Like all mornings on our Camino adventure, we got up early to make the most of the day.
But leaving Caldas de Reis was in truth pretty terrifying because not only was it raining but the thunder and lightning were surrounding us.
The ground was shaking with every thunderous boom and we had to be very careful of where we walked. There were a few things we had to be particularly mindful of:
- There were sections on the Camino where we were relatively out in the open and where lightning could easily strike us.
- We had metal walking poles which also could be our downfall.
We were at the mercy of the elements but thankfully there are very few people who are struck by lightning. We employed the 30/30 rule for walking which is essentially:
Determining the distance of the lightning. It can strike anywhere and anything. If you see a flash, count the seconds until you hear the thunder – then you can divide the number of seconds by five to approximate the distance in miles.
If it’s less than 30 seconds you should be in a shelter or find a shelter asap. But be wary: STAY AWAY FROM LONE TREES.
Side note: I don’t want to sound preachy but I think I’ll do a further piece on lightning with more tips. For novice walkers, you may not even think of these before you set off!
If you stay alert you’ll probably be fine but Padrón was a welcome sight in the end!
Padrón has religious and historical significance for many reasons.
The town has the largest open air market in Galicia as well as two artifacts with connections to Saint James and Santiago de Compostela.
Legend has it that Padrón got its name from a stone to which a boat transporting the body of Saint James was tied en route to Santiago.
The actual stone called the “Pedron” (AH HA!), now rests on permanent display in Padrón’s parish church.
I wish there was something more I could say about our stay Padrón but honestly, we didn’t get to explore it. The days of walking long distance had taken their toll on us and all we wanted was food and sleep.
That being said, being in Padrón didn’t mean that we didn’t indulge in the local delicacy – Padrón peppers (Pimentos!). Now I’m not usually a fan of green peppers but these ones are magnificent. Roasted until charred and then doused in flakes of salt and olive oil; the texture better the juicy peppers and salt is fabulous. I had a picture of the peppers in a previous post!
Most of these peppers taste mild, though some are particularly hot and spicy – it’s the luck of the draw for sure.
We just spent the night in Padrón before heading off to Rua de Francos.
If you’re looking for something to do in Rua de Francos, by the way, you’ll be severely disappointed as it’s pretty much just a collection of houses en route to Santiago.
We decided to stay in Casa Parada de Francos, a gorgeous countryside house tucked away in the middle of nowhere.
We were the only guests and our host was quite the character with a booming Spanish voice. We weren’t quite sure if he was overly pleased with seeing us on a Sunday but we were too wrecked to care.
Maybe it was the tiredness but I knew I had turned into my mother the moment I hit my bed. “These are the most amazing sheets!” I marveled, “they must be high-quality Egyptian cotton!”
Beautiful white, crisp sheets that smelled like meadow flowers, it was like falling into a soft cloud.
Dozing off for a few hours and lazying in the bath, there wasn’t more left to do except chill to our heart’s content.
At 7pm we made our way across the road dine with essentially a private chef.
The food was magnificent. It didn’t matter that we were the only guests, each course was delicately put together by our host.
He sang in the background as he prepared each dish and then served it up with a flourish.
“¿Estudiaste en una escuela de cocina?” I asked after our helping of dessert and yes, indeed he had studied in cookery school and it was clear that he had the talent!
We went to bed with full tummies and happy hearts.
At this stage, we were about 10km away from Santiago de Compostela but wanted to be refreshed when we arrived.
We were almost there.
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