After several days of drinking little cups of disappointment the quest for a perfect coffee has begun. We left the hostel and headed straight for the nearest caffeine purveyor. Two cups later and I decided I would award them 6 out of 10 beans. (Did I mention I’ve just invented the coffee bean scale?) It was an improvement on yesterday but still not as good as the cafe con leche in Spain.
Today’s plan was 19km. Apparently most people walk 34 km to Ponte de Lima but as always with you lovely readers in mind I suppressed my urge to walk 50+ km days so as to experience as many albergues as possible. My guidebook suggested a place called Casa de Fernanda and as I had heard good things from other pilgrims I decided to give it a go. (More on that later).
The day started hot and got progressively hotter.. apparently it was well over 90 degrees in the sun and today we encountered the first hill worth mentioning. It was tough going with little or no shade but the scenery was pleasant enough and as always the conversation was riveting.. who knew you could have a twenty minute discussion about polo mints? I certainly didn’t.
Unfortunately nothing else of note really happened.. if you asked what came in second place to the minty discussion I would have to say that I saw a very pleasant blue door.. (I got quite excited and took at least 14 photos)
Luckily the uneventful day would be topped off with a stay at Casa do Fernanda, one of the best albergues on the entire trail, or so I thought.
I’m sat here now. And have been here for roughly 3 hours. The albergue is a wooden structure in the grounds of the owner’s house. Tonight it appears that I will be sharing the place with around 8 other pilgrims and at least a quarter of a million flies. To my knowledge there are no shops/cafes or bars nearby (trust me I’ve looked). The host seems lovely and supplied a large plate of cheese etc for us all to pick at. (Unfortunately the flies beat me to it so I declined and remained cheeseless).
The owner provides an evening meal (hopefully soon, as I’m that hungry I could eat the legs of a low-flying duck) and breakfast in the morning (I’m hoping I wake up before the flies do).
The entire experience is advertised as a donotivo (I’m assuming you’ve translated that into “donations accepted” rather than a set price).. there is however a note pinned to the wall suggesting a donation of 20 euro per person, just so you’re aware. Fingers crossed that the meal is nice. There’s been no mention of what it will be, I’m hoping she rings and orders pizza.
I guess it’s worth mentioning that you may have picked up that I’m not very impressed so far. I guess it’s unfair of me to judge before I’ve spent the night, it’s been a long, hot day and I’m sat here hungry and covered in flies.. maybe tonight will be incredible and tomorrow I can take it all back and positively gush about how amazing place is. I really hope that’s the case.
On that uncharacteristically positive note I shall say obrigado (I still don’t quite know what the exact meaning is). One thing is for sure, by the time I write tomorrow’s post I’ll either be glad I stayed or glad that I’ve left, and you lovely chaps will be the first to know which way it went.