26 April 2018

A bad night, but a good day on the Camino!

Last night after a little nap the humans left us to go look for a place to eat! They had seen the above sign often on the walk that day and thought they would go look for this restaurant and the inexpensive pilgrim‘s menu!

Sadly the restaurant could not be found at the address given. There were a number of other restaurants and so they chose to eat in a nice looking Italian one.

Our BBF had lasagna and a tomato salad with red wine and a huge ice cream to follow!

The view out of our window in Coimbra, the awning at the bottom right hides a bar which played loud music until the wee hours of the morning. This is a university town after all and the students were out to celebrate!
None of us slept to deeply until the music stopped, despite shutting the window and wearing ear plugs! Our BBF complained to us in the night that the lasagna  weighed heavily on his stomach and he had to go to the loo a couple of times. We Bears thought that perhaps it was the huge ice cream that had upset him!

This morning we were up early and left by this old gate. The streets were empty and quiet compared to last night.

Our route out of town took us along the river bank and then we followed a minor road for some kilometres.

Mealhada was our destination for today but the signs never said how far.

It was a beautiful morning and we all wonder what was growing in this field?

Some herbal tea or remedy perhaps.

The shadows of the humans distract from the fact that these poor horses were tethered! 

After some seven kilometres we stopped for a short rest on this bridge because the humans had a wall to sit on.

When they started off again a couple of hikers from Austria came by. We cannot call them pilgrims as they were only walking to Porto, staying in hotels and having their kit sent on by taxi!

We met again in this village which had a café by this statue of St James.

On the other side of the village was a map showing where were and had to go. 

So far the route had taken us on minor roads, but now we had to go along a major one for a few kilometres!

As we left the village we came across and old woman, sitting in the sun shelling peas. A photo did not seem appropriate.

Then thankfully we left the highway and walked through woods for a little way until we once again were on a minor road.

When we came across this decoration we all thought it was for someone’s birthday, but we came across many more on doors as well as garden gates and lampposts so decided it was for the national holiday.

 This village of Mala was also the first with no barking dogs, a very pleasant change.

Suddenly on the other side we found the first sign which told us how far we still had to walk to Santiago!
It had clearly been erected by the Albergue we hoped to stay in.

The sun was now warmer on our backs and we were all looking forward to getting there.

At the entrance to the town of Mealhada was this roundabout which had a statue of Bacchus and behind it were even vines growing, the first we’ve seen in the middle of a roundabout!

The hostel had no room at the inn when we got there so now we had to walk on another two kilometres! Our humans stopped at a roadside bar where an isotonic drink was in order as it was lunchtime! Alan now rang ahead and booked a double room, which was a good thing as it turned out as more pilgrims appeared out of the woodwork as we finally got there!

Rianne even discovered a Dutch pilgrim so after some two weeks of not speaking her language had someone to talk to.

Tomorrow promises to be another long day! Buen Camino đŸ»❤️

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