Bill and I opted out today. Severe thunderstorms and an inch of rain was predicted as well as the steepest climb of the Camino. This equals mud and running water under foot.
It poured throughout the night and was raining when we started out. 250 yards later – the puddles were turning into mini lakes (fun for passing cars) – our shoes were already sopping wet.
We had already discussed our options over breakfast. Our egos wanted to walk but our worry for the other wanted to put that person in a taxi.
It minutes we ate ego soup – bailed on our amigos and headed for a taxi stand.
Our destination doesn’t qualify to be called a town. The Alburgue doesn’t open until 1 and there are no nearby restaurants. We fortunately found a old coffee bar with basic groceries shelved behind a counter – without heat or lights and it’s 55 degrees.
We planted ourselves at a table much to the chagrin of the mother in charge. The daughter yelled something to her in Portugues that I assume was “get over it – let them sit”.
* Darrell, Roxanne and Chappy walked 11.2 miles today and looked like drowned rats when they showed up. All of them had smiles on theirs faces and had nothing but positive comments – no regrets!
Roxanne did take an hour long bath and used 1,000 gallons of hot water but it was well deserved!
It’s the first day that we started with blue skies! We relished in the day knowing that tomorrow and the following 2 days will bring rain. Saturday it is predicted to rain up to 2 inches!
Today we walked a quick 8.9 miles with about 20 other pilgrims. It’s like an accordion – you bunch up and expand – bunch up and expand.
We took our last “vacation” day yesterday to visit the town of Braga – rich in history and known to have the first cathedral in Portugal. Originally, we were supposed to celebrate Bill’s birthday on this vacation day but like the weather (literally and figuratively) plans change….
We are now luxuriating at the magnificent Quinta da Cancela in Balugâes – built in 1736. We have it all to ourselves – the owner is having dinner ordered in and we will begin to celebrate Bill’s impending 70th birthday – 4 hours and counting.
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It poured and poured for hours. Our rain gear wasn’t a match – we were soaked to the bone.
The good news – today was the most beautiful of the Camino so far. Rolling hills with old stone buildings, rich dark brown tilled farmland, freshly sprouted corn rows and heavy with the smell of manure.
Since we managed to stay on the correct Camino today – we finally met up with other Pilgrims. All die hards. The walk continues in rain or shine.
The sun starting peaking out just about an hour or two before we got to our final destination of Barcelos. Our clothes dried but the shoes are still sloppy.