Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Over the top to Rubiães

Today was another day where the weather was forecasted to turn wet in the afternoon. As we made our way out into the streets of Ponte do Lima a grand market had been installed overnight. We quickly forgot about the weather as we took in the number of tents. There wasn't a square inch of river front  that did not have a vendors tent on it.  We were told that this occurs every 15 days. All morning people were streaming into the town as we made our way out. We were off to a good start feeling rested, nourished and ready for the day ahead. We followed the Camino arrows out of town and down a rural lane until we rounded a bend and found the trail flooded. This part of the Camino immediately outside of Ponte do Lima is low and very flat. Recent rains had gotten the best of it and there was simply no where for the water to go. We opted to retreat and found a quick diversion onto the N306 that had us paralleling the Camino but on dry land. We carried on up the road, about 2.5 kms until we crossed under the A27. Shortly thereafter we took the next left turn into the the village of Barrosas where we found the Camino arrows once again. From this point onward we never had any serious high water. We did encounter a few spots that required some long steps to cross, but all in all it went smoothly. 

Today's walk was more of a climb than anything else. We just seemed to be always heading upward. Many moments of the day we were on rock strewn trails that steepened up a bit from time to time, but still were quite manageable. We just took our time and chugged along. Thankfully the rain held off. We did come across some fallen trees that crossed the trail, victims of recent very high winds. We managed to scoot over or around them. However a thought came to mind that if we just happened to be on that part of the trail when one of those large trees crashed down, I might not be writing this post. As pilgrims we tend to set out at times when we probably shouldn't. High winds create any number of hazards and should be carefully considered before committing to the day's walk. It was quite a pleasant walk through quiet countryside as we enjoyed the sounds rushing streams. Water was clearly on the move today. The feel of this area is very reminiscent of Galicia. So at last we topped our hill and headed down towards Rubiães. Nothing much to report other than footing was a bit tricky with wet rocks and all but onward and downward we went until we were on the flat. We had booked a room a few kilometers outside of Rubiães at the Casa Capela. Upon reaching Rubiães we stopped at the first bar we came to and placed a call to where we were spending the night. As luck would have it the lady who answered our call agreed to come to the bar and pick us up. So after a cold beer our driver appeared and we were off to wash up and dry off. After our showers the lady at Casa Capela drove us back to the Restaurante Retiro (where she had previously picked us up). She arranged with the restaurant owner to drive us back home after our meal. All was very nicely and thoughtfully choreographed. We are now alone in the house as we are the only guests. A bottle of no label red wine is on the table with two glasses, a fire is in the hearth and our boots are drying nicely. The rain finally did settle in but only after we had arrived. Perfect timing once again. Tui tomorrow. Time to stoke the fire.

Ponte do Lima

The market setting up

Market sprawl

Looking good

Looking not so good

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