Camino Portugues Portugal

Day 19: Viana do Castelo to Seixas

It should have been 32km between Viana do Castelo and Seixas. The swelling around my ancle had subsided, but it still hurt when I walked, so there was no chance of walking 32kms. I bandaged the ancle, and hobbled  to a laundromat to wash my clothes – so at least I have clean clothes, despite being concerned about whether I can continue or not. After the laundry, I walked gingerly into town, passing  Praca da Republica and the bandstand where I had managed to hear one song yesterday (Bruce Springsteen’s I’m on Fire) and the fountain. It was going to be a hot day. Out of the blue an American came up to me and told me that I should get a hat, and then walked off!

I decided to pass by the pastry shop Natario, as proposed by Joao who I walked with earlier in the year. But the queue was 100m long (3-4 times those on the picture) and only moved when someone left the queue, which I also did. It must be good.

At the station, the next train was in 2 hours time and 2 hours more for the connection, so I waited, read the news, did a sudoku and watched life pass me by, all whilst trying to keep my foot up. The now 30 min delayed train took me to Caminha, where I now had 90 mins to kill. I found a chemist and bought an ancle support (thanks for proposing it Kirsten), which had an immediate positive effect. The chemist was very helpful, making sure that I put the support on correctly and proposing anti-inflammatory tablets. I walked down to the main square in Caminha, it seemed to be a very pleasant town.

Caminha is a decision point for people walking the Camino Portugues coastal route. Many take a boat across the River Minho, the border between Spain and Portugal, and continue north via Vigo in Spain. I, ancle allowing, will be walking along the river on the Portuguese side to Valenca, before crossing into Spain.

We were 10 people waiting for the train, half of them on platform 1, the other half on platform 2. There was no information. Luckily I was on platform 2 where the train pulled up, so I didn’t need to run to catch it. It took 3 minutes to get to Seixas and another 5 minutes to walk to tonight’s hotel, passing the local church.

Two nights ago, I slept at a campsite, today I’m in a palace built in 1909 by a returning matador from Brazil, for his wife, Idalina. The parents of the lady who runs it today, bought it in the 60’s, with all its furniture. It’s a wonderful place and you should look it up on e.g. Villa Idalina, it could just as well be the setting of an Agatha Christie story.

For the second night in a row there were fireworks after midnight last night, I hope it will be quieter here. I sat in the garden and saw the sun set, before calling home.

I went for a short walk to test my ancle with the support bandage, it felt better, but whether better is the same as 26 kms tomorrow, time will tell.

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