Monday, November 3, 2008

The Worst Day and the Best Day.

Today I had one of the worst days of weather along the coast of
Portugal. The day started well, as I spoke with the local priest to
try and get directions for the Camino Portuguese. We chatted for a bit
as he told me the best route was to take National 13, of course, when
he noticed my Olukai flipflops. Then in his best english he told me
that I walk the Camino like the Apostles. True, however, my journey
was a lot easier with all the nice little cafes along the way.:)

From Viana do Castelo I started to walk along the National 13 and saw
the rough coastal line just 1km away. So again I decided to cut across
and walk by the ocean as the sky became darker by the minute. Then the
light rain came and I put on my poncho that I just bought the other
day. Hoping the rain would stay light or go away, it just got worse.
After a couple of hours I ducked in for a quick hot vegetable soup and
continued my journey on the National 13 in the rain. By this time the
rain was becoming a bit of a windy storm and the rushing of the trucks
whipping by didn't help. As most of you know, cold doesn't usually
bother me that much, but after an hour I decided to take a bus to the
next major town. Unfortunately, there were no more bus stops and I had
to walk another hour to a small town to catch one.

When I finally reached Valenca, just before the Spanish border, it was
late and I was tired, hungry, and wet. I managed to find the Albergue
just before they were about to close the doors, which made me happy.
Then a group of Italians invited me to dinner that they were making in
the Albergue. It was such a wonderful welcome after a rough day of
walking. We had a first and second course with wine, naturally, plus
dessert. On top of that there were three vegetarians in their group so
it was even better. I ended up talking with a few of them and other
pilgrims/travelers till late into the night. I really do love Italians
and everything about Italy...

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