Fri 3rd Nov., Cea to Oseira, 23+klms ...
This is not the post I was intending for today. My planned post can wait.
Remember my last comment yesterday? Something about an easy day. Well. Cea to Oseira is a distance of 9.3 klms by foot (9.4 by car). Given that last night's accommodation was a little under 3 klms on the other side of town, it should have been a 12klm day. Under 3 hours. We left Cea a bit after 10am (having coffee'd and visited the forno), so planned arrival was perhaps a tad after midday. So why, you might ask, did we eventually make it here just before 5pm?? Ay, that's the question ...
Here's the answer. Mistake One. There's two routes out of Cea. One goes here (~9 klms), and the other to Castro Dozón, about 16 klms. We strode out of Cea, confidently following the flechas amarillas, not for a moment thinking we were doing anything other than heading here. For 11 klms. That wasn't immediately obvious, what was obvious was that our destination just wasn't getting any closer. Anyway, by the time we realised we were mostly to Castro Dozón. Which was not where we wanted to be, but probably should have just pressed on. Mistake Two. Having realised the error, we decided to go cross-country to Oseira. Google maps were there to guide us. What could possibly go wrong? Here's a screen shot that will help answer that.
When I took that screen shot we still has some 5 klms to go, and we'd already walked a couple of the corrective path. What GM didn't show, until it was way too late, was that some of the "roads" it was displaying were no more than goat tracks sometimes less than a metre wide. And flooded. Sometimes there was no option other than to jump a briar covered stone fence into an equally briar ingested paddock to get around the flooded sections. That last 5 klms on the screen shot took over 2 hours!
Anyway, one day we'll laugh about it ...
Prior to the stuff up, it was actually a lovely walk. The temperature probably didn't get out of single digits, but we were well rugged up, and there was very little rain. There was lots of uphill, and certainly when we went bush it seemed like an endless uphill climb - at one stage we reached over 800 metres and seemed to be level with the wind turbines on the neighbouring hill!
We had intentionally gone exploring in Cea to get some Pan de Cea. It's a specialised bread with it's own geographic indication.
The Pan de Cea wiki page explains:
The product was recognized by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in 2004 and registered as a Protected Geographical Indication of the European Union in 2005. In 2010 it covered a total of 18 ovens and a certified production of 355,740 kg, with a value of 694,000 euros.
Cea is the only town in Galicia that is permitted to makes this bread, and I understand that there are still 17 ovens (fornos) in Cea. Because they are GI regulated, every loaf produced is identical, regardless of which forno makes it. Here's what they look like:
So, dramas aside, here's a few scenery photos/videos:
The size of the building blocks astounded me
The big building is the Oseira Monastery. Unfortunately we arrived too late to do a tour, which is a shame, but c'est la vie. The albergue is attached to the back of the monastery. The albergue is packed (maybe 20 people), all women bar two. Completely different (numbers and gender balance) to anything we've seen before. A couple of Aussies, and also Bruce and Mary from Albuquerque.
That'll do for now. Biggish day tomorrow, whatever that actually means.