Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Into Padron...

Tuesday July 21st: It is a cool morning and I walk into town to see the Church of Thomas a Becket, the only one in Spain. I have read that the stones from the castle where Queen Urraca (very important for my next book) gave birth to Alfonzo VI (ditto) were used in its construction. It is closed. They are paving the area around it and I wonder what secrets are buried beneath. I walk back to the Hotel Davila and wander to the back where there is something simply not to missed. In 1991, someone had the amazing foresight to plant some bamboo canes: not just a few but thousands! What amazes me is the imagination and vision of the planter. Today it is a veritable cathedral of light and darkness such as I have never seen before. on't miss it whatever you do as you will not see anything like it anywhere. You don't have to be staying at the Davila, just ask.

It is raining as I approach Pontecesures. Formerly it was called "Infesta" and I hope to find out why (no luck so far - August 2nd, but, I have found out that that area was a hotbed of Priscillianism and the word "infested" was used by the church to describe such areas). I miss the Roman bridge quite intentionally as it will take me 2 kms out of my way and the rain is coming down fiercely now and I am glad of the poncho I bought in Valenca though have cursed it for its heaviness.

The first people I see up on the balcony outside the Albergue at Padron are the Austrian girls Karen and Katrina, and the lady I saw yesterday in Brillos who wanted to share a hotel in Caldas.

I bag an upper bunk at the front. Downstairs two men are arguing with the hospitalera because they have a group of young people with them and don't want to pay the obligatory (now) 3 euros. She suggests they contact the Polideportivo but doesn't have the number. They are not happy. She is not happy. I, however, am very happy as it is beginning to pour with rain.

As it lessens I venture out for food. I am determined to find some Pimientos de Padron and it isn't hard. I return with them and invite anyone who wants to join me to do so. Katrina produces a bottle of red wine and we are joined by Maria from Cadiz and Blanca from Madrid. It is a good night and I am more than happy to do the washing up in the very simple but very effective sink of stone. (The other German lady says it would be difficult to clean it.)

We again cannot venture out for the concert that is staged not far from the refugio, but with the door open I am able to drift off to sleep listening to distant gaiteros. Lovely. More soon.

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