Adios Portugal

One month after beginning our pilgrimage walk in Portugal we sit in Valencia ready to walk our of Portugal and into Spain. We left Lisbon on 27 December after resting ten days there.
 
Portugal has not been totally friendly. It has often been a test of our wills to continue. Rain, mud, water, cold hotel rooms, mildew permeated our passage north. Only in the past week has the sun forced its way through the clouds to give us a warmer welcome. We suffered various minor sicknesses and I thought of quitting after our first day of walking when the rain was so heavy and our hotel room was frigid and its ceramic walls were wet from condensation. So many hotel and pension rooms were unheated before we arrived and only heated with a space heater as we occupied them; they never really warmed up.
 
The cold and dampness taught us to go slowly and choose our steps well, to take our time, to rest, to take a bus or train now and then, to observe and walk with the weather. We have done so and now sit on the Spanish border. Like Missouri last June, Portugal has tested our wills to continue. We have passed the test and are moving forward. We feel great.
 
Even more than before, we walk in the Now. We appreciate Now. We celebrate each step and breath as if it were our firs–or last. Life is what we have No–not tomorrow, not yesterday.
 
Santiago is only a week to the north. Tomorrow we take our first steps that way. Here we come Spain.

5 Comments »

  • 1

    I recall Porto as one of the coldest places I’ve ever been! Wow, sounds like you hit similar weather to what Dianne and Bill had… rain, rain, and more rain! I give you lots of credit, and remember, when you get back, it will all seem not as yukky as it does when you are freezing!
    We hiked behind Whale Rock reservoir yesterday and it was lovely. Green, green and sunny and lovely. We miss you. You guys are amazing. Candice

    Comment by candice lusk — Friday, January 29, 2010 @ 3:09 am

  • 2

    Dear Mike and Petra,

    Welcome into Spain, I am glad to hear that you are feeling better and your good spirit is back, keep it up. Hope the weather from now will be good to you as well. Happy walking in Spain!
    Greetings from cold Canada.
    Martha Arts

    Comment by Martha Arts — Friday, January 29, 2010 @ 10:43 pm

  • 3

    Dear Mike and Petra,

    Welcome to Spain, I am glad to hear that you are feeling better and have your good spirit back. I wish you more sunshine and happy walking in Spain on your long journey to Jerusalem.
    Greetings from a cold minus 20 degrees in Canada.

    Martha Arts

    Comment by Martha Arts — Saturday, January 30, 2010 @ 2:30 am

  • 4

    Hey, Mike,

    I’ve had days of wet from the inside, too, especially in the tropics, but not always. I haven’t really thought about it before, but I couldn’t tell you what makes the difference. I remember Portugal’s inns as being remarkably cold, too, and we were there in April (1987, I think). We stayed at a place in Lisbon that had no heat, no windows, and they turned the electricity off at night. It was only $5, though. And the room was dry inside. Really damp sheets were a problem in Peru. We got in the habit of feeling inside the bedsheets, not just testing the springs.

    As I follow your journey, there are times I feel like getting on an airplane and joining you for a week or two. Wandering the countryside of Europe brings back boyhood memories, which have an ever increasing nostalgic appeal as I race towards my destiny. I wish you the best in your journey.

    -Bob

    Comment by Bob Stacy — Saturday, January 30, 2010 @ 7:03 am

  • 5

    Hi Mike and Petra,

    Welcome to Spain, I am glad to hear that you are feeling better and keeping up with your good spirit. I wish you more sunshine and happy walking in Spain.
    Greetings from a cold minus 20 degrees in Canada!

    Martha Arts

    Comment by Martha Arts — Saturday, January 30, 2010 @ 11:53 am

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