Today’s distance 21.5 km
Elevation gain 467 m
Elevation loss 285 m
Total distance from Almería 1,207 km
The fun of the fair (for those attending, not for those trying to sleep through the noise) continued until the no-so-early hours of the morning.
But after the pain, there was great pleasure. In the morning I wandered down to the beautiful kitchen to heat a cup of water. There was a guy busy doing something or other, so I said bom dia and continued about my business. Then it uoccurrd to me that I could ask said guy if it was possible for us to have breakfast earlier than the set time of 08:00. So back down the corridor I toddled and asked the question. No problem, he replied, how about 07:15. Great said I, thank you very much. Breakfast is not a very exciting prospect for me, bread and jam and hot water is normally all that fall within my dietary requirements, but the others like to tuck in to the ham and cheese and cakes and all types of other goodies on offer.
When we arrived back in the kitchen at the appointed hour, my eyes fell upon an absolute feast laid out before us in an artistic and appetising manner. My attention was drawn to two types of milk…there was soya milk so I could have some delicious muesli and add to it from the selection of sultanas, oats, flax and chia seeds – pure joy 1. Then I returned for a helping of fresh fruit salad of pineapple, kiwi and orange – oh bliss 2. And then I went up for the third time to select a seeded roll and my very favourite apricot jam – seventh heaven 3. I can’t praise our accommodation highly enough – Hostel Des Arts has gone the extra mile and has designed their modern facility within an old building with their intended clients’ requirements to the fore. Thank you.
I forgot to start recording Wikiloc until I had already walked somewhere between 0.5 and 1 km, so distances stated in this post are very approximate.
I got my comeuppance for talking to dogs this morning. I spied a handsome young fellow standing in the middle of the road. I made overtures to him but he was a bit shy and didn’t come to me for a pat, but hunkered down and met my eye in a very charming manner. I didn’t pursue the conversation and walked on for quite a while before I noticed that he was following me. I shushed him away, to absolutely no effect, on he came. I clacked my sticks at him, to no effect, on he came. I started to worry because I could see we would soon be leaving the suburbs, so I called to Aurelio for help. Dogs are often more intimidated by men, and Aurelio put on a good show to shushing and clacking and pretending to pick up a stone, and eventually the charming chap got the message and kept back. It breaks my heart to see how very many dogs are treated here – as they are in Spain. They are either penned in a small cage, or kept on a short chain, or kept on a short chain in a small cage. They suffer terribly, even if they are well fed. They are aggressive and charge about until the chain flips them backwards. They have no life and I don’t understand why they are treated like this. They can’t guard a property if they are chained up. What is the point?. There are huge great mastins, and tiny little terriers and every size in between. All sad and angry and so very unhappy. I have determined not to connect with loose dogs, just in case another sad pooch tries to follow me.
We walk on all types of surface today, dirt, gravel, cobbles, asphalt, Roman roads – through fields, and grassy tracks, alongside allotments, past houses and ruins, through woodland and along roads. But they all have one thing in common – an upward elevation.
Today we are following the Camino Torres shiny new signs which are rather counter-intuitive because the track in maps.me sets off in entirely another direction. But Aurelio is confident and Eli and I tag along for the ride.
The problem with the signs is that if you miss one you have no reference point (as in maps.me) as to where the track should be leading and so you wouldn’t know you are going the wrong way. The moral of this story is that I must pay attention at all times!
Today is completely overcast but nevertheless quite warm and muggy – it doesn’t take much to work up a glow and I have to wear my visor early on to help mop up.
I see many plots with raised vines around the perimeter. The field is either planted with young cereal crops or waiting to be sewn. But the soil here looks so rich and so fine – as though it has been passed through a kitchen sieve.
We walk past the town of Telões at 8 km where there is a bar, but we are so replete from breakfast that we don’t bother to stop.
There are so many beautiful but delapidated properties left to ruin. Grand quintas and tiny farm buildings, such history falling to the ground. What a terrible waste. But I guess younger people who have inherited these millstones have no interest in living in a cold, damp building in the middle of nowhere.
We reach the large industrial town of Lixe at around 12 km and join up with the maps.me route. The shiny new Camino Torres signs ended some way back when we left the municipality of Amarante and we now have the old yellow arrows.
I have seen a few kiwi fruit vines over recent days, but today I saw a whole kiwi orchard. Aurelio tells me that we are now in the Minho region where there is not much wind and kiwis grow well.
Something went wrong with my navigation skills towards the end of this stage (or possibly a case of attention deficiency) and there were no more arrows for me. I reverted to the maps.me track and found a fairly straightforward route into our destination city of Felgueiras. Not a particularly interesting or charming town. We have rooms in the Horus Apartments. A twin room and living room with sofa bed, cloakroom and full bathroom with balcony. There is a kitchen but it is locked. Aurelio has a discussion with the receptionist who says that use of the kitchen incurs an extra cost, but she is persuaded to open it for no charge. 67€.
I visit the local Lidl and buy a selection of salad and fruit for my supper along with a bottle of Vinho Verde. I offer some to Aurelio but he turns up his nose – it isn’t tinto and isn’t worth bothering with! Ha, all the more for me (actually a bit too much, but my pot of Lidl lentil salad should counter the alcohol).