They don’t let you sleep in here. The church bells rang at 7:00. Loudly! I woke with a start thinking “I didn’t set my alarm. Or did I? Grabbed my iPad to make sure and no it was not mine. Then I thought it was the guy in the corner. Resentment pounced when I realized he wasn’t even stirring. Then the world became clear and I had a good laugh at myself. The first thing everyone did was to check the sky. A few lazy clouds scudding along but nothing serious.
Out into the world and on to the road. Not long before we came to yet another medieval bridge, and grouped up with four other people. Good company for a while till…guess what. More rain. Gear up and continue on. Some go faster, others slower, and we were in the middle, walking alone. Fortunately the rain was not heavy and only intermitent, but I was not fooled. I left the gear on and stayed dry. We passed through various hamlets and vineyards and eventually into the most beautiful valley. Stopped in Vittorino dos Paise for lunch and sitting under an arbor we realized the vine over us bore Kiwi. Always though they grew on trees, but they are actually more like grapes.
It was one of the longer walks today with lots of ups and downs. The ups were especially onerous, but thanks be to Betty (Ash that is) I have excellent walking sticks which are an enormous help. Feet are always a worry on these treks! But my weak point seems to be hips. I would be lost without your sticks Betty!
Late in the walk Mark was having some trouble so we had to sit by the road against a stone wall. Then god sent another angel. This time with four legs. A playful young dog came and took immediately to Mark. He is missing his dogs in Fernie, and this totally re-energized him. We finally made our way to Ponte de Lima. There was a huge market taking place and we wove our way through it to get to the Bridge which was rebuilt in 1148 on Roman bridge foundations. We had made good time, arriving at 15:00. However the Alberge didn’t open till 17:00. So we had afternoon Tea without tea. Cola, beer and lemonade was a refreshing substitute.
We heard that this place had a laundry room. So with visions of washing machines dancing in our head we headed downstairs to find very modern scrub boards. Ah well…..better that bathroom sinks. Chores done we went to a restaurant recommended to us by the staff here. I ordered roast pork, but what I got was pork and beans with tripe. I will be very popular in the dorm tonight. When I was half way through the owner came covered with apologies. However it was not half bad, though I only tasted the tripe once. Tannis had lots of chicken on her plate so I had some of that.
Huge plates of food.
Every time we turned a corner today there was another fascinating area worth a photo. But we can’t take them all, so we hope you enjoy the selection for today. Tomorrow we are taking the day off. The next leg is over the highest elevation on the walk and also the longest stretch….32K, so we want to prepare some, plus this looks like a very special place. More tomorrow.