Monday (happy Labor Day at home)
I can't say I slept very well but I don't think it is the albergue's fault. Yes, I woke up at 1 because I had to bring that beer away and with the beds and doors creaking it's difficult. And yes, somebody snored very loudly for a while and people must have celebrated with alcohol and music in the court yard (Which is really not allowed) because horrible singing was going on till at least 2am and then came into our room and into their beds, but I might have just been excited too. Altogether I got several hours until somebody's alarm clock went off at 6 am and several people were getting ready. So James gave me the sign that we could get going too.
When James opened the door 10 minutes before 7 he hesitated and said once we are out we are out. But we had packed up all our stuff so we were ready. It was still pitch dark except for some street lights. Our eyes got used to it quickly though. The air was crisp but not cold. Walking through the town following the yellow arrows or Camino signs was an incredible feeling. And then we were out of the town of Tui and it got even darker.
James' guide book is very good pointing things out. This is a medieval bridge we pass but don't walk over. Instead we turn onto a earth track along the ancient Via Romana XIX.
This is the Cruceiro San Telmo. He is a saint who took care of people who were sick with the fever but got sick himself returning from a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela and died on this bridge in 1251.
We walk through forests and through little villages and even sometimes on the edge of roads with fast cars. It changes often. It is incredible. Always good to see a sign that you are still on the right way. Loved the flowers just coming out of a crack. Later we saw more of them and even in more abundant clusters. I still liked this best though.
Another medieval bridge crossing the Rio Louro. My imagination goes wild seeing the ruts made by ... ? This pilgrim way used to be the main traveling road at one time.
By now we have walked quite some time and come to a point were the Camino splits. There is an old way on a road through a major industrial district. In 2013 there was an alternative way established which is a little longer but so much more pleasant often along the Rio Louro. It was very controversial and often the new markers are painted over and confusing signs put up. But James had read all about it and watched somebody's video several times and we had no problems. I should have taken a photo of the more impressive "vandalism".
This way was so worth "the extra mile".
By now it was probably 10:30 or so and we had had no breakfast yet. I like my hikes on an empty stomach but now we were very pleased to find that the cafe mentioned in the book (in Opciòn) as often closed was open it was 50 meters off the path and so worth it. I should have taken better pictures. Oh well. This was our table and in the background you can see the contraption of a distillery. Moonshine? We had cafe con leche and tostadas.
And off we go again. A fork in the road leads us past this electric power tower with hops growing on. Healthy looking. Who is going to make beer?
On top of that white wall there is the highway to Santiago. We criss-cross it over and under several times.
Yes, this was our goal for today: the albergue in Porriño. We had walked 15 km. We arrived at noon and the sign said it would open at 3 pm. 3 hours? And worse ... the town looked not that interesting.
Of course James had a splendid idea: keep on walking to the next albergue! ONLY 5.3 more km. I actually thought it was a good idea.
After walking for a little while James had another good idea: call the albergue with the Spanish SIM card phone and try to reserve. It was a very small one and not getting a bed once we arrive might not be so nice. Well, nobody spoke English and it was really funny but James managed anyway. When she asked for his name he tried: James ... Jego... Jamie (speak Hime)
By now it has gotten hot. And the backpack is getting heavier. We are happy when we see this albergue but something is not right. It has a different name and is not in the book.
Three ladies were waiting for it to open though and we're happy that they could ask me to take their photo.
In the meantime James went to find somebody to ask. He did and was told to continue for 2 km. It was a very long 2 km along the road uphill and without shade in the midday heat. But finally. There it was. We had walked 22 km and the place was so nice. So much better then the previous 2 we didn't stay at. The Lord was with us.
As always we checked in, had a several push shower and organized our beds. This time the beds were not assigned but we were happy to get the last 2 bottom ones in a 16 bed room. Good thing that we had called ahead since it was so small. They had an overflow room but it was mattresses on the floor. Too old for that.
We went to Cafe Flora across the way. Flora was the one who had talked with James on the phone and she had so much fun to keep calling him Jaime.
We had beers and a salad grande, Padron peppers (of course) and bread.
They truly were Padron peppers. The proof: the stem on the right was the hot one.
Later I took these pictures since I had forgotten earlier. The sun was not so good anymore but the pictures are good anough for memory.
The albergue on the left. The cafe across (with internet where I could send off yesterday's blog since I had been able to upload most pictures earlier at the "breakfast stop". Floras's Internet is very poor. Sorry.
View down where we came from. We went into the little church. Very ornate. Not what we are used too. But I lit a candle again like I promised somebody at home (!) and had done two days earlier.
Then we stopped in at Flora's again but no luck with the Internet. James had beer and I had wine and we had nice chats with other peregrinos.
Close to ten. Time to say "night, night".