Camino Portuguese XX

Over 33km, over 30 degrees by the afternoon.  We had known that yesterday;  we had decided not to push on for a longer day then knowing that if we wanted to go to the monastery we would have an even longer walk today. There was method in our madness – yesterday we had had a leisurely start and so wound up walking in the heat of the afternoon. We decided today we could get away early and put in some miles before the sun turned everything into a furnace. And so we left at sunrise:

 The walking was easy, conversation flowed and the miles flew by.

  Before we knew it we were having the first coffee break and soon after the first town appeared. We didn’t stop for food, because someone had recommended a bar just after O Pino, which was purportedly not far away. We were fair skipping along, in high spirits feeling very jolly.

   (Pic credit to Mike)

We bumped into the Polish guy we chatted with the other day and a German one we had stayed with one night (by the way, there are more Germans than any other nationality walking this path right now) and a bunch of Scots, one of whom has family in New Zealand (way down in Gore) 

 It was all very nice and then we realised we were well past O Pino. Guidebook consultation ensued and we discovered the fantastic bar we were heading for was not in fact anywhere near O Pino. It was a further 4km on from where we were. No matter, we’d continue….but we would be well and truly ready for a good meal by the time we got there! Encouragingly, it was a gorgeous downhill stony path through the forest.

 Temptation to stop met us round the next corner when we spied the Korean girls sitting outside a cafe, but, no, we had a fantastic restaurant to go to, so we pressed on again.

Imagine our dismay when we saw a sign telling us the restaurant was 46 minutes away. We figured that could not possibly be true and plodded on, getting increasingly hot. After what must have been half an hour there was another sign telling us we were now only 37 minutes away.  Our American companions started losing sight of the fact that the last restaurant we had recommended to them had turned out to be fantastic. And still we walked on sweating.

Long story short (because you can probably already see where this is going}, we eventually got there.

 Medieval Restaurant. A few choice words were spoken about the fact that the only thing  *medieval* about this place was the layer of dust that had been there since the Crusades.

 It was the kind of place that Grandpa would say needed a jolly good tidy up, but a younger generation might think was pretty funky with all its odd bits and bobs lying around.

The food was not bad, but it was nothing special and the kitchen looked like it would definitely not pass any hygiene tests. All the same we enjoyed some good gazpacho and Padron peppers that are a must-eat in this region that they are grown.

3km to go after lunch. It was so hot we did not even try to do that short distance in one stretch and made excuses to stop for iceblocks/cerveza along the way. Amazing how we had been blasting along so easily at 25km, but by 30 were lagging!

Thank goodness we had started in the cool of the day!

Question for the kids: what is gazpacho made from?

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