We left our beautiful Casa Rurale in the rain this morning, and the track was muddy and full of puddles.
Everyone though was in good spirits after a wonderful meal last night, and the prospect today of a short walk – some 13kms or so.
After a short while, and a very pleasant walk, we came to a cafe that I remembered from my previous Portuguese Camino. On that occasion I had taken a photo of a young girl with purple glasses. Here is the photo I took two years ago –
The girl was there again, and so I took another photo of her –
The glasses have changed…
Inside the cafe were Bart and his daughter Merissa, and Laurie and her sister Marilyn. The four of them powered today.
We weren’t there long before Alistair and his wife Stella joined us –
After a coffee and a toasted ham and cheese sambo, I headed off with Alistair, Stella and Jennifer.
A couple more hours of walking and we came to a large market in a town called Cerdal. The market was a bit like the market in Barcelos, it was full of stalls that sold clothing, local produce, and live animals to eat.
I stumbled across a BBQ chicken stall, that at first I thought was just selling grilled chicken for takeaway.
The chicken and the grilled pork ribs looked yummy…
I then realised that there was a large marquee attached to it, and inside there were tables and chairs for a sit down meal.
So I sat down and ordered a meal.
I was soon joined by a group of young men and woman who it turned out came from Bolivia. They were fascinated to learn that I was walking to Santiago.
Their meal came before mine. I was starving, and they must have realised this, because they game me food from their plate – several pieces of yummy grilled chicken. It was so sweet and generous of them.
They put their chilli sauce on their chicken with a paint brush –
Later, when my meal came I repaid the gesture.
Today I walked a lot with Alistair and his wife Stella. Stella has worked as a counsellor for those with mental health issues. They are both High Anglicans, in Christchurch. I didn’t know what a High Anglican was until I met these two.
I thought it was an Anglican that was stoned.
I don’t think Alistair or Stella have been stoned in the time that I’ve spent with them. They are always very happy though so you never know.
And when Alistair breaks out into song at dinner time then I do wonder if he’s been sniffing the daisies a wee too much, as they say in New Zealand…
Here’s what my favourite reference guide – Wikipedia – says about High Anglicanism /
The term “high church” refers to beliefs and practices of ecclesiology, liturgy, and theology, generally with an emphasis on formality and resistance to “modernisation”. Although used in connection with various Christian traditions, the term originated in and has been principally associated with the Anglican/Episcopal tradition, where it describes Anglican churches using a number of ritual practices associated in the popular mind with Roman Catholicism.
We arrived at Valenca in the afternoon. The rain had stopped, and everyone skipped across to the old fort. Valence is the northern most part of Portugal won our Camino.
Jennifer and I met up with Marilyn first…
Then we bumped into Neville and Vivienne. We introduced them to the Spanish delights of Churros – which are like stick donuts covered in sugar.
Jennifer and I then wandered around and I took some photos of the fort. Soon I will be going to dinner with our group and no doubt they will show me their photos taken with their pissy little iPhone cameras, and I know it’s going to upset my digestion dreadfully because they’ll be way better than any of my shots…
Yes I know… that’s not exactly pilgrim talk…
Tomorrow we cross the river into Spain – and onwards to Santiago!