Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Beautiful Galicia, Otra Vez

It's hard to believe that we arrived in Spain 8 days ago. Time flows by in a different way, even though we bring work with us. The trip is long, we arrive exhausted, but we have rituals along the way. The trip is more than 24 hours (door to door) and spans two days. We leave Saturday morning, have a long stretch in Dallas/FW Airport, where we have battered and fried green beans and a glass of beer at TGIF, waiting for our next flight. We arrive in Madrid around 10:30 a.m. Sunday, and have a lunch of smoked salmon, bread, and wine, then fight sleep while waiting for our connection to Santiago de Composetela. We arrive in Santiago a little after 5:00 p.m. and collect baggage. Our friends, Terri and David,  meet us, drive us back to our house in Trasulfe, where we "turn on the house" (electricity, water, gas-tank connections, etc.), then we all go out to eat at a restaurant in Monforte, called O Pincho, where we split delicious raciones. (Rations are smaller than dinners, bigger than tapas.) 

Here's a picture of Terri and David from last summer (we haven't yet gotten around to pictures of friends on this trip.) As soon as we got to O Pincho, we woke up and had a great time catching up on news, eating rations and drinking the house wine. The next morning, waking with the sun (about seven-ish), eating lunch at 2:00 p.m. and dinner around 8:00 or 9:00 p.m., Rajan and I realized we'd fallen into Spanish time right away, with very little jet lag!

Friends and neighbors tell us it was a continually rainy winter, but our first few days were sunny. There was the usual morning mist and intermittent sprinkles through the day that vanished in afternoon heat. Still, we felt free to bring out our patio table and chairs. Then things changed.
The small pasture across the sheep
path in front of our gate. The thin
tree in the foreground is a volunteer
peach tree that so far doesn't bear.

A neighbor's pasture below ours.
See those little fruit trees? The storm
blew all the petals away. No fruit
this year. 

After four beautiful sunshiny days, on Thursday afternoon a fierce hailstorm struck. First thunder rolled and roared for about an hour, and then hail beat down for about thirty minutes. This was the result :
These aren't snow drifts. Just lots and lots of hail.

I wanted to put a video here, with all its great sound effects, but I couldn't get my video to play. (I've sent to Google for help.) But this should give you some idea.
On another note, we've been making a point to walk at least two miles a day. In about a year, I want to walk a portion of the Camino that ends in Santiago. (One item on my bucket list.) I won't be able to make it to Santiago, but a friend informed me that if you walk 100 km, you can get a certificate. That's about sixty miles. Next spring I'd like to do about 30 miles, and then in the fall of 2015 do the second set. So far, a few times we've parked at Gadis, one of the big supermarkets at the edge of Monforte, and walked up to the Parador.
Here's the Parador, seen from the Gadis parking lot.
Below is Gadis, seen from Parador, to give you and
idea of how far we walk.
Gadis, where we parked, seen from the Parador: See the thin pale blue
stripe about two thirds up in the middle? Above the center green? To the
left of that is a teeny yellow sign. That's Gadis.

Other walks have been along country roads. Beautiful nature walks, really. This will give you some 
idea: The picture on the left is an example of most of the scenery here. 

The picture to the right is of a pretty church in Toiriz. We don't have pictures yet of the stork nests, but on tall posts nearby, there are two separate stork nests, and we sometimes see one of the parent birds feeding the baby birds. All you can see is the upended body, so we aren't quite sure how big those babies get. Hopefully we'll get a good photo sometime soon.

And now, it's time for a walk! But stay tuned, because the next post will be about a wonderful Fado singer we heard Sunday night. 

Meanwhile, if you have special items on your bucket list, I'd love to hear what they are.


Tanya Reimer said...

oh wow. Sounds like the start of another fabulous adventure. Excellent job on the pictures! They capture the heart of it. Enjoy the walks!

Rosi said...

Beautiful photos and it sounds like you are having a beautiful time. Enjoy! I look forward to more posts.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Thanks for stopping by, Tanya. I'm glad you like th pictures.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Rosi, yes, we are having a lovely time. I'm looking foward to posting more, now that I have my blog back. :-)

Carol Riggs said...

Oh, what a beautiful place to walk! Enjoyed your photos. My bucket list? Oh, visiting Scotland/Ireland and maybe Spain. Getting published (working on that one!). :)

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Hi, Carol, Scotland and Ireland are places I would love to see. Especially Ireland. Ireland has always had a hold on my imagination. I share your second wish, too!

writing and living by Richard P Hughes said...

I'd like to live in a place like that. Must be a different atmosphere from the big cities.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

HI, Richard, yes the atmosphere is so different. It's so tranquil to look at, and because it's rural and life out here on small farms is dictated by temperature and seasons, there's a laid-back, phislophical feel to the pace of life. It really feels quite timeless, even though life in all it's phases goes on here as everywhere.

Nick Wilford said...

Looks gorgeous and very peaceful. Quite jealous! If you get to Scotland, be sure to say hi. :)

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Hi, Nick. We'd love to come to Scotland one day! That's a place that reverberates in my imagination from novels and poetry. It has always sounded like such a beautiful place.

Stacy Henrie said...

Absolutely gorgeous! Thanks for sharing these pictures.

Julia Hones said...

I will come back to read this post.
I enjoyed all the pictures you shared. They awaken my imagination...
Thank you.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Hello, Julia, I love your description, "awaken my imagination." That's the effect this whole area of Galicia has on me. Spain in general.