The heat is a game changer. By about 10.30 it was nearly 80 degrees. My newly emptied head is full of thinking about my feet. The impact of walking on roads and cobbles all the time. The heat off the path coming through the soles of my boots. It’s oppressive, saps your energy and strength.
Despite that, we had another good day. Stunning scenery with lovely villages to walk through and plenty of cafes to get out of the sun for a while. There were many more walkers today although nothing like the number we expected. Part of the experience for me is the people you meet. For the few miles or so you walk with them, you get a little snapshot of another life and by the end of the walk you have a whole collection of shared moments which together form the framework of your journey.
We haven’t so far witnessed the same poverty in the villages as there was when I walked through Spain 4 years ago. In fact most of the villages have a number of beautiful villas with immaculate gardens. There are also far fewer churches, so far we have only seen about 4 whereas in Spain there were about 4 per village.
We are staying tonight in the town of Barcelos which is currently in the middle of a huge festival. The town is packed with people which is a bit of a culture shock after the path. Went out for supper and sat outside. When it got chilly, I reached into the small bag I had with me having left my rucksack in the room only to find that instead of my sweatshirt I had put in a pair of pants, not entirely sure what message my subconscious was trying to impart!