Day 8 | Pencene to Tui
Last nights hotel was yet another gem. It was a shame we felt so out of sorts because it was fabulous. The room was spotlessly clean and big and bright and airy. It was a room for three so again great value for three sharing. The garden was lovely and there was even a pool. We had use of the kitchen and lounge and seating inside and out but sadly we didn’t feel in the mood. We had a light salad for dinner, chatted with another pilgrim from Chicago before turning in for the night.
We slept. We clearly both needed to sleep. We woke around 7.00 and Gerry made us both tea. We both felt better today. My head still felt fuzzy but my sickness and pain had gone and Gerry felt the same. He said at one point in the forest yesterday he was trying to figure how he would get me out as I looked so pale and clammy. Neither of us had been well so it was a good job we were able to keep walking.
We ate a hearty breakfast today. I had my GF crackers with homemade marmalade and local honey followed by banana and fresh melon… and several cups of tea. Gerry had the same but with fresh warm rolls and ham and cheese. For even bigger appetites there was also cereals, yogurts, cake, biscuits and fruit… all included! The cost for the room was 60 euro, breakfast was included and it was fabulous. We would come again to Casa de Capela… stay here! You won’t regret it.
We left around 9.30am. Both of us feeling better than yesterday. It was misty but sunshine was promised and our rain gear was at the bottom of the bag. Thankfully my pack today went unnoticed on my back… no hidden rocks in there to cause me problems.
I remember this path from last time. Before it was November and autumn was in full swing. The forest had been ablaze in colour and for the first time on that walk the sky had been blue. Today we had walked through eucalyptus trees and as we reached my favourite section there was a tree that had fallen over the path. I said to Gerry it was like the doorway to Georgia… because I played that song as I walked here last time. It wasn’t quite as glorious today, the autumn colour has yet to arrive but it was sunny and nonetheless pretty… so I sang Summertime to his nibs as we walked.
The kilometers dropped away. It was easy walking today. The sun shone and the sky was so blue… and my pack felt like a feather pillow on my back. It was great to be walking. We stopped for more refreshments but as we left the bar in the shade we felt cold. Gerry said “its a little bit chilly” and as he searched for his long sleeve top we both sang “it’s a little bit chilly” to the tune of Your Song. And then we laughed. It was a good day.
Onwards we walked and the kilometers fell away. We met Robin from Chicago and chatted a little before walking on. We reached Valenca in time for lunch. I remembered from last time a great restaurant just before entering the old town. We grabbed a great table over looking the old city walls. Thankfully both of us had our appetites back… although I stuck with chicken and rice today. We also opted for one last glass of a Portuguese vinho tinto from Ponte de Lima… one last glass before we left. I’d really enjoyed my visit in Valenca last time and so we allowed ourselves a few hours to wander and soak up the atmosphere of this walled ancient little border town. And when we’d wandered enough there was nothing for it than to walk on.
We left the city through its mighty walls and wandered down to the equally mighty Minho river. I let Gerry walk ahead. I wanted to see his expression as we left Portugal… I wasn’t disappointed… that little look of surprise as we approached the bridge he turned and spotted the border sign We’d left Portugal. All we had to do now was walk over the bridge to Spain.
Goodbye Portugal. We loved your glorious coast line. We had a ball in Porto and today was just a great day to be walking. Tonight we’re in Tui…onwards to Santiago through Galicia… and were promised sun every day!