Ourense to Cea

1 June 2015

A late start, a little after 7 and a blessed finding soon after we left: a cafe! Yes. Coffee for the start of the day. Last time I was here Christian and I met on the other side of the bridge, not by design but as on so many days, our schedules were almost identical. This was the day and the spot we started actively walking together.

Unlike that trip Jane and I didn’t need to choose the left or right route. We took the left and headed straight out.

On and on this section goes. Not much that is interesting. Shops were closed as it was just after 7 but a surprising number of bars were open. C and I must have passed through before 7 as we didn’t find one bar open. Not one. Jane and I had a quick drink and kept on. 

Soon after coffee we picked up a lost soul. A young Spanish guy, on his first day walking, and who was lost. Surprising as that section is reasonably marked but, he didn’t seem able to see many of the yellow arrows painted along the street and up the power poles. And his map was lousy, like the type I had prior to finding and installing the Gaia GPS app. I agree, it’s not as well marked on this section as it might be but, it’s not that bad. Better than many places.

I’d wanted to walk with a native Spanish speaker and now I had a captive one. When my Spanish was too dreadful for him he switched to english but we always went back to Spanish. 😊 Very good for me. Not easy but good practice. He wasn’t someone who really understood about learning a language though and couldn’t seem to use simpler sentences. At least he didn’t shout when I didn’t get it rapidly. And he understood my answers. Phew. 

So on and on with him and I nattering in Spanish, Jane often lagging in the rear and taking photos. I thought Sergio would drop us as soon as he figured out the system of arrows but no. My guess is he lacks the confidence to walk alone, hasn’t got a decent map and, he said he is scared of dogs. There were many fierce sounding dogs along today’s section. Many. 

Big hill out of Ourense

We arrived and I didn’t dare look at Jane. Besides, you can’t see how extended it is from its start. Yes, up you go, and up, and up. Around every corner you will be sure that there will be a straight and the hill will have ended. Three times you will be certain of that. And each time you will be wrong. 

Sergio powered up it, then me and then Jane. Let me tell you, Sergio is 28 and so I thought he should be well ahead of us both. He wasn’t – he said it’s because he smokes but I don’t think he’s very fit. I also wondered if he’d ever carried a pack before. 

At the top, all went well. Jane was impressive. Didn’t need a wait or a rest at the top. She does this every time. Gets better as the days go on. 

  
Soon after we arrived at Cesar’s Casa. 

  I expected a warm welcome but there was no room. Full house. A group of French pilgrims was ahead of us and the place was full. See all the packs lined up. We were lucky though as they were nearly finished. I told Cesar I’d been there before and, eventually he found my written entry in his big book. I loved that and, ‘reading’ Christian’s entry (in French). 

 
    
     We had a little to drink and eat, took the usual photos and each put a stamp in our pilgrim passports, and left. Not before he insisted on showing us his photos. He couldn’t find the ones he has of Christian and I but said he changed them every few days. Guess who we did find? Yes, Ann. What a wonderful surprise – Christian and I met her that very night, or the next, on our travels. 

  
Sergio was still with us. This next section was just lovely.

   
   
And then we arrived in Cea. This is one of the most beautifully kept old towns. Not restored. It just seems that nothing has changed for a very long time. Beautiful old stone houses, many in good repair.

   
         And the cats. Cats are never safe while Janie is around. See one desperately trying to escape

  
and another that just welcomes touching. Not usual here. Perhaps it’s not just that Janie only speaks english. Perhaps it is. Anyhow, the cat and Jane had a little love-in.

  
This cute, obliging, dog was letting itself be patted by a very sweet little boy. 

  
We couldn’t find our accomodation at first. Something is wrong with google maps when it comes to this address. I got help from a nearby bar and the guy said up to the right and behind. We couldn’t find it so I went into another shop. As it was 1pm, the lovely owner closed and came with us.  She wasn’t much good at reading maps, didn’t know the Casa we are in and as we muddled around I spotted the H sign, behind where our earlier pointer had indicated. Hard to find but a great place. Gives us an option to alburgues. Our own bathroom and the only snoring is by her or by me. Makes it infinitely better! 

And a wonderful outdoors area. 

  As restful as the great cafe nearby.

  Tomorrow: an albergue in Castro Dozon, where Christian and I met Ann.

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