I'll take the high road ...
[Thursday 13th September; Spain Day 2, Camino Day 6. Today’s walking distance 7.5 klms (total 157.8 to date)]
Because of the way the accommodation had been planned, today was always going to (accidentally) be a very short day. And because we had fortuitously chosen such a flash place to stay in we were in no hurry to get up early and leave. So we had a sleep in (in relative terms), late breakfast, late morning headed off for our next stop, Baiona.
Before leaving I inspected the replica of the yacht Thalassa which was shipwrecked in 1948 nearby. An amazing story – here’s part of it: https://elpais.com/elpais/2018/03/19/inenglish/1521468672_207205.html
And as we were in no rush there was time for a couple of “reflective” father/daughter selfies 😊.
There are two ways to get to Baiona from the Talaso Atlántico. One is to follow the PO-552 Galician Regional Road which essentially hugs the coast in this part of Spain; the other is to double back towards Mougás and then go up the hill behind the Talaso Atlántico, across the top and back down into Baiona. We chose the high road – except that I created an accidental hybrid (more on that later).
The walk out of the Talaso Atlántico was, to overuse the word, spectacular. We were perhaps 70/80 metres above the waterline, with crystal clear views back over the resort and the lighthouse behind it.
Along the way I found an interesting waymarker. It showed “MP” and “784”. It was clearly an old measure to somewhere, although I don’t know what and it’s not obvious. I'll do some research at some point to try to find out what it means.
And as can easily be the way, I took a wrong turn somewhere up on the hill. So instead of keeping on the high road and crossing the hill and arriving into Baiona through the back of the town, I ended up no the low road and entered Baiona via the coast and the PO-552. No matter – it was a beautiful day for a walk, even if I was no longer with my walking companions. Getting “lost” is a relative thing – in these circumstances one is never really lost, but rather simply disorientated, or perhaps a bit confused. And as long as you don’t let that bother you, then all is well.
I enjoy wandering along alone. It fits well with my fundamentally introverted personality. And at times like this I often fi my thoughts turning to my relationship with Janet, my partner for almost a quarter of a century. Our relationship has survived a few (minor in the greater scheme of things) trials, and days like today remind me that I am lucky to have her by my (metaphorical) side.
Baiona is an absolutely beautiful little seaside town, as some of the photos below show. I was blown away to realise that this year is the 525th anniversary of the return of the caravel the Pinta from the Amercias. The Pinta was part of Christopher Columbus’s fleet which in the name of the Crown of Castile. Columbus left Spain in August 1492 t discover the “new world” under Captain Martín Alonso Pinzón, and returned on the 1st March 1493, to the town of Baiona to first announce the discovery. A fabulous piece of history; later in the day we inspected the replica of the Pinta and also went and found the statue of Pinzón on the Baiona foreshore. Later in the day we went down to the replica. It amazes me that some 26 men worked and lived on this relatively tiny ship and that they made it all the way across the Atlantic and back (even allowing for the havoc that the expeditions to the New World eventually wreaked in so many ways.)
Baiona is based around a fabulous (there’s that word again) 11th century fort, whose origins actually trace back to something around the Roman era. Today it is possible to walk the whole 1.4 kilometre battlements, which afford a wonderful view of the town and also the surrounding ocean and islands.
And speaking of views, we walked up to the Our Lady of the Rock statue. It sits high on the hill above town, and one can navigate the narrow windy staircase to stand in the caravel she is holding. The view is spectacular. The height is scary!!
What a wonderful town Baiona is. What a lovely relaxing day after a short walk. Tomorrow we have a gentle ~26 klm stroll ahead of us.