Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Agueda to Sao Joao da Madeira

Some balance is restored as pilgrims are engaged ... though not at breakfast, since the €12 dormitory doesn't include it and €5 is considered a little expensive ... good value with juice, coffee, fruit, yoghurt, muesli, bread, cheese, ham, croissant, cake ... though consuming it makes the long shot 45km look unlikely and Oliveira at 37 more realistic. .. Loren is spotted leaving before breakfast and soon caught for some philosophy and coffee, and news of light romance with cycling peregrina Hannah from Seattle and walking peregrino from London via Newcastle, Bristol and the west of Ireland, Killian finding each others' company so convivial the bike has been pushed instead of pedalled for four days... before rain begins in earnest at 15km, Loren abandoned and Killian and Hannah collected for midday pilgrimming in increasing rain and proper thunderstorm, which contributes to arrow error in the forest, as marked mucky track is skipped for road on assumption that they run parallel ... meaning a few kilometres in pouring rain to return to route ... Hannah cycles ahead to get warm and is met an hour or so later enjoying coffee and cake ... a Camino love affair? Well, let's say "like" affair ... they are abandoned at 30 km and heading for Oliveira too, though on arrival a bed is elusive, friendly local bar owner suggests more choice at Sao Joao, now just 10km away and energy levels high enough to raise the pace in the drier conditions and arrive by 7pm along with another heavy shower. .. first priority is a proper meal, huge bowl of vegetable soup and some chips, with a glass of red wine, plus the information that the church albergue is close by ... wifi enables further choices and combination of nearby hostel with single room and wifi for your blog and reluctance for the austere 12 bed dorm (possibly already full at this time, nearly 8pm) means another night of relative luxury ... and breakfast included at 7.30 am ... the bar this morning set rather high ... Porto possible tomorrow ... let's see what the morning brings  ...

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