Friday, May 26, 2017

Day 26: Collecting Stamps

Oct 12: I let Amanda get a head start on me in the morning again. It rained for much of the night and even in the morning, there was a slight sprinkle. We decided to make a short day today of 12 kilometers--not just because of the poor weather, but to give Amanda's sore feet a bit of a rest. We had worked them hard the last couple of days!

Amanda left town before sunrise--just as the rain stopped and the skies started to clear!

I left the hotel about an hour after Amanda did. It sprinkled lightly enough that I didn't feel compelled to pull out my umbrella. Not yet, at least!

The trail led into the bustling town of Pontevedra, and I veered off trail through the historic part of town to check out the architecture and statues. The town was strangely quiet, though. Almost none of the businesses were open and the streets were deserted of people. On a Wednesday at 10:30 in the morning, I expected a lot more people out and about. What happened to everyone?

One place that was open was the tourist office, and I poked my head in to get a stamp for my credencial. Mostly because I knew it would annoy Amanda that I would have a stamp that she didn't get. She was determined to fill up every last square of her credencial before finishing the trail, and she calculated that she needed about three stamps per day to fill the booklet. Most of the stamps we had been getting were boring since the hotels we had been staying at weren't set up with pilgrims in mind. The hostels generally had better stamps. The tourist office in Pontevedra had a wonderful stamp, though, and I knew Amanda would be jealous. =)

I wandered around town for about a half hour, then picked up the trail and followed it out the other side of the city. A couple of kilometers later, I passed a large sign marking the turnoff for the Spiritual Variant. Excellent! I wouldn't be taking that option today, but when I came through in a couple of weeks, I planned to do it. It was a good sign to see that the junction was so well-marked and lots of information about it provided. I had no official guide for the route and hoped it would be marked well enough that I could do without one.

Stuff for sale! Get your stuff for sale! =)

A short while later, I caught up with Amanda who was taking a rest at a crowded church where a funeral was about to start. Ah-ha! This is where everyone from town had gone! Just kidding... there were a lot of people at the church, but certainly not enough to account for the lack of people in Pontevedra.

We wandered along the trail, and the skies actually cleared up to a large degree. The threat of rain appeared to be over.

Late in the day, we arrived in the town of San Amaro where we stopped at a cafe primarily because Amanda wanted a stamp for her credencial. We figured we'd get another stamp a kilometer or two up the road where we planned to stay the night at another hostel, but Amanda was still short a stamp for the day. That, she decided, could not stand, so after we ordered our drinks (which came with free snacks), Amanda had us walk down the block to a second cafe where we ordered more drinks (which also came with free snacks). We hadn't even walked for five minutes to the new cafe, and really the only reason we stopped was because Amanda wanted the extra stamp.

Amanda was serious about collecting stamps. If we had to stop at every cafe on the trail, she was going to fill up her credencial!

As we left San Amaro, it started sprinkling lightly again. The rain clouds had returned. I pulled out my umbrella in preparation for a heavier rain, but didn't open it just yet. The light drizzle was just a warning that didn't require the umbrella.

The rain never materialized, however, and we reached the hostel a short time later. They made us wait for a half hour before we could go into the room so they could mop the floor and allow it to dry, but at least we were inside and safe from any rain that might start up. It was, we also learned, a national holiday: Columbus Day. That's why everything in Pontevedra was closed and so few people were out! Unlike in the United States, they always celebrate on October 12th, regardless of the day of the week it falls.

By sunset, eight other pilgrims stopped for the night--all from assorted locations around Europe. Amanda seemed in good spirits. I think the short day did her well. *nodding*

Streets of Pontevedra
What a cute fountain and statue!
These girls are watching the boy drinking from the water fountain.
This church allegedly had a footprint in the shape of a scallop shell, but I couldn't see it! It just looked round to me.
I went in to see if the scallop-shell footprint would be obvious from the inside. Nope!

The trail crosses the Lerez River here.
This speedbump looks like a giant mouth that eats pilgrims!

It would be hard to miss this turn for the Spiritual Variant! Next time, in two weeks, I'll go that way.

Amanda makes a new friend! =)

Lots of rain still on the trail!

Amanda stops at this cafe for a stamp!
Amanda's credencial--there's still a lot of space to fill up! (The snacks were free with our drinks.)
I stop to get photos of the chestnuts.
My photo!
A neat map in the hostel with where pilgrims have come from.
The bunkhouse would host 10 of us tonight.
Sunset over the church.


Mary said...

I love that door knocker! It's one of the best I've seen. Also love the photo of the goat. What a clever idea to cover the ends of a dead tree with decorations. Am I seeing that correctly?

Anonymous said...

"Thank you, Thing, for getting the door for these pilgrims."