Last night was Gadgetman’s first true experience in an Albergue. While we had our own room that did not mean it was a good experience. The Ohnino (nest) was a old two story stone building that was our grand accomodations last night. It had been “updated” with wooden floors and low wood beams for second story support. Gadgetman hit his head no less than half a dozen times. The second time he looked at me and said “one night is all I can enjoy of this”. The upside is we were on the bottom floor where the temperature was bearable with no air movement. We were the last pilgrims to check in and the only beds left were the ones next to the bathroom. Every time our neighbors walked the entire house creaked. The pilgrims above us would use their sink or bathroom and the water would race down our wall like it was flooding in our room. Needless to say neither one of us got much sleep last night. The first pilgrims stirred somewhere around 5:45 and the entire house was now up. His first experience he will not forget. We started off this morning at least one hour earlier than any other day. The morning temperature was very cool and the first kilometer or so was very easy. Little did we know that our toughest stretch would be next as we got to go back up more than either of us expected. Our bodies were still waking up and aching as up we went. After sitting it takes a good 5 minutes before everything loosens up again. But after sleeping, it takes several kilometers.
Luckily, at the top only six km in we were finished climbing. We now had to work our way through creek beds on our way down as we headed to our first step back in Spain. The temperature rose quickly as our journey was just beginning this morning.
We met a gentleman along the path somewhere before lunch who had walked 4000 km. He started in Poland then Germany, France, Spain and Portugal. He was walking to Fatima and carrying his rosary in his hands the whole way. He was missing several beads on the rosary and it looked worn. After a hug and kiss he promised to say a prayer for me at the next mass. I think he tells everyone that but hey, I’ll take all the prayers I can get.
We were both tired and hot after lunch. Fortunately for us we only had 5.5 km to the Spain/Portugal border. We both fought through the hot sun and exhaustion as we headed down the bridge and over the river where we would take our first steps in Spain. We finally made it to our hotel, Parador Tui. Our poor feet were on fire and the heat was working its way up our bodies.
As our anniversary treat Gadgetman booked us a room at the Parador Tui last night. I think it was booked after the second head bump when enough was enough. It is a fabulous old summer manor house built in 1928 that sits overlooking the river Minho/Mino. The AC was out which didn’t make Gadgetman all that happy. But with tiled floors and stone walls it was actually pretty cool. It will all work out. At least his feet aren’t hanging off the end of the bed and he’s not banging his head on low lying beams.
For some reason the US was left off the list. And we’ve met no other Americanos yet. With a return to Spain also means later dinner hours. Dinner places open at 8:30 and I can bet you we’ll be the only ones there at that hour.
As a side note: Gadgetman started comparing his gadgets against the guide. If they don’t match up he’s emailing the writer of the guide. So now he is using both the book and electronic – just to be sure.