Friday, May 19, 2017

Day 23: Nudity on the trail!

Oct 9: That title got your attention, didn't it? =) Good, now that I have your attention....

Amanda and I woke up fairly late and didn't hit the trail until about 9:00--mostly because of that timezone change and now it's not getting light until late in Spain! It was just too dark for me to hit the trail much before 9:00 and be able to get photos.

Today we decided to make it to Vigo--just over 27 kilometers away and far outside the range Amanda would find comfortable so I walked her to a taxi stand where Amanda got a ride about halfway up the trail. It had to be her last day of "cheating," however.... we were getting close to the 100-km distance from Santiago which is the part you really have to walk the entire distance to pick up a compostela honestly.

Our plan was to meet up in Vigo near the end of the day. As was becoming normal, I had several route options to choose from, and as was becoming normal, I chose the route that was closest to the shoreline. It was the longest of the routes but almost entirely flat and scenic.

The beaches were packed with people laying out in the sun, frolicking in the surf, and enjoying the beautiful weather. At the time, I thought the beaches were crowded--and they were compared to what I saw during the weekdays--but I later looked at satellite images of the area on Google Maps and holy cow! It really wasn't that crowded the day I went through--not by comparison to when those satellite images were shot! But all the same, there were hundreds of people laying out on the beaches--and many of them were topless women. So there you have it--I didn't lie in the title just to get you to read this post. There really was nudity on the trail! =)

In fact, there was one point the trail curved around and I was startled to find everyone on that section of beach completely nude. Must have been the designated nude beach because that was the only place I saw completely naked people. The topless women showed up regularly along all of the beaches, though.

Most of the people on the beaches had very dark tans, like they'd been baked in an oven and were a little too well-done. Seeing that just made my own skin crawl. There should be a skin-cancer clinic on the beach.

This seashore route wasn't marked, so I generally just stayed near the shore. Occasionally, I found myself walking on short sections of the beach, slowed down by the loose sand. I tried to stay off that when I could, preferring the sidewalks and roads. Where there was development on the shore, I sometimes had to follow roads a bit inland to get around it. Since the route wasn't marked, I occasionally wound up at dead ends and had to backtrack a few minutes to get around it.

All-in-all, though, it was an uneventful walk. I saw absolutely zero other pilgrims all day today as well.

The last hour or so of the day's hike was my least favorite. The trail went through an industrial port area, but I made it to Vigo on time and found Amanda waiting at our designated meeting place.

We checked into the Hotel Compostela for the night--it seemed like an appropriate place to stay since Amanda and I hoped to earn our compostela upon reaching Santiago. =)

We walked around the waterfront sightseeing, which included a stop to the Jules Verne monument--a wonderful thing with Jules Verne sitting on a giant octopus. Vigo was the setting for a scene in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and they take that very seriously in Vigo! Actually, it wasn't so much the town that was in the book, but rather the estuary. In the book, a great naval battle is described as taking place in Vigo Bay which sunk a ship loaded with treasure, and Captain Nemo surreptitiously navigates the Nautilus to Vigo to recover the lost treasures. He sneaks into and out of the bay without anyone being none the wiser. It's a short scene in the book, but it was enough for the people of Vigo to install a memorial for Jules Verne.

Then we went to a mall where I got some self-serve yogurt. I didn't realize self-serve yogurt had made it to Europe yet--this was the first time I'd seen it anywhere in Europe. I got the sense it was new, though, because the people working at the store started explaining how it worked--how we filled up the cup with yogurt and toppings ourselves then were charged based on how much it weighed. It's a concept I was well familiar with--I've done it for decades--but the fact they immediately jumped to explaining it without prompting made me think that most people here weren't familiar with the setup.

The view from the window was absolutely wonderful, perched high above the Vigo Estuary, so I decided to stay there and watch the sun set and read my Kindle. Amanda headed back to the hotel. I stuck around for about an hour before going back myself.

Life was good! =)

This sign makes me laugh. It almost looks like they're saying that you should run your car into the water at this point! =)

An old 13th-century Roman bridge
A mural made of tiles of that same 13th-century Roman bridge

I know what you're thinking. Didn't I write that the beaches were crowded? Yes... but later in the day. Not this early in the morning!

There's a soccer game happening! Gooooo.... local team! =)

Fall colors are definitely starting to come alive!
Ermida da Virxe do Carme

There is a topless woman in this photo.... and I didn't even blur her out! *nodding* Of course, it was taken from so far away, you can't really see anything in the photo, you pervs. ;o)
Another soccer game! They're everywhere!

Palm trees everywhere! Where do they think they are? California?!
Love the light posts!
Vendors were selling all sorts of stuff along the promenade, such as these hats.
There are actually two topless women in this photo. *nodding* =)

The industrial port area was mostly boring, but I loved this gigantic mural!

Jules Verne monument


Dilton Martian said...

13th Century Roman bridge? But the Roman Empire in western Europe ended at about the end of the 5th Century. In the 13th Century the Christian kingdoms of northern Spain: Aragon, Castile etc. were driving out the Muslim Moors. There was little or no Roman influence at all.

Unknown said...

ditto dilton !

hal said...

I saw a topless dude in your pictures at the beach too.

Ryan said...

I just copied the information in my guidebook. =)

Maybe it was a Roman bridge that was rebuilt in the 13th century? *shrug*

-- Ryan

Anonymous said...

just like Donald trump, ryan has his fact checkers too