I wrote out a 600 word essay about hard church floors, social anxiety, being grateful, sinful natures and dehydration. It was as boring in paragraphs as it is conclusion. So I’ll shorten it to what I’ve learnt for today.
1) Don’t be embarrassed for others. How others act is no reflection on you. Treat everyone with kindness.
2) You WILL lose your peace and flap and be anxious at the first knock to your equilibrium. And everything WILL be fine and all the flapping will be embarrassing to recall. ‘Trying’ to improve yourself and constantly failing is part of human nature. This one needs to be taken higher.
3) Portugal has more cobblestones than any other country in the world. FACT! The paths, walls and houses are all made out of cobblestone. Cobbles hurt feet.
4) Oh! And be grateful! For tomorrow you could be sleeping on the cold hard floor next to an expleting German blister burster. And no one deserves that.
Things I am grateful for today
1) A bed! With pillows! And no one bursting their blisters directly in my face. (That pilgrim is on ‘the list’)
2) A sensible mileage – I did 21km today and my thigh held out. For the last two days I have hobbled into town and today I was able to dance my way to the hotel.
3) My family and friends – they must be bored by my camino adventures though they don’t let on and keep me company via watsapp!
4) A bath! This hotel has no laundry facilities but everything in my rucksack got tipped into the bath with me. Wringing out clothes hurts! Do they make portable mangles?
5) A double cone of chocolate and strawberry ice-cream for 2€.
To counter all this joy I have seen a dead cat, dead hedgehog and several dead baby birds today. 🙅♀️ No like.
You want to know about this section of the Camino? The walk was up hill then down dale, then over rocks and then down loose shail but 90% cobble. A lot of it was spent jigging about and ignoring basic bodily functions and praying that around the next corner would be a cafe or at least somewhere semi private. What was around the corner was more cobblestones.
On the Portuguese you walk on cobbles and are surrounded by cobbles. You are like a rat in a cobble run that goes on for mile after mile, with walls too high to escape over should you need too.
My advise to ladies on the Portuguese is buy a she-wee. And a portable mangle.
Tomorrow I’ll take the coastal path up to Caminha and then I don’t know how to cross the river as on the map this looks like a barrier. I suppose I could swim. Or likely there will be cobbled stepping stones across the vast expanse of the Minho. From there it’s onto Vila Nova de Cerveira and my last night in Portugal before crossing over to Tui on Thursday.
Oh Portugal. I’m not sure how I feel about thee! But you do make exceedingly good cakes.