Thursday, September 20.
I’ve been thinking about how very different this Camino is . . . not only that I’ve been in Portugal rather than Spain, thus far. Not only that I’m on a beach boardwalk for the most part, again thus far. But because my mind can’t seem to let go of wrangling with the issues still at home . . . a horrendous HOA situation, a possible sale of one of my Vermont properties (with all the attorney e-mails, etc. no matter where I am). A different way of living in the moment. I have no Neil, no Kali or Huxley, the beings who give my life its day-to-day joy. But I still have more of the BS from home than I have had in the past.
And I also know that from my first Camino that it took me two weeks to let go of all the “home fires” burning and just be free every second. Now I only have two weeks, start to finish, and one can’t just speed up one’s letting go. So.
Today I am up and out of my apartment early enough. My breakfast was a banana, a few little jam-filled cookies, and mint tea, all of which I had purchased yesterday. So no wasted time stopping for “breakfast”. I have managed to avoid cafe con leché (though I love it unless I know I’m going to have a full extra day of no walking, substituting mint or lemon tea, which has in turn eliminated my need for ‘Paris moments” in the bush. A good thing. Took me 1-1/2 Caminos to learn that! Sigh.
So an easy path to the coast. half a block and I’m there. The walk was easy, and my mid-destination is Caminha, a town on the border between Portugal and Spain. Once in Caminha, a ferry takes travelers of all sorts (and cars) across an inlet of the sea. Less than 10 minutes (and Euro 1.50, I think) and poof! Spain. A Guarda, to be exact.
My bed is in Mougás, however, and when I arrive at the Albergue, a couple is sitting outside in front of the reception area. “Oh, you must be the American!” the woman says brightly. “We’ve heard all about you from your German friend.” Hmmm . . . I laugh.
I look around for the proper entrance, and the woman tells me to follow “the man”. She gestures to someone approaching me from the restaurant next door. I walk with him into the Albergue buiding, and he says, “You must be Joannah. Your friend is waiting in your room!” Nice to be infamous.
After settling in, doing a bit of laundry, hanging it out on our balcony, with its lovely view, I must say, we went down to the attached restaurant for dinner. A German man Ria had met on the road joined us.
Our various selections made a colorful display on the table. Michael’s mussels, my langostinos, Ria’s baby squid, and our shared Padron peppers (I have to look for these in Fort Collins . . . delicious!). Some mediocre red wine, but hey, we’re all tired . . .
The room at the albergue WAS private, but had its problems. Half of the plugs in the room were non-functional, as were half of the light switches. The major issue was that the toilet didn’t flush. At all. EEWWW! Who wants to dump water from the shower sprayer in the middle of the night, just to flush a toilet. We’re old, remember, or at least I am, and I get up a lot in the middle of the night.
But at least we weren’t in bunk beds with twenty other pilgrims.