I shouldn’t have so much sleep.
It’s not good for me.
Eleven hours is not healthy. It takes you forever to wake up. My body is used to five hours sleep a night – six hours top. Eleven hours and it becomes confused. It feels like it has to punish me for my indolence.
I took a wrong turn leaving Tui and ended up on the freeway heading north, when I should have been heading south.
Thing about Spanish roads, they’re fantastic. Freeways criss cross the country – infrastructure that’d be the envy of most of the rest of the world.
And they have very few exit ramps.
It took me 25kms before I could turn around and head back to where I was meant to be going. So my little moment of sleep enhanced inattention cost me 50 useless kilometres, half an hour of driving, and about AUD$10 in road tolls.
The whole episode reminded me of those occasions when I got lost on the Camino last year, and I had to retrace my steps. I hated that. I don’t mind putting in 25-30-35kms in a day, but if I have retrace even 2kms, I broil.
Why is that?
Surely getting lost, retracing your steps, is part of the pilgrim’s journey?
In life, we can’t always go forward. There are times when we have to go back, then walk the same path again.
Perhaps the second time around we’re meant to see things a little differently…
Perhaps it’s the Universe trying to teach us a lesson in patience…
Perhaps we’re being told that we should pay more attention to life around us…
Perhaps I programmed my Garmin incorrectly…
Today was about getting Portuguese SIM cards. Vodaphone at Viana do Castelo – effortless. No passport required, (I forgot to bring mine with me), a young lass who spoke good English (thank you thank you thank you) – in and out in about 10 mins.
Actually, today wasn’t about SIM cards, it was about tarts. And pastries. Portugal does the best pastries. Ponte de Lima – my favourite town on the Camino Portuguese because it’s so damn beautiful – has a gorgeous little pastry shop. I got this bundle of goodies for myself and Jennifer for morning tea. All that, with three coffees. Guess the price –
I pulled out a €10 note, expecting to have to chip in a few coins as well. In fact I was a long way out. The total cost – all those pastries and three coffees – came to €4.40.
I thought the lass serving me had made some big mistake, but no – that was the price.
It didn’t take long for the pastries to succumb to the destructive influence of my digestive juices, and so rather than sit at that table and order another plate, I thought I should best go for a walk. Ponte de Lima has a special quality. It’s in the old Roman bridge, it’s in the ancient churches, it’s in the long avenue bowered by tall trees. I walked around town seeing colour and beauty everywhere. Engorged with enough beauty to last me a good few hours, and still engorged with the wonderment of those pastries, Jennifer and I drove away – heading to the casa rurale near Rubiaes that will house us on day 6 of our walk. Casa Oliveirinha is a beautifully restored farmhouse that has a full kitchen and lounge/dining area. We had a home cooked meal – vegetable soup made from produce from the garden, and a baked codfish dish that was the yummiest cod I’ve ever had – the recipe handed down from the hosts’ grandparents. I went to bed fully sated, and put on my alarm clock for 5am.