After a summer of late evening walks, I found the late nights getting to me a little.
I’m not a night bird as such, I like to be in bed and reading in order to get a good eight or nine hours sleep.
If the following day is a trip-to-the-beach day, then an early night is compulsory, as it’s a three hour drive to the beach.
If we had a modern car, it would be more of a two hour drive to the beach and of course, we have to go to ‘our’ beach, which is at the most northerly point in Spain.
It has three sections, the furtherest from the village being a nudist beach, although it’s not compulsory. No, no one is going to see me naked and thank goodness for that. The other parts of the beach are most definitely not nudist, or topless either.
The bay ends at the village, which clings to the land side of the headland and the small harbour seems to have the cleanest, most impossibly blue water in the world. No, I’m not telling.
The honorary preguiceira, Feli (who doesn’t qualify as she works too hard), suggested a walk down the winter Camino path from Diomondi to Belesar.
My eighty-year old knees weren’t happy at this, but they’d shut up with enough Ibuprofen and I’d been working out all summer. My neighbour Ana and I hummed and hahed over this. Neither of us like heights and I have an odd reaction to becoming overheated. Could we do it? Could we find an excuse not to do it? Nope. We were on.
We assembled at the old school in Diomondi and off we went.
I had seen photographs of the Camino de Invierno and it looked like a nice lane, zigzagging down the canyon side to the very pretty village of Belesar.
It is a very pretty village, around a few bends of the river, almost in sight of a monstrous dam, the largest of the Miño hydroelectric projects. We drove along the top once, stopping to look down and instantly regretted this.
Zigzags didn’t look so bad and indeed they weren’t. Feli’s eighty something year-old father came to show us the right route and to provide a potted history of the path.
The Romans were here in force, back in old Roman times. They enjoyed the wine an no wonder, it is marvellous stuff.
So, back to the walk. We weren’t exactly a close unit. Maria and her walking companion Manolo pounded down the hill, leaving Feli and I to bring up the rear.
I’d spent the summer working out and getting my thigh muscles as strong as possible, but I knew this would be a big walk.
On the way, we encountered a large oak tree with a pair of boots hanging from it. Odd. They looked like good walking boots as well.
Feli’s father skipped down the mountain side like a goat. When I grow up, I want to be that fit…no, not a chance, but I’ll give it a good try.
My legs were starting to quiver now. To be honest, they do me well, considering I have MS as well as arthritis. See? I’m trying..
We reached Belesar and stopped. Finally. Well no, just a few steps more and we sat down at a very smart restaurant on the river and then we stopped.
I was tempted to try to climb up and the spirit was willing, but no, the knees were not.
We sat there by the river, enjoying the breezes and the beers and had forgotten the who pays game. What you do, is lurk or run like mad and try be the person who pays for the drinks.
We always forget about this and never manage to pay. Losers. That’s us.
I did have a secret yearning to climb up the path from Belesar. There’s lots of promising trees and where there are trees there’s the possibility of fungi.