Day 27 – 6th November 2016, Mougas to Nigran
Brett and I rose early and packed up our backpacks in the hallway, so as to avoid making too much noise in the dorm. We were not the only ones up and ready for the off though! We left our homely albergue pretty much in the dark because we anticipated a very long day’s trek ahead.
I used to struggle to get up early in the past, but walking the Camino gave me a new perspective on life an impetus to make the most of each day. I realised I can accomplish so much more by just rising one or two hours earlier in the morning!
Another important life lesson learned
Having said that, I must clarify that another important life lesson on the Camino that I have learned, both on the Camino Frances and the Camino Portugues, is there is less of a focus on all the ‘doing’ that so many of us are preoccupied with in our lives back home and more emphasis on the ‘being’:
- being alive and experiencing every human emotion,
- being present in each waking moment,
- being aware of how my body, mind, and spirit are at any given moment in time,
- being open to new challenges and opportunities,
- being ‘ready’ to face my personal demons and to do the work necessary on the pathway of healing,
- being ‘loving’ towards myself and whoever I am walking with and meet along the way,
- being ‘happy’ and content in the simple pleasures of daily activities and whatever situations unfold along the journey
Baiona, a town with a fascinating maritime history
I never get tired of watching and hearing the waves breaking onto a beach. This sea-born orchestra accompanied our pilgrim footsteps along the Camino trail, as we wended our merry way along the pebbly shoreline, through villages on the water’s edge and past windmills.
Eventually, we walked into the beautiful and imposing town of Baiona and picked a spot on a café terrace overlooking the fortress and harbour for lunch. I loved the feel of this place and I was so grateful for an opportunity to rest a while and bask in the sun.
Baiona has a long and fascinating history, founded in 140 BC by Diomedes of Aetolia, it has had several incarnations and rulers from both Spain and Portugal. In maritime history, there are two events, which I find particularly interesting. On March 1st in 1493 the Pinta, one of the ships belonging to the voyage of Columbus to the New World, arrived in Baiona making the town’s port the first in Europe to receive news of the so-called ‘discovery’ of America (even though native peoples had discovered America thousands of years beforehand!).
The second event made me smile and I give kudos to the townspeople of Baiona back in the day in 1585, when they successfully repelled the privateer (read pirate) Francis Drake when he attempted to take the town.
The harbour and marina is a stunning place. I wondered whether Brett and I would return here one day with Theros. It would be a fabulous place to dock for a while and explore the area.
A long schlepp into Nigran and warm Galician hospitality
Ultreia! The Camino called us onwards again and the afternoon walk was heavy going, largely because most of it was through urban areas. Hiking along asphalt can be hard on the feet and legs.
We stopped mid-afternoon at a café for a coffee break and then felt like we needed to search for accommodation in the area. Both Brett and I thought it best to find a place to stay in Nigran, instead of pressing on towards Vigo.
There were a few places listed on google maps but they were quite far apart. We strolled around to check out one or two but the nearest pension seemed closed. We opted to hop into a taxi to the next place called El Retiro, where we received a warm welcome and bagged a double ensuite room for a good price. Later on, after freshening up, we spent the evening in the bar and restaurant, where the proprietors plied us with a fabulous mixed grill platter (like a farmyard on a plate, there was so much meat) and traditional Galician liqueurs.
Later on, after freshening up, we spent the evening in the bar and restaurant, where the proprietors plied us with a fabulous mixed grill platter (like a farmyard on a plate, there was so much meat) and traditional Galician liqueurs.
Oh my, we rolled into bed full to the brim and very sleepy! A good night was had by all!
Distance walked today = 28 km
Cumulative distance walked so far = 608.03 km
Peace, love and light,