Day 22: There Be Mountains


Day 22
Date: Tuesday, Sep 27, 2016
Start: Ponte de Lima
Stop: Quinta Estrada Romana, Cerdal     👍👍
Dist (Day/Total): 32/506 km
High Temp: 26 C/79 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.

7:15 am start, today.  I had breakfast at a very busy, weird little cafe just on the other side of the bridge.  Place was packed with pilgrims and the cafe didn’t have enough help.  The counter person looked really frazzled.

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The day started off as an easy stroll through and by vineyards and under a freeway.  But that was just a distraction from what was coming.  You can see it in the background of both pictures.  Mountains.  Well, not really.  Just big hills.  But compared to the rest of the trip, yes, mountains.  So far, besides a few short inclines and declines through Eucalyptus forests, it had been pretty flat.  But today was steep and rocky.  No switchbacks.  You’d go up a steep incline and get to a mountain dirt road and think, ahhh, we’re done.  Nope.  A few steps on the road and then it was back up the side of the mountain.  It was great!  😀😀😀😀😀  

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Rubiaes, Portugal

Finally, when you did get to the top, you were rewarded with these great vistas.  But unfortunately none of my pictures from the top of the mountain are worth posting.  Stinkin’ cracked lens.  Saw a lot of pilgrims and figured we were all heading to Rubiaes, 22 km from Ponte de Lima.  That would put us about 20 km from Tui, Spain, the following day.  Tui is a large city with significant touristy things to see and do.  I got to Rubiaes at around 12:30 pm.  It was still early but I figured I would stick with the plan.  There were two albergues in town.  I skipped the municipal one and went to the next one which was private and newer.  Maybe I can swing a private room.  Unfortunately, it was full.  I did not feel like backtracking up the hill to the municipal one. Plus I had no idea if it had bed or not.  There were a couple of Casa Rurals, also.  But it was only 12:30 and I decided to move on.

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Quinta Estrada Romana Albergue

IMG_3057The guy at the private albergue in Rubiaes had said that there was another one 10 km further ahead.  And sure enough there was.  And while, it’s address is in Cerdal, there was nothing else close by.  It was on the side of the road.  There was no one there except the hospitalero and I decided that that would be my stop for the night.  It was nice and clean and had one of the best stamps I have seen.  The base was a stamp and then the hospitalero drew the rest by hand.  Nearly a custom stamp for each pilgrim.  Everyone dates the stamp but this guy also put the time, which I liked.  As you can see, I got it stamped at 3:10 pm.  After a IMG_3059shower, I grabbed a beer and headed out to the patio area.  Pretty soon, you started see other pilgrims walking by.  A few stopped in, some kept going and five decided to stay.  Here we are at dinner – representing, from the left, South Africa, Germany (2), Australia/Mexico, Belgium and me (USA) taking the picture.  Should have asked the hospitalero to to take the picture.  DUH!

This was the last day for the two German women but I saw the other three on an off for the rest of the trip.  The Belgian guy was stopping in Santiago and not continuing to Fisterra because of work.  The Australian/Mexican woman had to stop in Muxia, one stop short of Fisterra (Finesterre), due to a family emergency and the South African I saw in Fistera.  She was supposed to return home after Fisterra but was having so much fun that she took a bus to A Coruna, about 105 km from Fisterra, to do the Camino Ingles.  Bom Caminho!

Bed, laundry (washer only), dinner and breakfast was €25.  Well worth it.

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