Parador de Santo Estevo, Ourense, Galicia 6th/7th/8th June
As we got nearer to our next destination, the satnav showed we had a short journey which would take a long time, as we turned left off the main road as directed to the parador, we realised the road was steep, narrow and with many bends. Fortunately, there was little traffic as we climbed up through the trees, with views over the Sil valley being revealed. We parked our car in the underground carpark and ascended by lift to enter this large imposing building. Everything about this Parador is imposing, from the ancient cloisters, the artwork, the rooms, the dining room and especially the view.
We had our meal in the dining room that evening, which was quite an experience. The waitress was telling us the area is known as the Ribeiro de Sacra, the wine has a Spanish Denominación de Origen We ordered the pulpo or octopus, a regional speciality and merluza or hake, pictures below. it was delicious.
When we arrived the receptionist gave us details of three walks from the hotel. As we had sat a lot on the ferry and in the car, we decided to take on the challenge of the longest walk of 5 miles. The walk basically was a meander down to the valley, with a hermitage to view, along the road, not as low as the river, then a climb back up to monastery. The day was fresh, it had rained over night, there were some shower clouds about. We walked for about 10 minutes when to our dismay we saw a sign, saying the path was closed and sorry. Undaunted we thought we would continue to see what the problem was. We did have to clamber over some pipework, but the rest of the path continued and so did we. We had views across the valley to the railway line and saw an occasional train, as we descended we could see the monastery amongst the trees above. We followed the signs as we walked along the road and as we started climbing again back up the hill, we had a heavy shower of rain and we got soaked. Fortunately we had bought new cagoules in England, it was a case of head down, keep following the path, it will get better. Slowly but surely we got higher, we were teased with glimpses of our target, until we came out in a clearing, we were actually higher than the monastery, so got some great views actually looking down on it.
After a rest and another lovely meal and another good night’s sleep, we set off to our next destination. As we went out into the car park it was filled with Ferrari and Porsche cars.