12 May 2014
After my early rise this morning, we were off by 6:30 am, into very misty and quite cold wether. I put on my thin gloves for the first time and had my full compliment of fleece with sleeves well and truly zipped in. We decided to take the road for the first few km’s as the track did a lot of zig-zagging and we saved ourselves a bit of distance on the road. But once we changed to the track there were more photo opportunities.
There was much excitement in the magwood vicinity this morning. I have spent the first ten days of this camino cursing my camera. First, because the on/off button is in a counter-intuitive position and every time I went to take a snap, I pressed the off button. Very frustrating – and I never remembered from one time to the next, although I have virtually mastered the finger position at last. Secondly, as my new camera is an upgrade to a similar model as my last one, I assumed that all would be the same (apart from the new wifi facility I now have) and didn’t RTFM. Consequently I have been totally frustrated by not being able to work out how to get it to use a macro focus, all my close up shots have been pot luck with lots of failed attempts at a crisp close focus (added to the on/off button fiasco, you can imagine that on occasion I got a little annoyed).
Joy of joys, today all that has changed. This morning I (accidentally) worked out what I need to do to get a macro shot. I was very happy and progress along the dew filled hedgerows as very slow, as I stopped every couple of yards when I spied a new photo-op.
Here are some I am most proud of – no grid for these – they deserve to shine in their individual glory.
Ok, enough bragging. At least I can say ‘a fall comes before pride’.
This morning’s breakfast was slightly more healthy – I added a tiny melon to my morning indulgence of pastry, and after a break at 8km we continued on as the sun burned away the mist and the day became quite hot.
Not so much road walking today, and a variety of paths, mostly through farmland with some woods thrown in for good measure. For quite a while we were walking on a very narrow track, just wide enough for one foot in front of the other and that is quite a strain – I felt as though I had been accused of being drunk (who, me?) and I was walking the white line to prove I was sober!
We reached the roman ruins at Conimbriga and spent an hour or so wandering around, marvelling at the astonishing mosaics (eat your hearts out Divas!) and the vastness of the site (having dumped our packs behind the counter at reception).
We then continued to the medium sized town of Condeixa a Nova where we have ensconced ourselves at Residencial Ruinas. I have to say that the name is quite apt (and not because of its proximity to the roman ruins!) 30 euros for a twin room with dingy ensuite. The place is extremely dated and if I am to be honest (and use another good old West Country word) a bit minging. Sorry, but I can’t lie, if it was 20 euros I might forgive the place, but we have a bed and that is about as positive as I can be. We also have a parrot who repeatedly squarks ‘hola’ in a very high pitch, followed immediately by another ‘hola’ in a deeper tone. At least the parrot got us giggling after about the thirtieth performance. Hopefully someone will put a cloth over his cage tonight and he won’t keep us entertained into the wee small hours.
Dinner has been very good, at a restaurant called el Cabrita (I think). I ate goat meat (cabra) which was cooked to perfection and served with a very palatable half litre jug of wine. And then another half litre (who, me?). A most pleasant evening spent with a very good new best friend!
Our distance today includes the sightseeing stop at Conimbriga.