The difference between 5 minutes by car… and walking

A raincoat that only provides psychological protection did not save The Walker from getting wet

T4: E7 – Porto – Vilarinho

I feel like one of Asterix's irreducible Gauls, surrounded by Romans. At the Albergue da Santa Casa da Misericórdia in Porto, staying the night with 48 pilgrims, I was the only Portuguese. Among the half-dozen volunteers who worked at the hostel, there was also only one Portuguese, a tripper born in Porto.

And we both stayed talking, in the midst of so many people from so many places, most notably a family of Italians, eight of them, but covering three generations: there were parents, children and grandchildren doing the Camino.



This hostel was incomparable to the humble hostel in Grijó. It was huge, full of rules. One of them was the need to leave the backpack in a locker and only take the essentials to the room, in a small laundry basket. I found it strange, but I ended up liking it, it avoids that annoying noise of plastic bags in the middle of the night and tripping over each other's things.

In the room where I stayed, there were seven double bunk beds, the only one vacant was the one above me (courtesy of the Portuguese volunteer?). People of all sizes and shapes, but, incredible as it may seem, thirteen people and no one snored during the night!!!

My lye was a little damaged by a little rain, the kind that doesn't seem to wet, but rather wets. A harbinger of what was to come…



And the rain came, like a torrential downpour, on a city trip that forced me to put on and take off my raincoat/poncho.

As soon as I started the route, I met the Argentine/Spanish guy from two days ago. He was saying that he had met two Argentinian women and that they were going to do the Camino da Costa when we saw them… Coming in the opposite direction!!! The situation generated a passionate discussion in Spanish very quickly, one ended up going one way, two went the other and I slipped away… thinking about the political situation in Argentina.

Due to the obvious lack of quality of the products presented, it was not possible to highlight any gardens today. There was one that had everything from a silver elephant to a dragon, but the photo didn't do it justice.



It started to rain seriously and, as I was almost reaching the Vairão monastery, I decided to go into a café in Tresval. As soon as he sees me, one of the customers makes a gesture asking if I want to eat. When I told him I could speak Portuguese, his reaction was “Portuguese? But it’s not from here!” My answer “Does it really notice?” and he, laughing, called the owner of the café... who spoke to me in English.

While he was getting food for me, a soup, bread, a serving of spaghetti with chicken and mushrooms (a serving that was guaranteed to be enough for two people), he placed a bottle of wine in front of me. I, distressed, said that I wasn't going to drink it all, to which she told me to drink whatever I wanted and that coffee was also included on the menu, for seven euros!



Meanwhile, I decided to send a WhatsApp to the monastery saying that I was going to spend the night there. The response was that they were sorry, but they would be closed for the next two days. Panic, but I managed to find accommodation in Vilarinho.

I was explaining the situation to the lady at the cafe who, very supportive, told me that it was close, it would only take about five more minutes. It certainly wasn't a bad thing, but five minutes by car is still a few kilometers on foot...

In the meantime, it started to rain heavily and, since the protection that a raincoat provides is merely psychological, I reached the end of today's 25,5 kilometers wet, dripping and dripping.


Read some more!
A strong region needs a strong press and, these days, the press depends on its readers. We make all Sul Infomação content available free of charge, because we believe that it is not through barriers that the public approaches responsible and quality journalism. Therefore, your contribution is essential.  
Contribute here!