Friday, 16 March 2018

Camino Portuguese (March 16, 2018) - New Day 4 Barcelos to Balugaes

Nice short day today walking 15.7 kms over 3.5 hours. Started well however struggled a bit towards end the day. No idea if there are any new blisters... if yes well they have a few friends to talk to :).

Paulo suggested attending the 9:00 mass given we had a short day... the mass was well attended and I enjoyed the atmosphere and singing. Given my limited (non existent) Portuguese I can only guess at what the priest was saying! We received a stamp for our Credentials (more on this later) and a special Pilgrim blessing bookmark.

Coming out of the mass...the first of two Camino miracles! Blue skies! For the rest of the day minor rain showers with small hail for good measure and some sun mixed in!

Blue Skies!

Last night's supper was excellent - cod fish cakes
Supper - Lamb, potatoes, rice
Portuguese pudding
When walking a pilgrim collects stamps from various places...churches, where they stay for the night, cafes etc. upon arrival in Santiago de Compostela if you have walked a minimum of 100 kms entering the city the Pilgrims office will issue a compostela. I have two compostelas... one for the St. James Way and another one for the Finisterre route. If I make it this time that will be number 3... a nice number I think!

Picture of my Portuguese credential card to date
Now upon closer look the distance between two stamps Santarem (where I took the train) and Porto is 280 kms. I am struggling with the concept of a) indicating I walked from Lisbon which means I walked 280 kms in one day or b) walked from Porto. I still have 9 days to ponder this ethical dilemma.

Now on every long walk one tries to take only what is needed given backpack weight... to date I am befuddled as to why I took 1) compeed blister bandages 2) two small flashlights one a head lamp and the other a very small hand flashlight and 3) SUNGLASSES.

Earlier I mentioned two Camino miracles the second one took place early in the walk today!

GRASS!!! - A Portuguese Camino miracle

You may be wondering what’s the big deal... a nice what? Well look what surrounds
the Barcelos picture... grass!!! Nice soft luxurious grass to stand on... felt like every blade of grass was giving me a soft massage! I wanted to stay there all day!!!

A highlight of the day was our planned lunch where the food was excellent and the company even better. To our surprise for the second straight day Allan and Steffan from Denmark were there... along with a new pilgrim from Germany Inga (teaches math in University). Shared a few laughs and exaggerated stories (not my stories...theirs :) )

Steffan (72 years old), Inga and Allan (77 years old)

The walking in the Portuguese countryside and through small towns is really pleasant... a few pictures from the day...

A typical Portuguese speed limit sign

I walked right by this dangerous big deal!

Getting closer... 

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