Historical setting: 563 C.E., Galleacia
At this waking our minds, our hopes, our plans for a new day are fully in-tact; but every bone and joint has only one position without hurt and that is the one position remembered from the long trots and strides of yesterday’s many hours of riding. I hear Nic’s mindless groans, the knocks of changing an old oarsman into a rider. I pretend my own groaning is silent. The horses are ready. Do they have no memory of the long day yesterday carrying these two of us weighty men? The Rose remembers his best behavior and accepts the saddle with all its ties. Umber makes no opinion known at all. He is indeed a well-tempered gelding.
Today we follow the river toward the west, though I know the villa I nearly recall in this land is far to the east. Today The Rose and Nic find an easier and faster gait, and Umber follows, so we are making better time journeying toward the bishop’s see of Bracara Augusta.
I’m glad to find the few people we are encountering today at these watering places speaking the Suebi tongue, and some even use the Roman vernacular. I had a hidden worry that the Visagoths had taken over Iberia while I was away – however long that may have been. My forgotten absence is a sore topic Nic and I try to avoid.
The sun is low in the West when we finally we lay eyes on the city, so now we are seeking an inn with a meal served and a stable to accommodate our patient beasts. Here again, our Roman language is acceptable, yet the spoken tongue is more as I had expected – a derivation of the Suebi.
The inn with the adequate stable edges the valley of the civitas. The old basilica of the see is the centerpiece of the city that spreads below us. It is the most obvious building in the valley amid the houses and markets. We plan to go to that basilica in the morning. Tonight we will rest.