I woke after a decent enough sleep in the albergue in Rates.. I felt slightly tender and remembered sitting outside the albergue with lots of 2euro wine a considerable amount of German pilgrims. At one point I may have been speaking German with them but this is strange because now I’m awake and sober I realise I don’t know any German.
A quick brush of the teeth, bag packed and we were on our way for the day.. 30 or so metres later we were sat at the bar ordering coffee.. I knew then that it would be one of those kind of days. (On a side note the coffee here hasn’t been as good as the cafe con leche in Spain.. however it does appear to be getting better as we get closer to the Spanish border).
Our plan was a comfortable 16km which allowed many stops.. some in bars and some in shady parks to cool down. (It was a misty start again but it soon warmed up).
Roughly 4-5 hours after setting off we crossed the river into Barcelos. This place is by far my favourite town so far. Big enough to stock up on any missing items but not so big as to lose its own identity like some of the larger cities tend to.
I’m sure there are many wonderful sights here, small streets lead to pleasant squares where cafes and fountains can be found in abundance. My favourite thing about Barcelos though was a slightly newer addition.
Chickens!! Well, technically roosters but any poultry of that size is always an impressive sight.
After the arduous day wandering from cafe to cafe Celine decided that she wanted a slightly more comfortable hostel than the night before. As always I protested that as true pilgrims we should be sleeping in a bush and brushing our teeth with twigs but alas she was not to be swayed and we checked into a brand new hostel called “In Barcelos”.
All I can say is… WHAT AN ABSOLUTE GEM !!
The place is that new that we practically had to take the wrapper off.. the room was incredible. Air conditioning.. (turned up full but with the balcony door open so we could hear the streets below us… we are so rebellious sometimes!). There was a TV (we didn’t turn it on.. us pilgrims shun such modern luxury). A shower like no shower in Portugal..
Half an hour after checking in I was lay on my bed in clean clothes smelling like a French teenager on her first date with a boy.. (they supplied shampoo and shower gel.. I used the lot and lathered myself up to the point where from a distance I would have resembled the Michelin man).
This level of luxury cost only a few euros extra than the normal albergue (two of us sharing the cost).
If you fancy a night away from the snorers/rustlers then I would suggest you seriously consider a night here.
Anyway, enough about my relentless struggle as a pilgrim. It’s time to find food that involves cheese and then back to the room so I can lie on my bed (no rubber mattress.. real cotton sheets).