It just hit me today.
I’ve got to start walking in less than five days! I’m not prepared. My back is sore and my knee is sore and my teeth are sore and my head is sore.
And I haven’t even started yet!
All these other people who are coming on this tour – they’ve been out climbing mountains and lifting weights in gyms and walking unbelievable miles through the desert each day.
Me? I’ve toodled off on jaunts through the Mudgee vineyards now and then, stopped to gawk at kangaroos, and generally done bugger all.
The day of reckoning is fast approaching. Soon I’ll have to don a backpack – yes, a backpack – and get out there and hoof it all the way to Santiago.
I’m just getting nervous, that’s all – like I did this time last year.
Last year though I was nervous because of the enormity of the challenge ahead of me. This time I’m nervous because I feel I’ve not approached my training seriously enough. After all, it’s only 240kms, and hey, there’s no Pyrenees to climb.
Oh yeah? 240kms in less than two weeks is still a hell of a walk – if I can use that term in the context of a pilgrimage – and there are still some big mountains to get over. Not the Pyrenees, no, but they’re still gnarly.
We’ll see soon enough…
Okay – today.
The highlight of today was going to a toy museum at Ponte de Lima.
Jennifer and I had some time to spare waiting for a meeting so we checked out the museum on the other side of the old Roman bridge.
The museum was surreal. At least, I found it surreal. Toys freak me out. They come alive at night and make toy noises and play with each other in seriously sick ways and when they get bored with that they try to kill you in your sleep.
For me the highlight of the toy museum was the display of Nazi soldiers. They were marching towards Hitler and Goebbels, giving the Heil Hitler salute.
I wondered about all the little children who used to play with these toys. I wondered if they had tanks and Messerschmitts too, and death camps and gas ovens. It would have been fun to collect the whole Auschwitz set, wouldn’t it…
i couldn’t get out of that toy museum fast enough.
On the way back over the bridge I saw this bloke in a boat spearing eels from the bottom of the river. Very cool. The eels were the size of pythons.
Lunch was in a nondescript joint in Braga. I always put my PGS to work when I look around for a place to eat. it never steers me wrong. This place looked very unprepossessing from the outside, but we walked in and couldn’t find a spare table, the place was so packed.
Ordered a full serving of grilled Frango – chicken – the birds from nearby Barcelos, famous for it’s super delicious poultry.
This photo is like one of those military photos taken from a satellite which shows just a normal town, and doesn’t show the huge bunker of weapons of mass destruction hidden underneath.
I might be a little florid here with my analogy, but basically what I’m trying to say is that all the chicken is buried under the salad and chips. With a little excavation, the scrumptious grilled chicken was brought out into the open and was quickly devoured.
Full grilled chicken, chips and salad – enough for two hungry people – €9.
After lunch we drove to Bom Jesus, the spectacular religious site on a mountain overlooking Braga. Checked out the hotel where we’ll all be staying – right beside the huge church on the hill. Here is the view out of my bedroom window –
Then went traipsing down all the stairs to get the picture post card shot looking back up at the church – but this couple spoilt my shot.
On the way back up I photographed all the little fountains which represented the five senses –
Tomorrow we meet up with our local liaison lass – Catarina. We’ll stay overnight at her parents beautiful hotel, Villa d’Arcos – and then the next day, we all meet up!
HOOLY DOOLY! and HOLY MOLY!!
Here below is Jennifer taking a photo –