Day 8. Valenca to O Porrino
I met up with Jaqui and Sara last night for dinner and they recounted their long day through woods and pretty little villages. It was a bit up and down and they said that there was no way I would have coped with my ankle… so I think I made the right choice. Valenca, that had been so busy earlier was deserted at night so we found one of the few (three) open restaurants and had a lovely meal of hot soup and chicken… washed down with a little chilled Portuguese white wine. Then we said our good night’s and headed off in opposite directions. I must admit it felt more than a little spooky wandering these empty fortified streets alone and I was glad to get back to my little room.
The alarm woke me at just before 6.30 and I made ready for the day. Jaqui messaged me to say they were leaving so I gathered my things together and wandered down to meet them. Lucky for me my room was directly on the camino! We wandered out of town together along with a French couple who had been in the municipal with the girls last night. Again the streets were deserted as we left; I know it’s only 7:15 but I thought something would be open. No matter as we had an important destination to find… which actually appeared much sooner that we expected. We left the fortified walls and before we knew we were there.
It was time to say goodbye. Goodbye to the coastal route and the senda literal. Goodbye to toasted cheese sandwiches and Vinho Verde. Goodbye to Natas and Bom Dias. It was time to say goodbye to Portugal. We have reached the border with Spain and just over the river was Galicia and the town of Tui.
There was of course another huge bridge but I coped. Before we could really think about it we had arrived and immediately we were surrounded by hustle and bustle… but on this side of the bridge it was 8.30 already.
We walked into town and out the other side. We stopped for breakfast and I sent Gerry a photo… he sent one back of his! Gotta love that man!
On we walked through the Galician countryside. It’s cold but the sky is still so blue and there is still some warmth in the Spanish sun. We came across some pilgrim sculpture and posed for photos. Me and Sara managed just fine… Jaqui found it particularly difficult and we spent considerable time in hysterics laughing at these photos.. we have no idea why she struggled!
On we walked through pretty countryside. We crossed a few roman bridges and ambled along quite happily. Time passed and we spotted the perfect bar for lunch. Cold drinks and bacon baguettes were perfect for hungry pilgrims. As we ate we considered our options. We had either the traditional route which was through the industrial outskirts of town or a pretty forest alternative that was 2km longer. Jaqui is still suffering with foot pains and my ankle is still tender so we chose the shorter traditional. Sara being a gazelle with boundless energy opted for the longer pretty route; guess who arrived in town first? Actually it was a draw!
We opted for a private albergue just after the municipal xunta albergue; it had better reviews and we have beds in compartments… own light and own plug and a little curtain for privacy. It’s a good choice!
We did our chores and went in search of food and drink… we found both and spent a jolly few hours laughing at our photos and generally reminiscing! Hola Espagna but cheerio Portugal… you’ve been fabulous and I know we’ll be back before too long!
Ps only 98km left!