I’m already forgetting to write down details. Paul just reminded me that I was going to write about a cool cemetery we saw yesterday. Last night we ate at the café near our albergue and met a nice woman called Carolina (as I write I am getting a flood of memories I want to capture, if only I could write so fast!) Carolina was born in Zimbabwe, lived in South Africa, now in Vilahreno for a long time. We both had spaghetti (bolognese and carbonara) and there was no sauce on it. We decided that if we were still around when the café opened at 8am, we’d have breakfast there. That was not the case… I woke up at one point and Paul was wide awake. I asked him what time it was, 3:40 am. The dogs in the back yard barked all night. Even with ear plugs we could hear them. I tried, for a while, to go back to sleep, but ultimately decided to get up. We did some yoga, packed our things and started walking at 5:30 am. This was an adventure… it was still dark (with street lights) and as the sun rose we were walking in the forest and over an ancient bridge (the bridge was before he sunrise). We thought we’d finish early in the day with such a head start, but we were wrong. At one point we noticed we hadn’t seen arrows in a while and stopped to consult our map. A friendly Portuguese biker (who spoke French) tried to help us as did a woman (who also spoke Portuguese and French) who had stopped her car. They told us to head down a certain road and the woman offered to drive us 5 minutes to get us back on track (which I declined because ‘our’ Camino is a travel by foot- whether you are lost or not). As we walked down that road, we saw a yellow X indicating the wrong way, but which also meant there would be arrows nearby :). So, we found arrows and started following them, but after a while, we noticed that we were traveling northwest, when we wanted to be going northeast. Paul figured out that we had somehow gotten on the coastal route of the Camino Portuguese- Which isn’t “wrong” really, it is ‘our’ Camino and we were exactly where we were meant to be. We met a man who spoke English in his front yard who confirmed that we were near the coast. We had a decision to make… We were on route to Santiago, but how much longer would the coastal route take, would we be able to get back on track, what about our hotel reservations for tomorrow (I can’t wait for that)? We chose to walk our own path down a road that we knew would get us to the city we were supposed to end today at and get back on track. (“We chose” = I trusted Paul’s judgement even though I wanted to stay with my beloved arrows). It was a long grueling walk back eastward (we had the north part down), but eventually we got to town and saw little yellow arrows again! Barcelos is adorable and has a cool shopping street. It looks like it will light up at night, but I don’t know if we have it in us to venture back out. We are at our second albergue and it is similar to what I imagined (no more double bed and a room to ourselves). We had the choice of bunk beds in separate rooms, or cots next to each other in the main front room where people sign in. We chose the latter which means we let people in when they ring the bell. We walked more miles than planned today, but exactly as many as we were meant to. Very exhausted and very sore and blistered :(. I am looking forward to Easter tomorrow, our anniversary, and being able to eat sweets after giving them up for Lent. I hope we sleep well tonight and have a good journey to our hotel tomorrow. Oh yeah, as we were looking for our albergue, there was a lady who has a ceramic shop who was excited to see us and said that she’d stamp our credentials. There were a couple of people in the shop who spoke English and seemed excited that we were pilgrims. On our way out, Paul went back to give the woman one of his kindness cards and she hugged him and kissed him on the cheek, then she gave him a little ceramic thing with a man, woman and child on it. Did I get an answer on the Camino? Is that me, Paul, and Future Harwood…
day 2 again
We walked down the city street tonight and it was not lit up. I assume the lights are hung for the big rooster festival that starts next weekend. There was a neat little carnival though and we walked around for a bit and Paul got a strawberry filled churro.
What a day this was. The day we got lost. In our frustration at being lost and determination to bet back to the path, we walked harder and faster than we should have. We would pay for this later. I still wouldn’t trade what we did for anything. While we were off the path trying t get back on, we ate lunch at a place called ‘La Bomba’ and it had a logo with a bomb on it. The waiter spoke some English, not much. I ended up ordering some type of meat platter and then being afraid to eat most of it. There was an egg on it, which I trusted, but the description mentioned lingua which made me thing of linguistics and then I was convinced that it was tongue, so I hid it under something else on my plate. Paul asked for salt and was given three different sauces instead, oh well. The waiter seemed impressed that we were going to walk to the next town. It is impressive, I suppose. My pack was still heavy and it was killing my collar bone, but there was no choice but to carry on. The albergue was where we first saw other pilgrims. We slept in the lobby which was spacious, but had no privacy and there was an emergency light that stayed on all night. To get back in the albergue after leaving, you would ring the bell or get the key from the bar next door. I can vividly picture this place in my mind, but can’t seem to put it into words. Many details from the day were lost by the time I sat down to write at not, or I just didn’t have the energy to write everything down. Looking back at my journal entry made me laugh, the things that mattered to me at the time. It is fun being able to peek into my mindset when I didn’t know what lay ahead yet.