Camino Portuguese Day 8

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September 6th 2019
Published: September 6th 2019
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Before I start today’s blog, I need to mention something that happened yesterday. My backpack arrived safe and sound, but I received an email stating that they found 45 Euros in my envelope instead of the 7 that it costs, and that tomorrow I need to either send only 2 Euros or add 2 Euros. My Spanish isn’t perfect, but I verified that that is what they said. It didn’t make any sense, as there is no way I’d put two 20 and one 5 Euro notes in the envelope instead of a 5 Euro note and a 2 Euro coin. I replied and told them I was assuming they meant 5 Euros instead of 45 Euros, and that I’d put 9 Euros in for tomorrow. Apparently I was right, as they apologized and clarified later this evening.

I was awake soon after 6am, feeling well rested. After having a cup of coffee, I packed my daypack and my backpack, which I left with reception, and was out the door well before 8am. My destination for today is Arcade, the next town after Redondela, and my reunion with the Camino Portuguese Central Route since Porto when I got lost for several kilometers. I’ve been on the Costal Route since the end of that first day and am really looking forward to the Central Route. There should be more frequent rest stops (read cafes) and less ambiguous trail marking, along with more pilgrims. I made reservations at the Albergue Lameirinas in Arcade, and my backpack should arrive safely, so I started out feeling pretty good. Well, unlike most previous days, my mood and attitude stayed that way. I only got slightly lost one time, felt little or no pain, and arrived at my destination with some energy left.

When I climbed up out of Vigo, I was afraid I’d have a lot of steep ups and/or downs, and probably get terribly lost. Neither happened! Once I got up, it stayed fairly flat and well marked. I walked a combination of paths and gravel roads all the way to Redondela, where of course I had to go back down, rather steeply. Along the way, I passed a very neat little rest stop with a small waterfall, followed by a very large rock with cool painting of a fish. Just over one and a half hours later, and as I had Redondela down below in my view, I found a welcome rest stop, Bocateria O Eido Vello (I think that’s right). I trudged the steep 50 meters uphill, plopped down and had a slow, welcome cup of coffee, taking off my shoes of course. While I was there a number of other pilgrims showed up, including three from Ireland, the first I’d encountered.

About an hour later I entered Redondela, the first town on the Central Route since I’d left Porto in Portugal, about 150 kilometers ago. To celebrate, I stopped at the Café-Bar Niza for another rest and coffee. While I was there, I helped several pilgrims stay the right path, since it branched right about where I was sitting. After my break, I walked out of Redondela and its suburbs, and had to make another climb into another forest. Around this time I was passed by a pilgrim (I assume, since he had a large backpack) with 4 dogs on leashes! Besides the dogs, he was shirtless, unkempt, and walked like he weighed 300 pounds, clomping along. Oh well, it takes all sorts. Over an hour later, I finally entered Arcade and had no problem finding my albergue for the night, Albergue Lameirinas. This one is also a hotel, by the same name, has 26 modern bunkbeds, a nice large kitchen with about all you need, one washing machine, but the only vending machine was a coffee machine.

I’d tried to withdraw some money before I left Vigo, but it was denied for some reason, so after I settled in (paying my hostel bill with my debit card just to be safe), I decided I’d take a walk to find another ATM, a supermarket for dinner and assorted goodies, and a place to eat lunch. After successfully getting some money, I checked out the nearby supermarket. Besides a banana, a couple of sodas and a snack/dessert, I found two interesting things to eat, so I bought both instead of finding a place to eat. The tortilla (basically a potato omelet with onion) was delicious and bigger than I could eat, and the paella looks delicious. I’m doing my laundry in their washing machine for 3 Euros, including soap, while I finish my omelet. I guess later I’ll take my shower and then maybe watch some more Netflix (thanks to my daughter Serena) before dinner.
Tomorrow I intend to walk from Arcade to A Portela-Barro, about 23 kilometers or so, and stay in an albergue there. I’m going to try to do my reservations again on the internet, since I don’t have phone service here and I hate bothering the albergue staff.

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