Today we are walking into Porto, over dinner Andre mentioned maybe taking a bus for part of the way to avoid the industrial outlyings of a bigger city. I wish he had never mentioned it. It put the thought into my head and this was going to be a long, long day. We rose early, and ate breakfast in the pensione we were staying at. Then we began our walk out of town.
We saw this church was covered with lilac covered tiles just as the sun was rising. Today many of the miles we walked were on cobblestones. If you have been following my journey, you know by now I hate cobblestones because they really hurt your feet; going up, going down, on the flat, there is not a good section of cobblestones. After cobblestones, I hate asphalt roads, they soak up the heat, and today was a hot day. After asphalt it is going downhill on any type of path, I found going downhill harder than up, even using a hiking pole.
This was a long plodding day, we ended up walking almost 28 miles today. I was ready to physically harm Andre when he said "no, no bus I know you want to walk the whole Camino."
My feet hurt, I was tired, it was hot, and I was feeling miserable, lacking energy. It was a day I took relatively few photos, industrial areas leave little to photograph.
This was still relatively early in the day and the mist hung heavy.
Porto is somewhere over there. I still thought we were taking a bus at some stage. Lots of up and down sections today.
A brief portion walking alongside fields.
Those who are observant may have noticed I have not shaved. My sons all encouraged me to grow a Forest Gump beard. But I have come to realize on this journey I need to discover my self afresh, get back to who I am underneath. So, I have decided the beard goes, it is not me, it is someone else's desire not mine. Plus it makes me feel hot.
Every village has one of these covered washing locations. The women come together to wash their clothes, scrubbing and rinsing them in the water located there. Most homes do not have washing machines, and clothes are hung to dry rather than use a dryer. Why not with the hot dry weather.
So far I have not encountered rain. Just heat. Andre had told me how in March he had postponed this section of his Camino because of how wet it was. I had another friend from this Camino who walked in 2019 in March and it rained almost the whole time. I have been very lucky, walking in the rain is miserable, and I am in enough of a bad mood today I don't need any rain.
This is a corn crib, the first one I have seen, they are very common as I move north towards Santiago de Compostella. Corn for the animals is stored in them to dry. Some are very ornate, this one is pretty plain.
Walking into a large city it is a good idea to book a hotel/pensione ahead. Andre has said there is no need. We really have not seen a lot of people on our hike, so I trust him. But, Porto is different, it is swarming with people and I feel overwhelmed, on top of being cranky and tired.
This is the bridge we cross into Porto, using the upper level. You can just see Porto Cathedral in the distance. We end up frantically trying to find a room. Big cities are more expensive than small towns and villages. We end up taking rooms in different places. I end up above a bar, in a dive of a room. There is mold on the ceiling of the bathroom, but I am simply too tired to care at this stage. Andre leaves tomorrow, so we arrange to meet for our last meal together. I am ready to have some time for myself.
You may have heard of Porto as being where Port is made and the other side of the river, that we crossed from is where all the Port houses are. Here is a photo looking down on to that area, all the big names are there, Sandeman etc. Tomorrow I get to rest. I have walked 271 miles so far, an average of 22.59 miles a day. But today was hard and I know I will sleep well, even above a noisy bar.
Till tomorrow, when we will explore Porto.
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