Ponte do Lima

We are six days out of Porto. They have been short days of 15 and less kilometers (9 mi). Until today most days have included a little rain here and there. But today was a gem. The sun was bright, the sky deep blue, and the wind light out of the north. And the forecast called for eight more like it this morning (haven’t checked yet tonight–it could be a lot different now).
The first two days out of Porto to Matosinhos and Vila do Conde we waked along the Atlantic Coast with its huge Pacific-like waves. Each night we returned by Metro to the Pensao Grande Hotel Paris, our hotel in Porto. It was a good place to stay and it relieved us of looking for a place to stay those nights. We just returned to the new starting point by Metro the next morning.
The next night we stayed in Sao Pedro de Rates at our first alberge (pilgrim’s hostel) here in Portugal. We met four other pilgrims, also our first on this walk in Portugal. Two were a couple from Brazil bicycling from Porto to Santiago. The other two were Koreans walking. The latter walked all the way from Porto when they couldn’t find the alberge in the last town. They arrived late in the middle of a downpour with neither umbrella nor rain cloths. They desperately banged on the door to be let in. They are 18 and 23, youngsters out for an adventure to find out what to do with their lives. They even had no map.
We went shopping at the store across the street Petra made a large pot of pasta in the kitchen. When the Brazilians arrived we shared it with them. They shared their wine and other food they bought at the store. As we finished the Koreans yelled at the door. We were out of food. But they went to the store also. We all had a fine evening talking before settling into our sleeping bags on beds in rooms with more than a little mildew created by the cold and damp Portuguese winter. A lot of other places suffer from the same problem including some hotels and pensions.
Last night we stayed in a private alberge, Casa Fernanda in Lugar do Cargo. Fernanda and her husband Jocanito were wonderful hosts. He cooked a fine chicken stew for dinner and served breakfast this morning. We really enjoyed our stay.
Today’s walk was a real joy even though we had to forgo walking a couple sections of the Camino due to mud and deteriorated surface (read: rocky, washout ruts). The weather was so clear we could see far in the distance and the road we ended up walking on was not overly heavy with traffic. And now we are in the alberge in Ponte de Lima, a wonderful little town on the Lima river. It was full of people walking around and enjoying the plazas and walking on the medieval and roman bridges over the river. And this is a wonderful, clean, new alberge–no heat but otherwise a delight to be in.

1 Comment »

  • 1

    Wow! You guys are really getting down the road! LOL
    I live in Stanton, MI you guys were thew Edmore this past summer, I have not cked on your jorney in a while. I will surely keep better track of the two of you now…
    May God Bless your jorney!
    Amy “)

    Comment by Amy Packer-Schreiner — Monday, January 25, 2010 @ 6:41 pm

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