Today was another perfect day with a cool start as we set out shortly after 6:00 am. The youth hostel had been good and we both had an undisturbed night. Our stay had included a free breakfast but we left too early so they had a bag for each of us at the reception as we checked out. It contained 2 rolls, a muffin and a small box of chocolate milk. We ate it as we walked or during a stop to admire the beautiful scenery.
First we headed back to the town and across the medieval bridge. We went past the general still waiting for his troops to cross the river.
Very soon we were out of the town and past small farms and beside little streams.
Then across ancient medieval bridges. As the sun came up it got warmer but there was always a nice cooling breeze.
Past waterfalls as we slowly gained elevation.
The hydrangea by the roadside were really pretty growing wild, even in dry stone walls. Some white or blue or very light pink depending on the soil chemistry
Have you ever seen hydrangea growing wild?
We passed a lemon tree with lots of very large size fruit on it. Earlier I had sen an orange tree.
After about 2 hours we stopped at a small café for a coffee before beginning our climb up to the highest point we will reach on this trip, the Alta de Portela Grande.
It proved to live up to its reputation as a steep very rocky path up the mountain.
On the way the trees changed from eucalyptus to pine. Many of the pine trees were being tapped for pine resin with plastic bags hanging from them.
Finally after a good hour or so we reached the summit. Our legs were as thankful as we were since we made them work hard to carry us with our packs up the steep trail.
Time to rest in the sun before starting the descent.
The walk down was lovely with views down into the valley. You can just pick out a church down below us.
When we were almost down we came the albergue for tonight. It was almost 12:00 but we had already been walking for 6 hours and decided to stick to our plan for today and not go further. They opened at noon and we were among the first to check in. Nice and clean but with 28 beds in one room of the converted schoolhouse it will be interesting to find out how many snorers there are!!
The usual routine of shower and clothes washing quickly behind us, we turn to our next blogs. Wifi in the albergue is spotty so we go to a café next door where it works much bettter. Beautiful afternoon, cool in the shade and hot in the sun. Our hats are getting a lot of use on this Camino.
In the bunks next to ours is a group from Pennsylvania. They are planning to cook a pasta dinner at the albergue tonight and invited us to join them. It will be fun I think. Hope to have pictures later.
It was a very nice evening. The food was great, good conversation around the whole large group and good wine. Fun people!
Now it is too cold to sit outside so time to finish and post blog of the day's events. As I look back I see that we have covered a lot of ground already, not only in distance but also in experiences.
Good night from James and Helen