11. Sep, 2021

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SATURDAY 11-09-21

Well I have to say, we had a very peaceful night on the Camperstop very close to the Roman wall at Lugo. The greatest moment of all was when we enjoyed a lovely hot shower each as we were so close to a dump station with all facilities that we could afford to be frivolous. I have to say that my madcap idea of putting those stainless steel balls of wire normally placed in kettles to avoid the build up of limescale, but in our case placed in the shower tray drain outlets are working magnificently. Nothing seems to get past them, so I am confident that we shouldn't now get blockages of hair especially, in the waste pipe on its way to the grey water tank.

So a bit about Lugo then:

Lugo is the only city in the world to be surrounded by completely intact Roman walls, which reach a height of 10 to 15 metres (33 to 49 feet) along a 2,117-metre (6,946 ft) circuit ringed with 71 towers. The walk along the top is continuous round the circuit, and features ten gates. These 3rd century walls are protected by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The bridge over the river Minho is essentially of Roman date, though many repairs over the centuries have effaced its Roman character. The city is along the Camino Primitvo path of the Camino de Santiago.

The city was probably founded by Celtic inhabitants of the region in 13 BC on the positioning of a Roman military camp, while the Roman Empire completed the conquest, in the North, of the Iberian Peninsula. Though small it was the most important Roman town in what became Gallaecia during the Roman period.

It was centrally situated in a large gold mining region, which during the Roman period was very active. The city stood on one of the upper branches of the Minius (modern Minho), on the road from Bracara to Asturica, and had some famous baths, near the bridge across the Minho.

During the Middle Ages Lugo, like Santiago de Compostela, was a centre of pilgrimage, because the cathedral had the special privilege, which it still retains today, of exposing to the public the consecrated host twenty-four hours a day. During the Modern Age, Lugo had a certain supremacy, although other nearby towns such as Mondoñedo or Ribadeo disputed it. It was not until the division of the state into provinces in 1833 and the creation of provincial governments that Lugo has become the most important town in the province of Lugo, because of its capital status. This rise has been bolstered by the arrival of the first railway to the city in 1875.

During the 20th century the city continued to grow as the administration and services centre of the province. In 1936, when the Civil War broke out, the city became quickly under the Nationalists control. In the 1970s the city met important reforms, like the development of the Ceao Industrial Area (1979) and the complete restoration of the Roman walls.

We walked in to the 'Old Town' of Lugo in good time, good enough to beat most of the tourists. The impressive Cathedral building appeared to now be part museum, with a six euro entrance fee to match. Forget it.

After walking past some very nice upmarket retail outlets we made our way up on to the ramparts for a walk all the way around the Roman wall. We were surprised how many derelict old buildings there were both just inside and outside the wall. A feel a whole series of 'Homes Under the Hammer' being recorded out here, or maybe 'A Place in the Sun'.

After a bit more walking around we made our way back. I told The Chef that I was feeling decidedly off colour and would stop off at the Pharmacy we pass on the way back. There I explained to the staff that I was on antibiotics for an ear infection, and I thought that the drug had knocked out my healthy gut bacteria and now I couldn't go to the toilet. After a bit more of a chat she sold me a box of tablets, of which I take one after an evening meal. I have to say that at that point I wished I could have spoken Spanish well enough to ask for "A small stick of dynamite and some lubricant por favor".

Back at base camp we had lunch and then got ready to hit the road. We're starting to embrace the Spanish motorhomers way of doing things which is to visit somewhere during the day and then move on to the next location later in the day.

Our journey to Ponferrada, again about a seventy mile trip was quite straightforward as it was motorway almost the whole way. It took us through some lovely scenery. Our first stop was to the out of town shopping complex where we did a bit of a stock up. I treated myself to a couple of bottles of wine - seven euro's each, the most expensive wine Mercadona sold. I noticed that close by was a store which looked like a Chinese shop so in I went. With the help of my personal shopper and Google Translate on her phone I came out with the bits I needed.

Then it was on to our Camperstop nearby (GPS: N42.543368° W6.586844°) a large area of tarmac which held 40 motorhomes and a dump station. We've had to use our levelling blocks yet again but who cares, it's good and it's cheap.

Tomorrow we shall rise in good time and make our way in to town to look at its castle. In the meantime, after half a bottle of the seven euro wine (I'm so glad I didn't buy a €2.50 bottle) and my medicinal 'activator' I look forward to tonight with some trepidation.