The nice thing about hotels is that breakfast is included, whilst we were making an early start compared to most of their guests, the breakfast room was open and as we sat there the bread was delivered along with the pastries. We had a very good breakfast to start the day. This was going to be a long tiring day but I did not realize how tired I was going to get at this stage.
Re/Max is everywhere, but not sure how many of you Re/Max agents want this fixxer upper on your for sale lists. As you can see fro the top edge of this photo it was pretty overcast and misty today. It actually feels cold, a great walking day. We left Anadia to walk to Albergaria a Veilha via Agueda. We see lots of large and lovely houses today.
As we walk this morning we saw lots of snails, this plant, an aloe plant I belie was covered in them, that is the little white dots. Andre was very excited, and we had a long conversation about preparing snails as he likes to cook as well like me.
When I grew up in England we had a milkman, he came around every day, early and delivered milk to your door, they evenutally expanded and delivered other things as well like eggs. We noticed as we walked in Portugal that they have bread deliveries, the fresh bread is hung on the door for when the owner gets up. Depending what time you want your bread delivered you select your baker. Some deliver before the sun is up, others a little later.
As I mentioned we walked past some large and lovely homes today, these gates were rather inpressive. Most homes have walls and gates with fences arund the property. The gates are usually automatic and open and close as the car approaches or leaves. It makes for a rather odd feeling as you walk through these villages with all the fenced off properties. Also, many have dogs which go crazy barking at you as you pass, launching themselves at the fence, you often need to walk down the middle of the road to feel safe from being bitten. Another good reason to have walking poles to fend off wayward dogs.
You see these in the middle of many villages and at road junctions, small chapels or religious monuments. Sometimes there is a fountain as well, with water which is not always potable, so you need to understand the signs.
If you stop for coffee, there is always an assortment of pastries. Ah, I see my pastel de nata sitting there next to the croissants. We see one of the Carmen's, the young Italian pizza makers at this pastelria, the other is behind, still walking.
We reach Agueda and stop for a sandwich, in the square by the river at a bar, resting our feet. Busy little town, with streets covered with colorful umbrellas to give shade. It is starting to get hotter. So, we understand the need for the umbrellas. We see Carmen again as we sit in the square.
This restaurant, specializes in Bacalau, and also sells different cuts and qualities outside. This is dried salted cod. Supposedly, every Portuguese wife knows at least 365 ways to make Bacalau. It always requires being reconstituted and if you get it wrong it is either too salty or has no flavour. There is a fine art to making this traditional dish. Andre nearly always orded Bacalau and you never really knew how it was going to turn up.
We have only another 10 miles to go till our destination Albegaria a Velha.
We stop at just before 4 for a cold beer, in my case my first non alcoholic dark porter style beer. Pretty good. The afternoon had dragged on and we were both very tired.
We get to the Alberge and it is wonderful, plus it is only eight Euros after several more expensive nights in hotels. So far we are the only people here. Very tired, my feet are hurting and I decide I have to drain the blister under my left foot on the ball of my foot which has spread up between my big toe and my second toe.
It always seems that the last few miles drag on. We walked 22 miles again today. 223 so far in ten days. I decide when we get to Porto I am taking a rest day.
We look for somewhere to have dinner, and end up in this cafe/bar. Their speciality is soup, they have awards all over the walls. I am so tired and my feet hurt so much I just want to eat and go to bed. I order the fish soup, plenty of bread and olives are served and when it comes I have to say it is the best soup I have ever tasted. Andre also ordered cheese as he could not comprehend only eating soup being French.
I cannot explain how good this soup was, the bowl was very large so the picture is misleading. All I will say was it picked me up and enabled me to get back to the Alberge, slowly so I could sleep.
Generally you have to pay cash, so whenever we are in a larger town you look for an ATM to take cash with you. I generally took out 2-300 Euros at a time and that would last for several days, depending on where we stayed. Hotels were always more expensive. I remember walking back that Andre needed to get money out from the bank, as we headed for bed the town was waking up for a night of revelry. As a pilgrim you tend to go to bed relatively early as you often woke up early.
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