Tue 31st Oct., Ourense.
Well, we made it to Ourense via an unintended path, but such is the way of life. As our Scottish ancestor Rabbie Burns said all those centuries ago:
The best laid schemes o' Mice an' Men
Gang aft agley
And whether I be mouse or man I'll leave to others to discern.
But here we are. We're 6 days and around 110 klms from Santiago, and there's no reason why we shouldn't stroll into that city some time around the midday next Tuesday. But I get ahead of myself.
Tomorrow is an Ourense exploration day, and I'll post some commentary and photos this time tomorrow of what we've discovered of this city, which like many others we've visited has a strong Roman heritage.
Having adjusted our plans at Lubián 5 days ago we spent a couple of days in Puebla de Sanabria. It rather turned out to be a bit of a bonus. Not only did it provide us with the connection with Bruce and Mary which I wrote about 2 days back, it gave us/me the chance to explore, and I thought I'd share a few photos.
It really is a very pretty town, with a recent history going back some 800 years (and other, slightly less clear, history back to the year 500). I'd recommend anyone planning to walk the Sanabrés to allow themselves some time to have a look around.
The Puebla de Sanabria castillo is an imposing building. A little history tells us:
The fortification appears included in the charter of 1220 and was possibly expanded during the 14th and 15th centuries under the successive rule of the Alburquerque family the Castro Men Rodríguez de Sanabria and the Losada. However, the construction of the castle dates back much later, with work beginning around 1450 under the lordship of the Counts of Benavente (sic).
The ground floor of the enclosure houses a wall reinforced on its sides by towers and a square keep, "El Macho", where palace life was concentrated. During the 17th and 18th centuries, part of the perimeter was adapted to artillery and used as barracks.
Largely restored, the castle is fully preserved and is currently a tourist and cultural reference centre.
The following are of/from/around el castillo and the old town, including a couple with my old mate the Don.
The climb from the river to the castle is 231 steps, so be warned!!
Inside the 12th/13th century Iglesia de Santa María del Azogue. I popped in to get a sello for our credenciales.
A 12th/13th century manor house in the middle of town with lineage back to the Ossorio family.
We also found an opportunity to go visit the wolf sanctuary (https://centrodellobo.es/). Wonderful experience. The tour was entirely in Spanish, at a level well beyond our capability, so we didn't understand a word, but seeing the wolves was excellent.
Hasta mañana ...