I Almost Gave Up
THIS IS HARD! I thought about censoring this post but decided to just say it how I feel. I could have quit yesterday. Many people walk in stages eg from Lisbon to Porto and return another time to walk Porto to Santiago. We’re in Porto now. The temptation to stop here and spend a week or two in San Sebastian is great. I know I’ll not return to finish . But let’s go back a day or two.
José, the volunteer hospitalero checked is into the simple Albergue in Grijo. For €5pp you can’t expect luxury! He is justifiably proud of the work they did to get an abandoned house converted to an Albergue. The only place we knew where we could break a 35km stage. We had a memorable home cooked meal with the family next door.
Memorable Family Meal
The bread and meat were cooked in a traditional fire heated brick oven.
The daughter was ready to go to work as a pastelera at a hotel.
An Uncomfortable Night
Back in our bunk beds things turned sour. Hot in our sleeping bag liners on plastic mattresses we had to choose between no covers or giving the mosquitoes a field day. From three o’clock we tossed and turned until it was a relief to get up and moving.
While it was a short day there were few distractions from my painful feet. A Roman road led to a history lesson on Caesar and his wives.
And a large group of cyclists out for a Sunday ride had a challenge getting their bikes up a bush track.
Sore Feet Get the Better of Me
Otherwise (after a reasonable day the day before) I gritted my teeth and plodded on finally fed up with continually sore feet, the traffic and road after road. I wasn’t happy.
Confronting City Life
I’ve been told how lovely Porto is. But as we walked in through grubby areas and quickly became invisible as one does in a city (no more greetings to passers by – they just ignore you) we realised again how we prefer being in the countryside.
A little chihuahua (thankfully on a lead) went for my ankles. We now need a key for the bathroom when stopping for a drink. Sirens disturb what little peace there is and even the cathedral is teeming with people. Tourists outnumber locals by hundreds the traffic is noisy and the city polluted.
We’d been told that Porto is full. But the lovely man at Tourist Information got us a pilgrims discount at a seminary that now operates a basic hotel a bit away from the main drag.
A visit to the Bento station used up time until our room was ready.
We’ve had a good sleep and hopefully after the rest day today things will be brighter tomorrow.
Next Post: Rest day in Porto and on to Vila Cha