Sunday, 18 March 2018

Camino Portuguese (March 18, 2018) - New Day 6 Ponte de Lima to Agualonga

Well today was quite the day! Something happened which Paulo and I will remember forever (well in my case as long as I can remember things)...more on this later.

Back to last evening where I simply needed to rest...did not even put on my boots to go out for supper. Paulo brought me some takeout Portuguese style and chips...muito obrigado!

We sent a picture of my feet to Dr. Olga who responded quickly with some suggestions to improve the healing. One of which was to change socks when wet...which I was already doing but today was another matter!!! What an incredibly nice lady Dr. Olga...I am so lucky!

Today’s walk was 19 kms over just under 5 hours...finally a 4 km per hour pace!

The day started bright and sunny...view from our hotel window

We knew this would be a tough day as we had some elevation gain to Alto de Portelo
Two kilometres in we came to a portion of the trail that we estimate the water was likely 20 - 30 centimetres deep. We noticed the young woman pilgrim just ahead of us backtrack and climb up a small wall into a vineyard to detour around the submerged route.

No problem...Paulo went first and I followed. Now you should know something about centre of balance or ability to manoeuvre gracefully as demonstrated on numerous canoe outings has been questioned by others. Notably questioned by Dawn my wife, Carol and Leonard good friends and my brother Marc.

In a canoe I am always in the front (bow) and on multiple occasions the canoe has tipped as I gracefully make my way to the bow. Sometimes I fall in...sometimes the person in the stern does...however the common denominator in my mind has always been that the person in the stern has simply screwed up. Think about it if you are shifting your weight erratically trouble awaits...stern partners please be more careful!!!

Ok so we have to climb down the side of the detour into slick mud gumbo...say a meter high from the path. Paulo successfully navigates this and then it’s my turn.

Paulo yells “you are too tall”...what does that mean? Then he tells me to stop...why? So I move forward to descend a meter onto the slippery mud gumbo and...well...I lose my balance. Paulo gave me poor directions I am afraid! A 180 degree tumble later I am turtled in the water. My backpack was virtually submerged and I managed with some skill and dexterity to keep my head above water!

Something like this with a backpack instead of a sailboat!
Two young German women pilgrims came by shortly thereafter and I explained why I looked like I had had a mud of them was very kind and said “it will dry” :(

After my fall...Paulo you should have been better with instructions!

After the sock change!
A Camino moment to remember!

Two other highlights of the day...first the climb up to the Alto and secondly the reception by Fernando and the facilities at the Casa da Olivierinha where we are staying tonight.

The climb up to the Alto was tough and reminded me so much of some trails in the Canadian Rockies...tree roots...boulders... water on trail. One has to be so very careful not to twist an ankle.

At the top of the Alto!
At the Casa we have a whole house to ourselves! Our clothes are being washed as a service and we were asked if we would like a light lunch...presto!

We also started seeing many more pilgrims today...I would guess 15 - 20. Finally some pictures from the day...