Day 11, Alvorge to Condeixa a Nova, 26.5 km

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.

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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.

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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!

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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).

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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!

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Our distance today includes the sightseeing stop at Conimbriga.

About magwood

Trepidatious Traveller - camino blog is about preparing for and walking the Camino de Santiago. Many future pilgrims have found the blog useful and inspiring, and many who have no plans to walk the camino have simply enjoyed the dialogue http://www.magwood.me
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31 Responses to Day 11, Alvorge to Condeixa a Nova, 26.5 km

  1. David Wolfe says:

    The new pictures are absolutely fantastic you’ve certainly mastered the setting now. Sorry the hostel is so bad but the beds may be comfortable tonight. The wine has worked its magic giving you another new best friend. Good night from “who’s a pretty boy” if they don’t put a cover over the cage ask them to. David xx

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  2. The pictures are absolutely brilliant. The closeups are magical as are the subjects.

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  3. Yes, wonderful pix.

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  4. Lyn Ranford says:

    Absolutely enjoying your blog….morning coffee /blog..doesn’t get any better for me here in Oz. which part does Elly call home?

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  5. Ann Derrick (OzAnnie ) says:

    Super blog
    I think I will have to check out the new wifi camera. Your shots are so good .
    You are showing such a positive slant to the Lisbon Porto stage . Great .
    I see you Magwood are from Spain so possibly were much more aware of what was there to see.

    I have a friend walking the Frances right now who is Hot, whilst you are experiencing COLD mornings. Just shows you can never plan ahead re the weather.

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    • magwood says:

      Weather makes such a huge difference to one’s experience of the camino. If I had been experiencing cold rainy weather from Lisbon, my posts would not have been so positive!

      The wifi on the camera is an excellent feature, saves having to bring yet more equipment. I am really enjoying having my camera this year.

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  6. Kristina Wilkening says:

    WOW WOW WOW on the pix! Glad you figured that out! Now we can look forward to even more ‘betta’ pix!
    So weird…I go to work, I go to bed….and there you are every morning in my computer… after walking your umpteen miles and writing your beautiful stories.
    You have amazing energy …physically and mentally!!

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  7. What camera are you using?

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  8. Sean says:

    Hi Magwood,
    Departing for Porto today to try the real thing. You blogs and pictures are ‘top of the notch’. We plan to start walking on Thursday morning, so by then we will know how much further North you have advanced. I have your mobile number and will send a text if your are within distance. If not, keep up your good work. It is making it real for all of those at home, wishing to be on the Camino.
    I’m off now.
    Slan agus Beannacht,
    Sean,
    Dublin

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    • magwood says:

      Thanks for the message Sean. We have been taking shorter stages than I expected and so will not be in Porto in time to meet up. What a shame, I would love to have a dose of good Irish humour. Bom caminho to you and your chums – I hope the weather keeps on doing what it’s been doing for the last couple of weeks!

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  9. Keith says:

    Just caught up on the last few days. Great bloc. Lovely pics,Good adventure. Keep going and enjoy

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  10. Maggie Gardner says:

    Fabulous pictures, particularly the spiders web.

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  11. Awesome pics!! ☆☆☆☆☆

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  12. Aurélio (AMSimoes) says:

    MAG
    Wonderful photographs, especially those taken with dew.
    In Coimbra do not forget to eat the “Pasteis de Tentugal” and “Pasteis de Santa Clara.”
    Bom caminho
    AMSimoes

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    • magwood says:

      Hi Aurelio. Saw this comment at exactly the moment that Elly was eating a Pasteis de Santa Clara. She agrees with you – excellent recommendation!

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  13. Aurélio (AMSimoes) says:

    Mag

    Wonderful photographs, especially those taken with morning dew.
    In Coimbra do not forget to give in to the temptation to eat the “Pasteis de Tentugal” and “Pasteis de Santa Clara.”

    Bom caminho.
    AMSimoes

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  14. Marianne says:

    OH yes – gorgeous photos, Maggie. Glad you have worked out the macro function 🙂

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  15. annieh61 says:

    I can’t put it any better than Kristina did. What a treat to read and enjoy.
    Annie x

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  16. Moira O'Malley says:

    Beautiful photos Maggie. I am happy you found the macro adjustment! How in the world are you managing to walk so may Ks daily? I’m impressed!

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    • magwood says:

      I did more last year when walking with my daughter who had a return date to stick to. We averaged 27 km per day. It will be a lot less this year. Perhaps I shall do a calculation and see what it is to date. I have found that the guide book consistently under estimates the distance as compared to my gps system.

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  17. Really enjoyed this stop. We visited the ruins and were in awe of what the Romans had created. We stayed close to Bar 2000 and the rooms were very tiny with in room open shower which we didnt use. Not a great room spacewise. We did a lot of extra walking which made us overtired.

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  18. magwood says:

    Yes, the ruins added to the mileage, and then we traipsed around the town for ages trying to find the accommodation. Certainly not the best I experienced!

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