30 April 2018

We each must walk our own Camino!

Rianne’s decision to take a taxi into Porto was the right one for her. She is a determined woman and a fighter and anyone over 60 does well to listen to the rythum of their own bodies. Nevertheless it was a sad one for us for now we would have to walk without her! 

As we left the warmth of the hotel in the morning around dawn there were grey clouds in the sky heavy with rain.

On our way out of town we passed this hopscotch area and wanted to play, but our BBF said not at our age!

The route was again predominantly on roads and not on country trails. It was also up hill. 

These grain storage sheds are similar to the ones in Galicia and we saw quite a few over the day’s walk. 

It rained off and on which made the walk somewhat more tedious than it would otherwise have been. This poor toad did not survive crossing the road and had been squashed flat by some car we think! 

This scarecrow could be see from far away and seemed to be doing a good job!

We crossed a river via an ancient bridge and then saw a screw system for lifting the water out and up! 

The rain came again as we left the ancient bridge  and now followed some minor roads through villages! 

The roads were often narrow and cars did not always give us a wide berth, which got our BBF quite angry.  

After almost 7 kilometres we stopped for breakfast.

This church was open so in we went. The glass doors on the inside all said, silencio, which we assume means keep quiet. 

Our BBF now seemed to take a perverse delight in filling the volume of the church with his voice when he sang the Pilgrims’ hymn. An elderly gentleman was in the church when we first went in. As the singing proceeded the priest popped his head round the corner by the alter and quickly disappeared again, emerging briefly again as the crescendo came with the last verse!

As we were leaving the elderly gentleman gave us a thumbs up! 

After another climb we saw the sea on the horizon again, but then it was down amongst the traffic!

We have now seen one of these establishments on each of our Caminos!

In one village we walked through we came to another small laundry washing tubs. 

Not this one a smaller version and in it was a woman doing the washing. Sadly she would not let us take a picture, but had Rianne been with us we felt woman to woman we would have got the picture!

Part of the Way now was along the ancient Roman road for about a kilometre or so. 

More grain stores were seen between showers. 

These little houses are in fact letter boxes!

Many of the houses in this village had a large Rosary hanging from them. 

After another climb we saw the sea so blue and clear. Our BBF takes great comfort from seeing the Atlantic Ocean and knowing that he has sailed across it a number of times and come safely home again.

Then after 26.6 kilometres we were there! The Albergue in Griju, our stop for the night. 

To our BBF’s delight he now met Colette and Christine the French ladies again and big hugs were given all round. A German and a Dutchman both whom we have seen before were also in the Albergue! 

A suitable bed was found for us but it looks as if it will be a cold night. The French ladies invited our BBF to join them for a meal in the Hospitalero’s home which we understand will be after the Mass in the Church, which is at six. So now we are sitting here waiting for the time to come! Buen Camino! đŸ»❤️

29 April 2018

A cold wet day on the Camino!

Last night we shared the Albergue with two young ladies from the Ukraine! This morning they were all up together though our two humans were out the door first. They walked the short distance to the cafĂ© where they had a quick breakfast! An Irishman, they had met some days ago was also there. As it was raining he said might take a Taxi to Porto. Rianne thought it a good idea, but our BBF poo poohed it! 

The day did not look good as we walked on out of town. We only had a short walk through a eucalyptus forest, otherwise it was all on roads.

Up until this point it was light rain, but then after taking the photo it hailed! There was some thunder about too. 

While now walking through this wood our BBF told the tale of his last Camino in 2016, where it thundered and lightninged right above his head on the way to Finisterre and suddenly Alex appeared by his shoulder!
This tale did nothing to allay Rianne’s concerns!!

It hailed again and we all took cover in someone’s open garage. The woman of the house came out and said they could stay there, but as soon as it abated we left.  

It stopped and now we found ourselves walking along the railway track. 

In one village we took refuge in a bar and the humans had coffee and tea with a jambon roll! 

The two Ukrainian women were there already! They only have a two week holiday to get to Santiago too!

There were nice roasting chicken smells in this bar too.

Judging by the number on this charcoal grill the whole village would be in for lunch later. 

Later we saw this poor Santa sleeping in the rain.

The road took us up a hill and now in the distance we could see the sea!!

This medieval bridge took us over the river and along a cobblestone way. 

It was a long steep climb into the town of Oliveira de AzemĂ©is from here. 

After a short rest at the top we went in search of accommodation! The Pension was closed, no one answered the door bell or the three telephone numbers, so the humans decided they would book into the hotel, the only other option!

We have a nice room and it is warm, which the Albergue last night was not. Rianne is considering going on by taxi to Porto now, as tomorrow promises more rain like today! Such is life on the Camino! Buen Camino! đŸ»

28 April 2018

Speed Limits are advisory!

As we had only a relatively short distance to walk today, our BBF let us sleep in until 07:00 hrs. The fact that Breakfast was not until 07:30 hrs may also have had an effect on this timing!

The morning was cool, but the sun was up and the sky was blue as we left Agueda. 

The route took us along roads through industrial and commercial areas, until we got right out of town. 

From the opposite direction cane groups of “Fatima “ pilgrims! We greeted all of them as we passed.  

There were fine views to be had over the hills and far away! 

There was a certain amount of up and down to the journey, but we could not hear any complaints 

Yet another old laundry was passed and we wondered how the local women got over the lack social contact since the modern washing machine had come in?

In Spain the water fountains contain sign to indicate whether the water is potable or not. Here in Portugal there are none! 

We were all relieved when we could leave the road and head off into the Bush, but generally these excursions were short lived! 

An ancient bridge led us across the Rio Marnel a tributary to the Rio Vouga which we had to cross on a major road bridge! Dicing with death our BBF calls it!

The shadow heads of our humans can just be seen here as we crossed the Rio Vouga!

Through another village which thankfully took us away from the major road and then we entered another short stretch of woodland. 

Such signs to an Albergue are always welcome even if they are in the middle of nowhere.

As always when entering a town it is a seemingly endless slog though built up areas, with roundabouts and othe traffic hazards to negotiate. Even in the towns and villages the pavement for pedestrians are few and far between. It would appear to us Bears that the various traffic signs which indicate a speed limit are only advisory, as no one observed them, ever!

We actually walked past the Albergue on the other side of the road and had to backtrack 100 meters or so. It did not open until 14:00 hrs and we were two hours too early. So our humans went in search of a bar for an isotonic drink.

We think we will have this room to ourselves with any luck as most pilgrims seem to have walked further on.

Tomorrow promises to be a similar day like today in distances to be traveled, at any rate. Buen Camino! đŸ»