This week we have explored the Rias Baixas from Combarro to Pontevedra. I would like to firstly, introduce my husband John, who has joined me on this exploration of Galicia; he happens to be an excellent cook and is immersing himself in local recipes to keep the fuel up to the worker! We are both loving everything we have experienced so far. Although we only speak a little Spanish, we have managed to make friends with some locals “the Allcocks”. I don’t think they speak Spanish either!
The weather is warming up and Spring is here. Grape vines are all sprouting leaves which seem to grow an inch every day. Now the rain has stopped, we are enjoying evening walks and spectacular sunsets over Cambados.
Last year after my Pilgrimage, I treated myself to a bus tour of the West Coast of Galicia, where I learned about these gorgeous, rustic little buildings dotted around the landscape called Horreos. Traditionally, horreos were used for storing grains to keep them dry and out of reach of rodents. Due to today’s large scale agriculture, they are no longer practical and are mainly used as a decorative store on many properties.
For my next painting, we decided to travel between Combarro and Pontevedra in search for that special horreo. Almost always when you look for something, there are none to be seen! Finally, one captured my attention just outside of Combarro which just happened to be close to a lovely restaurant overlooking the bay of Pontevedra. We could not resist enjoying an extremely generous lunch with the most stunning views.
About 2 hours later, we waddled off our lunch through the old town of Pontevedra, which is full of historic buildings and churches. Situated in the rias baixas (lower bays) of Galicia, Pontevedra thrived for centuries, prospering from fishing, farming and trading. By the 16th century, Pontevedra had become an international trading port.
However, the city was nearly destroyed as a result of wars, political unrest, the plague, and then long term erosion clogging its estuary. The city has since recovered and boasts a very charming medieval centre.
There is also the contrasting of old and new with the Los Tirantes bridge and the 12th century Burgo bridge over the Ria Lerez.
On our way home I tested my driving skills, changing gears with my right hand was downright scary……fortunately, I only found myself on the wrong side of the road once. I can only improve from now on…..