I have to say, I’m feeling pretty pleased with myself. 21.6 miles in this heat was a real challenge, with all our stops, it took about 9 1/2 hours.
The countryside is beautiful. There is an amazing smell of orange blossom in almost every village we go through. Elderly Portuguese women sit on their doorsteps grinning toothlessly at us, waving as we go passed.
There are 2 Spanish guys who we see on and off all day, they are treating it as a food and wine tour and sit down to enough food and wine for 4 people every lunch time while I munch on a cheese role and a gallon of water and then they march gaily off down the path while I stagger back out into the sunshine, legs wobbling like a new foal.
A Canadian girl who doesn’t draw breath appeared at lunch time today. I found myself hoping not to bump into her again as it was exhausting listening to her. I think it’s the difference between walking with someone and walking on your own. If I was on my own, I might have been happy with the company, someone to chat to and pass the time, as I would have done on my other Camino, but because I am walking with Anna, I am less inclined to seek out others which is why I have always believed that there are benefits to walking on your own.
That said, it is also great having a constant companion to have a laugh with, have a moan with and chivvy you along when you are flagging.
Ponte de Lima is an extraordinary place, it has lamp posts all along the river that play Wurlitzer music constantly. Elderly Portugués couples stroll down the river bank. Open air cafes line the pavements and the whole town has a 1920’s French Riviera feel about it, not that I know what that is, but it’s how I imagine it was.
Shorter day distance wise tomorrow but the day starts with a long and very steep climb, might be time for the headphones!