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    • Day 10

      HOLA SPAIN!!

      May 23 in Spain ⋅ 🌙 14 °C

      Today, we walked over 13 miles from Quinta da Gandra in San Pedro de Rubiaes to Hotel Villa Blanca in Tui Spain .
      We crossed the Guadiana River to get from Portugal to Spain today! What a rush! There were a lot of Camino walkers arriving at the same time we were. Very exciting indeed!
      We were sad to say "Adeus" to Portugal but very happy to make it to Spain.
      We walked through the town and found our Hotel Villa Blanca. We took showers and set out for dinner. On the way, we stopped at the Santa Iglesia Cathedral. It was built in 1227 under the order of Archbishop Rodrigo Jimenez mandate. The Cathedral was dedicated to the Virgin Mary in her ascension to heaven. It was constructed in Gothic style. So cool!
      There is so much detail in today's adventure that I just don't have the energy to type it all out.
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    • Day 7

      Tag 6: Geselliger Weg, zweisames Heim

      September 11, 2023 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

      Los ging es von der Casa da Mota, unserem Haus am Strand (zum Glück ohne Motten). Wir gingen ohne Frühstück oder großes Fertigmachen los, sodass wir ein gutes Stück des Weges in kühlen Temperaturen zurücklegen konnten. Wir wanderten durch das neblige Gondarem. Auf dem Weg sahen wir ein lesbisches Pärchen, das ein Hostel verließ. Sie sahen mit ihren Rucksäcken auch aus wie Peregrinos. Wir stiegen einige Höhenmeter ab und kehrten für das Frühstück in einem portugiesischen Café ein. Es fühlte sich gut an, zu essen wenn man schon Strecke hinter sich gebracht hat. Wir genossen ein Riesensandwich und ein tolles Omelett, ein Schokocroissant und vier Siebträgermaschinenkaffees. Dies alles kostete uns nur 17 €, da wäre man in Deutschland schon mit dem Kaffee drüber gewesen. Hier macht essen also deutlich mehr Spaß :D
      Währenddessen kam das Paar auch den Berg hinunter und setzte sich zum Frühstücken zu uns. Sie teilen uns mit, dass Katjas blaues Handtuch oben auf dem Berg läge, weshalb Katja eine halbe Stunde investierte, um es zu holen (man läuft ja nicht schon genug). Die Gespräche mit den Damen verliefen schnell sehr philosophisch und tief, kein Smalltalk. Das ist wahrscheinlich die Magie des Weges...
      Anschließend ging es wieder am Fluss entlang weiter Richtung Valença, unseres Tagesziels. Zwischendurch besuchten wir das Dorf Ponte, wo wir einen Top Kaffee für 1€ tranken und drei andere Pilger kennen lernten: eine junge Tschechin, einen perfekt englischsprechenden charismatischen Niederländer und einen 17(!)-jährigen Italiener, der bereits seinen zweiten Caminho läuft. Natürlich wurde auch wieder über Füße gesprochen und absurde Techniken eruiert, wie man denn mit Blasen an den Zehen umzugehen habe.
      Wir gingen nach Valença, wo es mit der Geselligkeit aufhörte, wir waren so ziemlich die einzigen Gäste in einem riesigen Anwesen. Der laut den Bewertungen tolle Wirt und das angekündigte Abendessen und Frühstück fehlten komplett :D. Wir vermuten einen kürzlichen Besitzerwechsel als Grund für die Falschinformationen. Stattdessen gingen wir zu einem indischen Restaurant und bestellten die halbe Karte. Auch mal wieder gut!
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    • Day 10

      Valença, the finale of Portugal

      April 29 in Portugal ⋅ ☁️ 17 °C

      Arriving in Valença late in the afternoon, I rested for a few hours and waited until I was prepared to walk to the closest restaurant that was open.
      The Italian restaurant was fancier than I expected, and Im sure I stuck out painfully. I ordered a calzone with all sorts of things in it. It was great. Also, where else could you get pistachio cheescake?!Read more

    • Day 4

      Day 4 - Tamel to Valenca

      June 30, 2022 in Portugal ⋅ ☀️ 61 °F

      If you are familiar with the Portugues Central Route at all this would certainly cause raised eyebrows. After all it’s 57.9 kilometers, over double of what we have done any one of the first three days.

      So, after yesterday’s traumatic but blessed day, (See Day 3 herein) neither Claudia or I slept very well, tossing and turning, maybe snoring trying to figure out how we would finish with our schedule as it was. It turns out that in our time frame I have put us in, the walking pace is a little more aggressive than we originally thought. 15+ miles a day for two weeks is a little tougher than it used to be.

      I woke up at 5am ready to make a go of it and woke up Claudia. She asked me to talk outside the room. She remembered that to “finish” the
      Camino and receive the Compostela you had to walk 100km. We could do that and finish on schedule if we were transported in time to Valenca. She also reminded me the goal here was to complete the Camino by arriving at Santiago de Compostela, not just walk 170 miles.

      My first thought was disappointment, but I realistically knew that completion would not happen without some miracle, especially under the time constraints I had. My next thought was this was the miracle I was praying for. I did. I don’t want to go home without the Compostela, and now I won’t.

      So, we took the train for a little over an hour and we’re transported to Valenca, Portugal. I want to walk across the Minho river myself into Spain. We took the rest of the the day planning how far to walk each day and where to stop. The kilometers would be a little more each day as my feet heal. We bought 50 Euros worth of blister protection at the Farmacia. We bought me a pair of sandals that fit and won’t hurt my feet 🙏🙏, and relaxed the rest of the day.

      If you have read Matthew McConaughey’s book, this is where the chapter would end and he would say “Green Light.”

      The journey continues tomorrow. I have a plan, but will follow God’s plan.

      Still got over 7000 steps today.
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    • Day 18

      Valenca to Os Eidos

      September 29, 2022 in Portugal ⋅ 🌧 17 °C

      I waited for Sharon in the Tourist Information Centre. She showed up right on schedule. From the Fortaleza it was a short walk to the International Bridge, where we crossed the border into Spain. Easiest border crossing ever.

      Once in Tui, we had lunch before continuing on to our albergue. Now in Spain we are back to seeing horreos and Galician Camino markers. Also a couple of ancient bridges.
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    • Day 11

      Valença Fort, and Tui, Spain

      April 30 in Portugal ⋅ ☁️ 14 °C

      The city of Valença has a massive fort where there are many shops that specialize in textile fabrics. I found one very cool shop with fossils, preserved insects, and antique decorations. There was a massive cathedral, with incredible stone work, I just wish It was open and had seen the inside. Met some lovely cats that made my own at home. Then, leaving Tui, I was back to the forest road and the Fellowship on the Ring.Read more

    • Day 11

      Our last day in Portugal

      September 23, 2022 in Portugal ⋅ ☁️ 70 °F

      We made it to Valença do Minho, our last stop before we cross into Spain. Our hotel, Alojamento da Vila, is inside the walled fortress of the ancient city on the banks of the Minho river which is the border between Portugal and Spain. Tomorrow we are taking a rest day of sorts, only walking across the river to the Spanish city of Tui. The best part is that Spain ‘s time zone is one hour behind Portugal so we might even arrive before we leave!

      Today’s walk was long but pleasant. Very gentle hills, many forested sections, and sufficient cafes with restrooms. Sadly, no places to soak our feet today. They say «The Camino provides » but when I was wishing for a fountain all I found was an old sock.

      Last night’s communal dinner followed by breakfast with the same group of folks made today fun. Alison & Peter, Claudia & André, and new friends Ashook & Hesha from Canada, all left the hotel together this morning. While we all walked at different paces we managed to catch up to each other at cafes. The cycling boys took off just before us on their way to Caldas de Reis which we will reach 5 days from now. We even ran into our mates Betty and Jan twice today. We walked together for a bit but the rocky path we were on was hard on Betty’s knees so they dropped back. The next time we saw them they were arriving at a cafe in the town of Castro just as we were leaving. They were going to rest a bit then catch a bus or taxi to Valença. We invited Jan to accompany us but he opted to stay with his mother. Such a good son.

      When passing through Castro we met Fatima and her dog, Lola. Fatima was born in Portugal but now lives in Canada. She and Lola are living in Castro for several months of r ‘n r, staying at her family home right on the Camino. She asked us many questions about the Camino and we had a really nice chat. Lola is an 11 month old Aussie/Labradoodle mix with a lucious red coat. Very well behaved for her age and breed.

      Our room at the Alojamento da Vila is lovely, with balconies overlooking the tiled rooftops and the narrow pedestrian lane below. Our next door neighbors are two German women we’ve exchanged «Bom Caminho!»s with several times over the last five days. We don’t know their names yet but if they hang their laundry out on the balcony, too, we’ll be sure to ask. We do know that they are heading back to Porto tomorrow and plan to finish the Tui to Santiago portion next year. This is their second Camino and they got me excited about getting to Santiago. They say it’s wonderful.

      Some of our friends were continuing on to Tui today but others were planning to stop in Valença. I imagine we’ll see some familiar faces at dinner tonight.

      As I write, I hear a donkey braying nearby. Perhaps it is the Rastafarian! I must investigate.
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    • Day 8

      O’ Porriño

      October 4, 2023 in Portugal ⋅ ☀️ 63 °F

      Today we walked 10 miles across the border to Spain through forests & industrial parks until we reached the city of O’Porriño. The room we booked turned out to be a little Spanish lady’s apartment (Fernandra) who works at a floristería nearby. She walked us to her place & when we realized where our bags were being dropped off - her and I (narrator) rode in her flower truck to pick them up. 🇪🇸 🌸 🎒Read more

    • Day 6

      Valença, Portugal to Os Eidos, Spain

      July 1, 2022 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 52 °F

      We left Forteleza, the old part of Valença, and crossed over the Rio Minho (on a big scary bridge) into Tui, Spain. We then climbed up a lot of stone steps to the Cathedral de Santa Maria, a 12th century church with a Gothic entrance. We couldn’t go inside; 8:00 am is too early for the church to be open.
      After cafe au lait and chocolate pastry at “Ideas Peregrines,” we enjoyed a beautiful walk through eucalyptus forests and small villages. We met many new pilgrims while taking photos or stopping for a rest.
      Tonight we are at Casa Alternativo in Os Eidos. The host made dinner for 7. It was lovely to share food and wine with pilgrims from Brazil, France/Gabon, California, and Spain.
      Our host, Dries, made Charles apply loads of fresh aloe vera to his feet. It seems to have helped. Despite Dries insisting he take another day off, we are pushing forward tomorrow with another short day. I am watching Charles carefully for any signs of infection and encouraging him to stop and rest.

      Lessons for today-
      1. Walking slowly side by side reminds me to live in the present.
      2. Walking in nature on wooded paths reminds me of the glory of God’s creation.
      3. Spending time sitting on the porch waiting for the sun to set is an opportunity to get to know people.
      4. No internet can be a blessing.

      Pray for healing and openness to the spirit for both of us.
      Read more

    • Day 27

      Viva Espagne!

      April 11 in Spain ⋅ ☁️ 20 °C

      It was a nice path today, but it did get a little warm in the afternoon. It was 20 km's from Rubiaes to Tui. Crossing the Minho river, I said goodbye to Portugal, and hello to Spain, switching from bom caminho mode to buen camino. The old fortifications around Valenca on the Portuguese side were very impressive. Only 115 km's to Santiago.Read more

    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Tui, توي, Tuy, توی, トゥイ, Туй, 图伊

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