The first to leave the hotel
6:50am. It’s dark outside as we unlock the front door of the hotel and let ourselves out, leaving the key on the desk at reception. An owl in a nearby tree heralds our departure.
Safety on the Road
We don head torches and head for the main road. They’re not to see by but rather to be seen by!
A local walking to work on the other side of the road in the opposite direction looks at us curiously. He too wears dark clothing and can only be seen by the paper bag that holds his lunch. He probably walks this road every day and wonders why we need torches. We stop and step aside each time a vehicle approaches slowing our progress. Never mind. We have all day.
This road walking is not for the faint hearted! We heard of some Danes who aborted their Camino because they didn’t want to become a statistic. I keep telling myself that just as I don’t want to be killed, nor do the drivers want to kill me!
Over 10km of road walking meant few photos but there was a bit of graffiti.
And when we entered a main centre, another obliging fishmonger.
Heading into the Unknown
We headed into the unknown today. We’re out of step with the usual Camino stages. Albergue accommodation is either too close or too far away. We’re also pretty much following our own path staying off the roads as much as possible, keeping the sea on our left.
The maps we have are very sketchy so Bronek has made a good friend of Google maps. With him doing the research, I can at least pretend we’re taking each day as it comes. Last night though, he surprised me. Unable to get through to the only accommodation we could find at our hoped for destination, he suggested we just walk and see what happens. The train station he saw on the map helped ease his discomfort – we could always take a train to a place with accommodation. It all worked fine – no train or taxi necessary.
We managed a long stretch beside the sea. Old windmills became goals to aim for.
The Path is Closed
Then my heart dropped. The path was fenced off ahead of us. I couldn’t face going back 2km to the road. Asking a local if we could continue along the path. He said ‘pod, pod’ – ‘You can. You can’. And so we stepped around the barrier. We weren’t alone. Two runners and a dog walker also ‘jumped the fence’. The path is being upgraded as part of the GR1 (Grand Route 1).
Asking locals enabled us to hug the coastline thus ending a long day on the beach. Some Norwegian folk who finished an abbreviated Camino a few days ago were dumbfounded that we’ve walked from Lisbon.
Next Post: Afife to A Guarda