gushed a constant 40°C (104°F) water for a thousand years. Now the spring--or at least one particular spring (I don't really know if there are others in the area)--is part of a fountain and my guidebook shows a photos of pilgrims soaking their weary feet in the hot waters. I took photos of the fountain, but I didn't linger long since I was still trying to catch up with Amanda.

Amanda, I knew, was somewhere ahead of me...

I found Amanda minutes later, though, just up the trail and we stopped at a cafe for lunch. She had stopped at the fountain to soak her feet (how could she not?!) so I now had photos of her soaking her feet in the warm waters. =)

After lunch, we continued on. There were some very light sprinkles, but not so heavy that I felt inclined to open my umbrella, and even the light sprinkle quickly stopped.

We continued on to the tiny little town of Carracedo. I skipped on ahead to make sure there was availability at the hotel in town and book a room, then I was going to backtrack to lead Amanda there, but I found her at a cafe about a five minute walk away. She covered that last part of the trail rather rapidly! She was inside the cafe just about to be served a meal.

Across the room, a television was playing the news when we noticed scenes of flooding in "Santiago." Cars drove through water several feet deep and it looked like flooding was extensive.

Amanda was the first to comment. "That can't be our Santiago. That must be Santiago, Chile, or something."

Yeah. It must be.... Right? Our Santiago was only about 40 kilometers away--about 25 miles. It was very close, and it really hadn't rained all that much. Surely the little bit of rain we had couldn't have caused that much flooding in our Santiago. Yes, it must be Santiago, Chile. Or somewhere.... How much trouble would the flooding cause us if it was in our Santiago? But whatever the news reporters said on the television was too faint and spoken in a rapid fire Spanish that I couldn't hope to keep up with. We just knew that there was flooding in "Santiago." On the other hand, if it was in Santiago, Chile, you'd think they'd have labeled the video as being of Santiago, Chile, so locals wouldn't confuse it with Santiago de Compostela here in Spain. Hmm....


After Amanda finished her meal, we headed to the hotel where I got online and started Googling the news for flooding in Santiago. I just wanted to make sure it really was in Chile or something, but I couldn't find anything about Santiago, Chilie So I started looking for news of flooding in Santiago, Spain, and holy cow! There was flooding in our Santiago! Apparently one guy in northern Spain even died after his car was swept away in a flood. It seemed that the flooding was limited to northern Spain, but we were in northern Spain and had experienced just light rainfalls. Reading about the swollen rivers, flooding and related issues seemed like a problem a million miles away--not merely 25 miles up the trail. I couldn't find any information about exactly where the flooding happened in Santiago or how it might affect our walk.

Always an adventure! We really didn't have any idea what we might be walking into...

Being well outside of a decent sized town, our food options were limited and we ate dinner at the restaurant attached to the hotel. I ordered the chorizo and cheese sandwich. Nothing too exotic! I didn't write in my journal what Amanda had ordered, so that will forever be a mystery.

Never!!!! I particularly liked the googly eyes on this one. They got creative here! =)


Holy giant arrows! That's a big one!







Amanda soaks her feet in the hot springs.






Amanda takes a rest on the trail.


Amanda ordered this meal at the cafe where we learned that Santiago was flooding. (I admit, I took the hot dog and formed it into a happy face. Amanda was very patient when I started playing with her food.)

1 comment:

Karolina Śmiech said...

When I hiked that section back in 2012 soaking feet in that hotspring fountain wasn't allowed. There was a sign forbidding it. Bummer.