19 June: Xunqueira to Ourense

Xunqueira: must return to visit the church. Everyone who went in last night raved about it. We missed it and left the albergue (above) about dawn. Church would not open until 4.

Ourense: must return to visit the cathedral. It was my one must-do item, but a Series of Unfortunate Events prevented that happening. 

LFirst unfortunate event….we had to walk through this:

 (Actually that had nothing to do with missing the cathedral, but it sure was an unfortunate sight after mountains and forests and wild flowers!) But the good news heralded by that picture is that we were entering a city and cities have good food options:

 Still warm, not long out of the oven! Nothing unfortunate about that.

Second unfortunate event….someone dropped their jacket. No big deal, right? Pick it up again. Not so simple. Child who had insisted on draping said jacket over pack instead of attaching it securely as instructed by mother  on numerous occasions had to walk back up a hill or two to find it. The rest of us waited almost an hour – just long enough to not have time to visit the cathedral before signing in at the albergue! Then by the time we had completed essential chores (like buying food for tomorrow because it’s Sunday and nothing opens) the cathedral had closed, not to open again until 4:30pm.

Third unfortunate event…..this little train

 was supposed to leave the Praza Maior at 4pm. We were going to be on it. We were in the Praza with so much time to spare that we did some sketching

 Just before four a dozen or so Spaniards gathered over by those arches to the left and we joined them. By 4:06 some of them were agitated, by 4:15 some left, just after 4:30 I showed the phone number for the train to one of the ladies who tried calling it -unsuccessful, at 4:35 one couple went for beers and peanuts and I went to see if those little trains that we had photographed earlier were still just round the corner. One was gone. Some people were sitting in the other. I went back and collected the kids (and, incidentally, the rest of the queue including the beer drinkers) and we made ourselves comfy on the train which we hoped would leave at 5pm. It did. But there was no way we were going to get back in time to visit the cathedral! The train did a nice circuit around town and to the boys’ delight went over a bridge they had done a bit of research on:

 Not an unfortunate event…the train took us thermal pools that are right on the edge of the river. The kids thought this was much better than a cathedral! 

  A Little Inconvenience…..this albergue (in an old monastery) has a lovely kitchen, but no pots. Obviously we couldn’t cook anything. So we bought a whole lot of fresh stuff (including a new favourite cheese which we’ll bring home for the rest of you to sample) and had a lovely picnic at the baths after our therapeutic soak.

 As I say, we’ll have to return to Ourense!

Distance: 24km Total Distance: 840km

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5 thoughts on “19 June: Xunqueira to Ourense

  1. Ah well… Lots of good things in that mix! And I agree… The pools look far more appealing after a days walk😀

  2. OMG I’m so happy to see you guys got to do the thermal baths!!! I met a Dutch couple while on the Invierno, just before Chantada, who took me with them! Amazing day!

  3. Lovely looking baths. The setting reminds me a bit of Hanmer Springs with all that lovely stone work. Good food and a swim probably rated higher on the kids’ scale than the cathedral? Maybe. Enjoy the last few days.

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