It started off really nice this morning with a cool breeze. That was quickly replaced with nothing. No breeze and lots of sunshine. The town of Barcelos would have been really nice to explore. Lots of quaint little churches, parks and niches galore. It’s very cosmopolitan considering there is nothing around but corn and grapes. The river area was rocking with crowded bars especially for a Sunday. Nothing is open on Sunday. But I guess someone figured out how to make a few dollars off people who weren’t doing anything else on Sunday evenings. The bar across the street was playing everything from Johnny Cash, I walk the Line, Here’s to you Mrs. Robinson, iron Maiden, John Denver just to name a few. Their playlist was all over the place and all America songs.
We have only seen 1 pilgrim today. And he was our warning there was nothing else for the next 2 km. The last pilgrims we saw before him were at breakfast. 1 Dutch lady traveling solo and taking a bus today because it’s too hot and too much hill. And there was an older couple – yes older than us! They were biking and no idea where they were from because they spoke no English and stayed to themselves.
The terrain today was a slow steady climb up all day with little to no shade. With over half the trail on asphalt beside very busy roads that had little to no shoulder. Just a tidbit of info: each night we look at the guidebook and discuss routes, places to stop for lunch, snacks and where to stay the next day. Then it gets checked multiple times during the course of the day to check mileage and names. Today that was all for nothing. Mileage went out the window or over the hillside and 2 places were closed we had planned to stop for food, water or snacks. Sometimes you just need to stop, change into dry socks and let your feet dry while the body cools and you rehydrate. A very essential part of walking in the heat, with or without packs. Also it has been the hottest day so far this year. I was just told by the lady in the laundromat it was 98. Hot is hot regardless of where you are in the world.
After our lunch place was closed and we were both very low on water the next thing was find a shade tree to get the packs off and dry out the feet because 2 km to the next place was longer than this peregrino could take. Also, can I just say, Justin’s nut butter packets have saved me this trip. I’m down to 1 packet and in near panic. I think Gadgetman realized this at our little break and knew he couldn’t carry me.
Again it astounds me that lots of these cafes are closed. It’s not like we didn’t look and plan our routes accordingly. But obviously this route is not traveled nearly as much or by as many as the French Way.
After a short 15 minute break with a change of socks and snack. I decided yes I think I can make it the rest of the way up. Of course Gadgetman takes off at warp speed hauling down the mountain. We do finally make it to the next cafe. I was told “if someone is going to write a guidebook it should at least be somewhat accurate. The guidebook says gentle rolling hills. In Texas we call these mountains! This is bulls#%t. This has been a b buster.” And the journey continues.
After a 7 Up, several bottles of water and he ate lunch, both of us were still feeling sluggish. And after Gadgetman realized I had quit sweating and was still red after 25 minutes it was decided we’d cab it the last 9 km. But upon arrival it was actually 17 km. I would have never made it, gently rolling hills or not.
The 47% that wasn’t asphalt today was nice track. Sandy soft dirt between the various farms along the way. The aromas were a collection of gardenias, cattle, corn and the sweetness of ripe grapes. Over all not a bad odor. They hydrangeas have the most beautiful colors. They range from soft pinks to vivid fushia to an almost purple it’s so dark blue. And they grow everywhere. Along fence lines, out of rocks and in bountiful spaces in lawns.
One little lizard was still long enough for me to take a picture of him. Or maybe he was hot too. We saw a small herd of what I’ll call longhorn cattle but not too many other creatures were out in the heat today.
I will say I was most likely borderline dehydrated and Gadgetman wasn’t far behind. Weight or not tomorrow we carry more water. And Gadgetman will revert back to his toys.
Beef. It’s what’s for dinner. And lemon tart.
Bom Caminho ~