In Puebla de Sanabria Ruth tested herself and determined that she had COVID. That day I had a mild headache, but I felt I had escaped with a near asymptomatic case. We spent three nights in Sanabria, chafing under the knowledge that we were falling behind our Camino friends. Feeling better, on the morning of the fourth day we bolted from our confinement. The following two days were amongst the toughest on the Via, as we crossed two mountain passes and entered Galicia.
At this point, in A Gudiña, the virus reminded us that it was still with us. Our fevers, headaches and lack of energy returned, forcing us to once again convalesce for three nights. Our host at the hotel was very kind and supportive, but the touristic charms of A Gudiña are quite limited. We were not yet able to recommence the Camino, particularly in light of the challenging topography ahead. We therefore made the difficult decision to move ahead by taxi to Ourense, skipping about 90 kms of the Via.
Ourense is a rewarding city to recuperate in. For one thing, it has healing waters in the form of a number of hot springs and associated baths. On the evening of our arrival in town, in an early birthday celebration, we took our friend Denys to the Outariz thermal baths. They are located about 6 kms from downtown by tourist train. The Outariz baths offer a number of free, open air pools kept at about 40 degrees C. We joked that if the officials started throwing kale in the water we would know the secret for preparing Caldo Gallego, a famous Galician soup.
Ourense also has a charming historic district dominated by a 13th century cathedral and sprinkled with delightful little parks. It is not too much of a hardship to spend a few nights here as our strength returns. We hope to recommence our pilgrimage, at a reduced speed, in a couple of days.