Day 23: Hola Espana. Bienvenido!


Day 23
Date: Wednesday, Sep 28, 2016
Start: Cerdal
Stop: Hotel Puente, O Porrino, Spain    👍
Distance (Day/Total): 28/534 km
High Temp: 28 C/82 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.

Breakfast was supposed to be at 7:30 but I guess the hospitalero overslept.  I’m usually itching to get going in the morning but didn’t leave until 8:15 am.  Walked with the Belgian guy, Sameer.  Crossed into Spain this morning, passing thru Tui.  Stopped at the cathedral and got a stamp.  Packed with tourists.  Also, lots of pilgrims starting from here.

IMG_3073Tui was pretty hilly with a lot of steps.  At one point we ran into four German pilgrims.  One of the guys, probably late 60s or early 70s, had tripped and fallen.  He was bleeding and, initially, it looked pretty bad but he was more dazed than anything else.  I ran into them again the next day.

After Tui, there was a long stretch along a divided highway but at least it had a wide shoulder.  Because of the way the trail had approached the road, we were walking with the traffic on the highway, which I hate to do.  We decided to stick with it and moved pretty fast.  Once we got off the highway, we were walking thru a forest, which was nice.  Sameer decided to take a break and I kept going.

Another extremely hot day and coming into O Porrino was thru an industrial zone.  Once you’re past that, there is a long walk along a highway into town.  About a km from the historical town center, I came across the Puente Hotel.  At the time I didn’t realize I was a km from the historical center and that it was vey charming.  I was exhausted and decided to stop at the hotel.  Showered and had a late lunch at the hotel restaurant.

IMG_3075Then went exploring.  Found an ATM and got some cash.  Found a Vodafone store and got a Spanish SIM card.  Stopped at a cafe and got a pastry and a drink.  I heard this buzzing noise coming from the back  I walked towards it, through the back door of the cafe and found myself in a huge courtyard.  The courtyard was formed by a ring of mid-rise apartment buildings with several cafes with outside seating.  It was packed with families; some parents and grandparents sitting at the cafes, some parents playing with their kids.  There were kids everywhere; running around, kicking soccer balls, playing on jungle gyms, etc.  It was just a cacophony of joyful noise.  I thought how nice and well designed.  There was a place right on their doorsteps for neighbors to gather, get a drink or something to eat, kids to play and the buildings formed a natural barrier from the street.

I ate my pastry, drank my drink and made my way to the historical town center.  It was very festive.  Full of tourists and I’m sure some pilgrims.  Lots of  bars and restaurants.  I ran into Sameer, Sue (from South Africa) and the chick Australia/Mexico; I’ll call her Rebecca.  They had just finished dinner and I sat with them for a little bit.  They were staying at an albergue.  I remember that they really did not like it but can’t recall the reason.  Talked about tomorrow’s walk.

On the way back to the hotel saw these gold colored, hand shaped door knockers and a tiny chapel.

IMG_3083  IMG_3085

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