THURSDAY MAY 26TH
Rod woke up with a big pain in his right side. He said that he had slept badly because his whole body was one big painful ache, and felt really sorry for himself. . He couldn ‘t be bothered with breakfast, and was quite pleased when he was sitting on the coach, propped up with cushions and fairly relaxed.
The journey was fast and straightforward up to La Coruña on the north coast, and we were deposited by the old Roman lighthouse called the Tower of Hercules, rebuilt in 1792 over the original second century edition. It was certainly stocky, and we climbed up to it along the clifftop path, even though every step was excruciatingly painful for Rod. I love the story about the Tower, that Hercules built it after he had slain the King of a tribe of giants who were terrorising the locals. Yet another ancient story about giants! Good stuff.
In La Coruña itself, the first thing we did when left to our own devices was to find a chemist ‘s shop and buy the most powerful painkillers they could sell, then a coffee shop to get something to wash them down with. Rod was feeling absolutely dreadful, but then managed to walk a short distance into the old town where the local military band were having a practise, before he had to sit down again to recover. We did manage a wander through some very old and narrow streets, then got to the main square, found a convenient bench for him to sit again, where he waited for me to return from a fact-finding mission.
I had about half an hour to myself before having to get on the bus, and I had a good old look round, bought a paper punch for future card-making and a pot of ersatz Tiger Balm. Lunch was a plain bread roll eaten while I was looking around.
We were soon travelling towards our next stop in a small village called O Grove. This hotel was marvellous! A big room with a good view,( a teensy weensy little bit of the sea, – there it is, in the middle at the back!), lovely fresh smells floating in, and French windows opening out onto a small balcony. Rod didn’t even unpack. He opened his case, took out his pyjamas , put them on and crawled into bed. I was a bit puzzled as to what to do for him, so I mixed the balm with a bit of Grape seed oil and gave him a good old massage, with a little bit of Reiki thrown in for good measure. He seemed to like it, and I am sure his poor old muscles benefitted from it.
As we had a couple of hours before the appointed dinner time, I took myself off for a walk. My idea was to find a supermarket to buy some tea for myself, as we were lucky enough to have a real kitchen attached to the hotel room. So I walked through the village, found the only supermarket shuttered up, made a right turn towards the sea, and eventually got to the beach. What a lovely beach! There were little coves, big old boulders worn into comforting shapes and a wonderful proper sea smell. On the way there, I saw big allotment gardens , and loads of flowers which just loved the damp atmosphere. Lilies were growing everywhere, even out of the weedy roadsides.
Every house seemed to have a vineyard (with tall vines, not like our stumpy ones in the Jalón Valley), and one of these peculiar grain-stores on legs, called horreos. We saw them last year when we were here, and crept up to one of them, just to see if they were really used or just there for show. Sure enough, the one we saw was stuffed full of sweet corn!
The track ran alongside the sea, back towards the hotel, and by the time I got back, I had been walking for an hour and a half and felt exhilarated ! I just had time to ferret out a stone we had seen from the coach, hear the hotel. Anne saw it first, and excitedly pointed it out to me, saying it was a big version of the singing stone I had found on the beach on my birthday! It truly was a singing stone, but unfortunately had only the one eye. But I commiserated with it and gave it a hug, and it rewarded me by taking this picture of me smiling at it. (.. whilst whispering through a quick chorus of “I’ll be seeing you in all the old familiar places …….”)
Rod was no better when I got back, so I went off to dinner on my own and enjoyed a delicious meal with Anne and Derek and Marian and Neal. I knew that Rod would appreciate the dessert, so I asked the waiter if I could have his portion on a plate to take up to him. No problem, and I was right, he roused himself onto an elbow and enjoyed his home-made apple tart.