Galicia, Day Six: Loose Ends

It is only 9:30 at night and I am in bed. This is normal at home, not normal for this trip. People are just stepping out to dinner! But I started feeling run-down tonight, so I decided not to seek out more octopus or some other coastal treat.

The morning started with coffee and sin gluten toast with Nigel, who was heading back to the UK today. Note: the hotel makes great coffee: strong, just how I like it! After saying goodbye to Nigel, I headed out for my first substantial run of the week outside of the race. I went on my “usual” route, toward tiny Campelo, along its twisty mostly uphill roads before taking a right turn down to the beach and bike path that I discovered on Saturday. I ran a little ways past Isla de Tambo, which took me up to another outlook with another nice view of the water. I stopped often to look in windows and peek around narrow drives, and because I am still very sore from Sunday. I headed back the way I came, and finally, after several trips down the Campelo-leading side-street, figured out where the library (biblioteca) is. The sounds of children playing echoed from a school I discovered after peering around the corner of a plaza. All in all, a pretty colorful eight miles.

As one should on vacation, I took my time getting out the door. Because I didn’t feel like another long drive, I decided to venture into Pontevedra. I didn’t get to see much of it before the race.

The Museo de Pontevedra appeared to be closed, even though the sign, from what I could tell, indicated it was open from morning to evening. I continued walking, and eventually stumbled upon one of the city’s many plazas, this one built around what may have been a government building and a beautiful Catholic church.

Very old fountain leading to a very old building in Pontevedra.
Very old fountain leading to a very old building in Pontevedra.
Catholic church in Pontevedra
Catholic church in Pontevedra

It was lunchtime (about 2:30 p.m.), but I wasn’t hungry, so I was sort of at a loss of what to do, since many businesses shut their doors anywhere between 1:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. I continued walking away from the water and came across another plaza and more narrow streets packed with restaurants, bars, an occasional boutique, and fruit stands with their windows shut for lunch. Across from a coffee/ice cream shop, I saw a running store, so of course I paused to investigate. “Open!” I heard a voice behind me say, and saw a man in running tights coming toward me. I pointed to the shop, and he said something in Spanish, led me downstairs and returned to his ice cream at the café.

The Vintage Running Miler Club (I sure wish I could have asked about the name) had the feel of Transports, but with less stuff. With such a clever name, I had to buy a singlet. Apparently, the employees were glad I bought one too, because they took my picture on the podium!

Vintage Running Miler man and me.
Vintage Running Miler man and me.

After a break with mango sorbet in front of another fountain, I wandered aimlessly for a little longer through what were now very quiet streets (everyone must have been napping).

Many of the streets in Pontevedra looked like this one, but between 4 and 5 p.m. is was eerily quiet.
Many of the streets in Pontevedra looked like this one, but between 4 and 5 p.m. is was eerily quiet.

Bored with that, I decided to meander down to Sanxenxo, one of the most popular beach resort towns in the Rias Baixas area. I drove along A-308, which runs parallel to the coast, through Combarro and Raxo, two charming beach towns, before hitting Sanxenxo, which was packed with hotels, apartments and more restaurants and bars. Probably because of its tourist draw, many more establishments were open during the lunch phase. With the stately buildings lining the pristine beaches, the area had almost a Riviera feel, if it weren’t so chilly. (60s, windy, cloudy)

Pristine beaches in Sanxenxo.
Pristine beaches in Sanxenxo.
Statue in the water that looks like some sea fairy.
Statue in the water that resembles a sea fairy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The area reportedly sees a lot of out-of-towners in July and August, which was evident from the ice cream shops, pizza restaurants, Irish pubs and tapas bars with menus in both Spanish and English.

I got home just before it started raining, a common event in Galicia.

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