Last night was a little rough. First of all, it was so hot in our room. Second of all, a huge party was happening in front of the church throughout the night right outside of our window. And third – our new roommate Tui decided to start hollering at about 3am. She was fast asleep but boy was she loud! Discussing this this morning, Mom thought it was me hollering. What the heck?! It was in Korean. Clearly not me!
We left the hostel at 7:15. 15 minutes later than we had hoped. Just before our departure the party outside wrapped up and the street cleaners were busy washing away the remnants of the night.
We walked down through the twisty streets to the river Douro and followed it to where it met the ocean. Beach after beach after beach we passed. Thousands of people arrived to set up their tents and umbrellas to play in the rocks, sand and water. It was misty and breezy. Absolutely perfect walking conditions.
We saw other pilgrims, but not many. Definitely much less than on the Frances route. We smiled as people yelled, “Buen Camino” and were even lucky enough to be stopped by a sweet, old Portuguese Woman who gave us candy.
One thing that we did notice much more than last time on the Frances, was the stares from almost everyone! It was actually bizarre and made us feel uncomfortable on numerous occasions. I’m not sure why we were such a spectacle but we were!
We stopped at a sweet little cafe along the way for breakfast and tea, and continued on along the coast.
I wish I could describe how gorgeous the beaches are. Within the next couple of days we plan to have a picnic for lunch and go for a dip.
Most of our walking today was on boardwalks. Great for protecting the beach and so gorgeous! Lots of succulent and cacti plants growing along the trail.
We sat down at a little beachside cafe about 18km in and found a table while the whole patio watched us with piercing eyes. Talk about awkward. We have been very lucky to find that most people speak English, and when they don’t, using the wifi with google translate is super effective! Unfortunately this cafe did not have wifi and the server did not speak English. We took a shot in the dark and ordered and crossed our fingers. This vegetarian (pescatarian) was sad to see the ham on our plates. Apparently the pig was nasty and Karis collected it into a bag for future cats along the trail. 👍🏻
Not long after our lunch break, we met up with a man from France. He started talking to us in French and while Mom and I stared blankly at him, Karis jumped in and continued the conversation!!! Thank you French immersion! A couple of kilometres down the trail he was waiting for us and immediately started walking with Karis to have a chat. Loved this!
After 27km and with the heat at its peak and it starting to have an effect on us, we hobbled into Lavra. We walked about 1km off the path to find a campground which rents cabins to pilgrims. We looked a mess limping up to the front desk. A hot, sweaty, red faced MESS!!! All three of us! Our feet and legs fricken HURT and my hives are back from the merino wool socks. Mom has them too. And – it is just going to get worse!!! We are staying in a tiny little “shed” for 28 euros for the 3 of us. The lock is a little shifty so Karis was kind enough to enter through a window (damn I didn’t get a picture!!!) and open it from the inside.
We were SUPER happy to shower and head for dinner. (On the menu – Octopus spit with potatoes in jackets- no thanks!)
We are settled into bed now for the night and I won’t be able to post this until the morning. No wifi here at the shed! Only at the reception area.