Hola EspaniaPosted: October 16, 2011
We are such a sight and we all love it. The Pink really has united us. Its our walking uniform and is actually quite practical to help us spot each other along the track. A shame then, it was no use to Geoff when he got lost today!!!!
We all walked out of Ponte de Lima together, although I also had my bicycle. One to help relieve my legs and two so Geoff could peel off at some point, take the short bike ride back to town, pick up Cubby and meet us at Revolter – our designated stop. Somehow between The JB, Roger and Ezmeralda (our Tom Toms) he managed to get lost for 3 1/2 hours. Text messages tried to flow between us but apparently there is a builders rule. Don’t have your phone on loud, it might be a client and you might have to answer it!!!
We sat around the tiny, “one chapel” town. Not even a church there, but fortunately a cafe so we could have bad coffee and yummy cheese roles. We waited, Ian snoozed, we even held hands in the chapel and said a short prayer to God and St Anthony that Geoff would find us soon. It was a welcome sight to see Cubby and we were all sympathetic to Geoff too, whom we all agreed probably had the worst time of it.
The rest of the days walking was of course then cancelled and accommodation for the night became the priority. All in for a quick agreement, lets just find a Casa or a Quinta. Heading in the general direction we tracked another down and this time ended up with a whole, superb, house to ourselves. Casa Do Outeirinho! This meant Antonio was able to cook a delicious Rabbit Risotto from the juices left over from last nights meal. After such a “stressful” day, having a house to ourselves and a home cooked dinner, lent itself to plenty of relaxation, beverages and entertainment. I just forget what the boys were up to (below)………… perhaps their facial expressions says it all!!!
And so our last night in Portugal has passed. Elaine and I enjoyed a walk together over the border to Spain. The others had gone ahead to park the car at The Parador Tui! and taxied back to an earlier point on the walk. The Parador, a special treat after all our roughing it!!!! And our Camino is half way already. We thought we had settled into Spain, but Antonio proposed we head back to Portugal for one last dinner – and coffee. The difference for him in an “expresso” is chalk and cheese between the line marking the borders of Portugal and Spain.
A walking holiday is such a great way to holiday and see a country. We feel the land beneath our feet, we travel slowly, taking time to absorb the local life, passing back yards and village shops. Looking over fences, and admiring market gardens. Without doubt, one of my favourite memories of this walk will be Jo, spotting a tomato on a vine, quickly looking for the tenders of these tomatoes, and asking if they would like to sell some. Of course this progressed to eggs whenever a roosters crow was heard, and fresh organic, locally grown, freshly picked or plucked, eggs and tomatoes become a wonderful addition to our camino lunches and dinners. Usually for free, unless we can force a few euro into the pinnie pockets or palms of the warm hearted locals.
We have grown to love Portugal. As Geoff so wisely observed, the people are peaceful, kind and happy. The weather has also been superb and stable, 25-28 degrees every day. The countryside is “typical” Mediterranean, undulating, sprinkled with small villages, towns, produce growing everywhere. And, for holidayers, even the well heeled – its cheap! Luxury accommodation starting at $45 Australian dollars per night, 3 course meals, $16/$17. Expresso’s and coffee, from $1.50. Geoff determined to buy wine for under 2€ a bottle, decided it was some of the best red wine he had ever drunk.
Only 5 more sleeps until we arrive in Santiago. We cannot believe how quickly our days are delightfully sinking into each other and dissolving.