Day 19: Little Pink House


Day 19
Date: Saturday, Sep 24, 2016
Start: Porto
Stop: Casa Vidal (private home), Vilarinho     👎
Dist (Day/Total): 28/414 km
High Temp: 21 C/70 F

A single thumbs up or down is simply an indication of whether I would stay there again or not.  It is not a recommendation.  A double thumbs up or down indicates that the place was great and I highly recommend it or absolutely awful and stay away.

Rough Night. Late start at 7:30 am.  Rough Day.  Mostly walking thru industrial section and/or along busy roads.  Lot of trucks.  Hot.  Lot of dust.  Stopped at this cafe with a pink Statue of Liberty.

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I didn’t have a specific plan for the day and around early afternoon, as I started feeling worse again, decided it was tie to start looking for a place.  Today, I saw several pilgrims and also signs for albergues.  These signs are very common in Spain and you start seeing them as you get closer to a village or town.  Because of my cough, I didn’t want to stay in a dormitory but I saw no ads for hotels or B&Bs.  But I was hoping I could get a private room.  I ended up calling Casa Vidal.  The guy who answered didn’t speak English but did speak fluent French and I was able to book a bed for the night.

It was around 2 pm when I got there.  Vilarinho is a small town.  Not even sure town is the right word.  One intersection with a small shopping strip with one sort of paved road.  It was extremely hot, dusty and the place looked deserted.  People trying to avoid the heat.

I found the place.  It looked like a private home on a residential street.  I rang the bell and a man came and let me in.  The property was bigger than it looked from the street.  The lot was small but it was packed.  There was a covered patio and a swimming pool wedged between the carport and the house.  Made a note to myself that if you were coming back after dark with a tad too much vino tinto, there was a good chance of falling into the pool.  As he is leading me to wherever it was that I was spending the night, there was a woman standing on the patio.  I greeted her.  She looked startled and ran into the house.  Man, I must really need a shower.

The main house was L shaped and the rooms he rented were in a 2 story building in the back, separate from the main house, giving the property a U shape.  There appeared to be about 4 to 5 rooms facing the pool.  No one else appeared to be there.  I was in the first room on the ground floor.  It had three beds and a table jam-packed in.  The shower was one of those tiny, stand-alone, plastic closets that you see frequently in Europe.  It was in a small walk-in closet that was still being used as a closet, i.e hanging clothes, shoes, etc.  So, a closet in a closet.  He provided very elaborate instructions on using the shower.  You had to step into the shower a specific way, turn the water on and off in a certain sequence and step out in a specific way.  The toilet was outside the room at one end of the building.  The room did not have a fan or air-conditioning but the doorway had one of those clinking, beaded curtains (70s, hippy style).  So, you could keep the door open and the beaded curtain would keep most of the bugs out.  It was only €10.  But there was no breakfast.

The guy was nice enough but for some reason I felt very uneasy.  I was getting a very odd vibe.  I never saw him, the woman or anyone else again.

I took a shower and headed to the shopping strip were I had seen a cafe when I had arrived.  Walking over, nothing was stirring and, except for the employee/owner, the cafe was empty also.  I had a beer, wrote in my journal and checked out the menu for dinner.  Afterwards, I set out to explore the little town and was done in about 5 minutes.  Plus it was just too hot.  Back to the cafe.  Another beer.  Starting dozing off.  Back to Casa Vidal for a nap.  Returned to the cafe for dinner and then off to bed.  No one else showed up and I had the place to myself.  Good because my coughing was always worse at night.  This is the only time in all my hiking/backpacking travels where I made a concerted decision to lock the door.

And, here’s a picture of a little church . . .

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Outskirts of Porto, Portugal
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