Uphill all the way

May 21, 2014

Reblogged from: Searchingforthinplaces

A splendid day to begin a pilgrimage. We started with an amazing breakfast and an abundance of food which we also transformed into a lunch sandwich and put in our packs. Our tour company has provided us with step by step directions, but still there is some discussion about which way to go. Our exit took us along the Main Street to an ancient Roman bridge, and along the way a woman stopped us and asked if we were pilgrims (in Spanish) and then offered us her blessing as we continued on.

We began a slow steady ascent as we left the town and its outskirts, and stopped a couple of hours down the road for a coffee, before leaving the village behind.

And it was then we encountered the HILL. We knew it was out there. The town of Ourense was in an valley, so we had to climb out of it. It lasted probably 2 km. A very steep 2 km. At some points the grade was at least 6%. We took it slow, many, many stops. But no moaning or grumbling. Once we reached the top, the road leveled off, and the rain began. Again, we were prepared. We knew it was coming. Foulies on, we continued on our way.

The way was beautiful, lush and green. This part of Spain must be the fruit basket of the country, we have seen everything growing; grapes, olives, kale, cabbage, figs and peaches. The buildings are quaint and stony, and the dogs along the way have been barky, but tails a wagging. And it was a pleasure to arrive at a magnificent repurposed grainery, and we were thankful.