Camino de Madrid

Camino de Madrid
Camino de Madrid

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Camino Portugues. Day 6. May 28, 2016. Carminha to Valenca. 28 kms

As one who always likes his weight to watch,
I'm proud to say my belt is in one notch.
It's not as easy as it seems, I fear,
Amigos on the Way enjoy their beer

It was much easier to lose weight in France. Breakfast is not the finest hour of French cuisine, and one will not get fat on a few crusts of bread. And if I avoided the plat du jour a midi, then I was in good shape to enjoy a beer or two at the end of the day. But the breakfasts here are more substantial, and fellows like Preben the Dane and Jacques the Swiss do not wait until the end of the day for their first beer. And it is rather bad form to let them drink alone.

We left a little later this morning, Jacques and I, because I had slept in, a blessed relief to have had a decent sleep at last. Even so, we were too early for breakfast, so we crossed a bridge and, hungry, headed on to the next town. We have decided to continue in Portugal along the river to Valenca.

Five kilometres on, at Xeixa, we ate, and then split up, I following the arrows into the village, hoping for relief from the highway, Jaques predicting that the way would lead back to the highway anyway. After several hundred yards along an idyllic river path, I was back on the highway, with Jacques half a mile ahead.

I ran into Bree and Michaela, young American girls, whom we had been passing from time to time. I took a chance and asked them, "Are you rooting for Bernie?"

I should explain that I have been caught out before. Last year, I ate with a man who seemed to be a congenial American. He was from Washington, he was on the Camino, he must be a Democrat. What did he think about Obama's second term, I asked him. He went apoplectic. "He should be impeached!" he shouted. That was the end of that.

So a little warily, I asked, "Are you rooting for Bernie?" "Yeah," they chorused. But they weren't optimistic about his chances. But perhaps they belong to the wave of young Bernies who will triumph next time around.

At the next village, I followed the arrows again. This time they led me down rural roads and tracks, through little villages and a rural industrial area that keeps the villages alive. Finally I arrived at a magnificent red bicycle path with a prominent yellow arrow which left me in no doubt that this was the way into Valenca.

I am staying at the very comfortable Albergue S. Teotonio with lots of room, wifi, and very hot showers. 

It's funny the things you see on the Camino. I have just watched a fellow putting his washing out to dry in the rain.

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