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  • The Baguette
  • De captivants à banals, les articles et photographies de “The Baguette” sont une tentative de publier un journal de ma vie dans la Manche et de proposer un forum de discussion pour tout ce qui touche à la Normandie.
  • De captivants à banals, les articles et photographies de “The Baguette” sont une tentative de publier un journal de ma vie dans la Manche et de proposer un forum de discussion pour tout ce qui touche à la Normandie.

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July 24 2013 4 24 /07 /July /2013 15:28

Monday, May 6, 2013 -- Ponte de Lima to Valença

http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2852/8984511903_d4210bdae5_o.jpgThe path out of town was nice and fairly easy to follow but I still managed to get turned around several times—almost walking over a bridge that wasn't even in the guidebook before I realized that I was no longer on the Camino path.  http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2890/8985704878_8244d1238a_o.jpgThis is the church in Arcozelo.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7354/8984507917_b11e96fc3f_o.jpghttp://farm9.staticflickr.com/8408/8984505159_d8d66940ee_o.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7427/8984504167_7e790fba0e_o.jpgFrom here the way meandered along lanes and earth tracks through the beautiful scenery of the Labruja valley.  Yes, those are huge piles of cow dung ready to be spread across the fields.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7339/8985700998_0d48ce7f37_o.jpgThis is the medieval Ponte Arco da Geia which used to be part of an important military route between Braga and Astorga.  http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2857/8984502961_9e868aae52_o.jpgFortunately, my friends waited for me at a café near Revolta and we all enjoyed a nice breakfast of fruit and coffee.  Some of them took in a game of Tischfußball before we all headed out toward Revolta and started the uphill climb to the Alto da Portela Grande.  http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2825/8985695290_2c767d5740_o.jpgThis is the Capela de São Sebastião in Revolta.  http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3707/8984498025_dd3c5aa40d_o.jpgNear the Fonte das Três Bicas, Frank and I saw these pointed stacks of old corn stalks.  http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2850/8984495431_756c78f1b7_o.jpghttp://farm4.staticflickr.com/3701/8984494261_15dafc0ca2_o.jpgTogether we walked up the hill and passed the Cruz dos Franceses before reaching the top.  There was a short break in the drizzle that we started to experience earlier in the day but that didn't last long and we carefully climbed down the hill and into the town of Rubiães where we were all planning to stay at the albergue and eat dinner at the restaurant Bom Retiro that was supposed to be very good.  Well, the albergue was closed and we didn’t feel like waiting around all day for it to open so we just took a nice break at the restaurant.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7352/8985686794_4ba82fd92c_o.jpgSince we hadn’t walked very long (only about 18km), we decided to keep walking until we reached Valença, about 16 kilometers away.  I was already tired but I agreed with everyone else and after several bowls of delicious vegetable soup, we headed out in the rain.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7306/8985682478_65debc56f4_o.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7337/8984486499_7fe7cb9df8_o.jpgThe Via Romana runs through Rubiães and it is just as awful as the rest of the Camino with cobblestones and loose rocks everywhere.  At times it felt like I was walking through an old riverbed and not a path.  The heel on my right foot was giving me some pain and I ended up walking very slowly behind everyone else.  http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2859/8984484233_a8d5eb2942_o.jpgI thought I’d be alone until Valença but when I reached Fontoura Fuente, I came across Frank trying to buy some ice cream at a small market.  Of course, the old man didn’t have the flavor Frank wanted but we both settled for something nice and sweet and covered in chocolate.  From then on we walked together in the pouring rain until we met up with the others at the Café St. Martin in Arão.  From here onward I have no more photographs of the day--it was raining too hard outside and whenever I was indoors I was too tired to take any.  There we decided to go to a hotel in Valença called Val Flores because we called ahead of time and reserved some rooms.  I coughed up 25 Euros for a single room.  The manager said that the rooms had heaters so we would be able to dry our wet clothes but he lied.  The heaters were not working.  You know, it is one thing to NOT have something and it is another thing to lie about it just to get people to stay at your hotel.  The people running the hotel were not very helpful either.  They grudgingly dried my wet things in their dryer in the basement but when my friends wanted to have their things dried too, the dryer was suddenly not an option anymore.   The forecast calls for more rain tomorrow so I am not too happy about that.  In order to find a place to eat near the hotel, we had to get wet again.  We ended up eating in a cantina that had nothing good on the menu.  There were some other pilgrims in the cantina who were eating a huge plate of sausages that looked simply delicious.  Even though we asked to have the same thing, the waiter brought us a beef stew that looked nothing like the food others in the restaurant were eating.  It was a huge disappointment.  I can’t remember who it was who found a place to buy some beer but we ended up going back to the hotel and drinking in the empty restaurant.  We also played a fun card game called Der Große Dalmuti which is similar to an American card game called A--hole.  I’ve never heard of either game but it was fun to learn nonetheless.  The object of the game is to get rid of your cards by playing groupings of the same rank, such as three 4s. The rules seem easy enough but I wasn’t too sure about what I was doing even after about an hour of playing.  I just went along as best I could and ended up being 3 out of 5.  Learned a new phrase today from wilde Ostern: “Auf die kakahauen” which is slang essentially meaning “Let’s Party!”

http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2827/8984512801_fabd16f88f_o.jpg

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