Day 7 Tui – O Porrino
Matt once told me that we all see life through our own lens and last night’s alburgue was a perfect example of this. When we first arrived yesterday, soaked from the rain, the old building was cold and felt quite uninviting and I feared it would be another night shivering under the blankets. However when we returned from the supermarket the central heating was on, the radiators were hot and I felt all together a much happier Pilgrim.
I cooked tuna and rice for dinner and made several cups of tea. The showers and bathrooms were excellent and as we were the only pilgrims there we took a room each and it felt like a private apartment. I settled down, wrote my blog and slept wonderfully in my warm soft bed, snuggled under my duvet. Next door however Sheila said her room smelled a little odd and that her duvet smelt? This started her thinking way too much… what if… What if there were bed bugs… Or other unseen bugs… And so on and she struggled to sleep with the worry. I should stress that none of this happened of course but your mind can play tricks on you when you’re moving from bed to bed every night. Needless to say I woke up full of the joys of spring and poor Sheila a little less so!
We woke early as we were still on Portuguese time and had to wait a little for the sky to lighten before setting off. But our lovely host had left breakfast for us so I made a little porridge and hot tea whilst Sheila made cheese on toast and coffee. I’d certainly recommend this alburgue… I bet in warmer weather the garden is a treat!
Today and tomorrow are odd days. You can do a 32km day or you can split the stage. We were undecided as neither of us like to arrive too early. We agreed to see how we felt at O Porrino, the halfway point. The first part of the walk was pretty easy and we made good time. We spent a few kilometers walking on the hard shoulder of a road but it was wide and there were trees all around so it made for comfortable walking and we made good time. The arrows led us off into the forest but again the track was very comfortable and so we continued at a pace.
I was busy taking photos when I heard an uh ho from Sheila. I turned and couldn’t understand the problem… So Sheila pointed to the path, which was now part of the river. Oh! I thought about taking off my shoes and socks but I have a tiny blister and i stupidly thought it would be better off inside my shoe… Looking back now I can see how stupid that sounds. Sheila did take off her boots whilst I ploughed in and out pretty quickly! The water was a tad chilly. Socks and shoes removed Sheila paddled across… Hindsight is a wonderful thing but that would have been a better idea.
Anyway, we crossed safely. On we walked and as before we were staggered by the amount of water everywhere. The ground is totally sodden. My guide had warned that this section can be flooded and that there would be diversion signs. It was certainly flooded but no signs for us, so we skirted around as best we could but it slowed our pace. We were both very pleased to arrive at a village and the first place we found was an open coffee stop.
We both dried and sorted our feet and changed into dry socks. I also reapplied all my protective toe taping… I did not want blisters! Once refreshed and dry we continued. We had a choice… Beside the river or the industrial walk in. We both agreed that the river might be a bad idea so we stayed on the road and for several kilometres we shared the path with lorries and trucks and even the odd tractor. It’s not the most attractive walk, head down and push on kind of day really… Which is what we did.
We arrived in O Porrino around 12:30 and stopped for lunch. What should we do? We threw around every option. The weather is good but it’s another 16km and it was already 1:30… Was that too late to be starting again? Maybe it would be just too long? We could try to go partway but the alburgue didn’t have washer or dryer so we may have to walk in wet socks tomorrow? Also Sheila’s not loving the albergue experience so it wouldn’t be her first choice. Should we go to Redondella with more choice? Just go for it? We’ve walked further this week already? I changed into another pair of dry socks and thought about our predicament. Bottom line I want dry socks. That’s the only thing I really need. If we arrived late in an alburgue with no heat or dryer I would have wet socks. We’re already a day ahead so why push ourselves?
We had gone full circle and still didn’t know for sure. Sheila asked the waitress to recommend an alburgue and also if there was perhaps a private room? She struck lucky as they had an apartment and for only 23 euros each. It actually has 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms and central heating and a washing machine. That was that. We’re showered, washed, all socks are clean and dry and as a treat Sheila bought a half bottle of wine to celebrate, which is her first tipple since we arrived.
On balance I think we made a good choice. (although my room overlooks the railway station and I’m really hoping that the trains don’t run all night as its a tad noisy down there!) My Fitbit says we walked just short of 18km which is a bit too short really but with all the flooding I think dry socks are a must!
Less than 100kms to go… Who knows where we’ll end up tomorrow but the weather is said to improve AND not one drop of rain fell on us today!