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Day 16: Foz to San Cibrao

Back at the laundry to wash my walking clothes. If you’ve read more than a couple of my posts, you know that it isn’t something I love doing, but it needs to be done. It helps that it is pouring down outside, so there would be little else to do anyway.

I slept well, apart my neighbours coming home at 4am, and then talking. I put earplugs in and soon fell asleep. Breakfast was included, so I wasn’t out of the door before 8.45, but at least I got more than toast, juice and coffee, just about.

Today was a 30km walk and for all but the last 3-4 kms, the paths stuck religiously to the coastline.

The forecast predicted rain at 11am, so I wanted to make good progress before it started.

The paths were primarily stone, some road and a limited amount of sand/dirt/gravel. 30kms on a hard surface is very hard and tiring on the feet, and if I have any complaints about this trail, it has to be just that – too much walking on hard surfaces. One certainly cannot complain about the views.

The first 18kms went towards port town of Burela. In difference to much of yesterday’s walk along the coast, where the long sandy beaches had towns very close by catering for tourism, today there were lots of coves, many with no or limited beaches and no towns close at hand. At one point the path was closed due to a landslide (below). Luckily the detour was close by, and didn’t cause too much extra walking.

As I approached Burela, the police were stopping cars, checking driver’s licenses, number plates and probably more. As I passed through the town, the rain started, it was 12 o’clock. I picked up a take away coffee and cola and continued walking after a short break.

Burela is a large fishing port, fishing mainly for longfin tuna and associated canning industry. Whilst drinking my coffee I read that it was a highly multicultural town with many coming from Cape Verde, Indonesia and Peru to work in the canning factories. Luckily the rain wasn’t heavy and I could for the most walk without the rain poncho.

After Burela the coast changed again. The landscape was flat and one could see along the coast for kilometer after kilometer. The coast was rugged, next to no beaches and no towns before I reached today’s destination at San Cibrao.

A lot of the trail after Burela was along the main road. Closer to San Cibrao the trail took some parallel smaller roads, but I decided to stay on the main road, which had plenty of room to walk in safety and wasn’t busy.

I arrived in San Cibrao at 14.15, with tired feet after all the stone path and road walking. There is only one hotel/hostel in town and I got the room with the best view towards the old part of town on the peninsula and the lighthouse. I think I’m the only person here.

After a break and the rest of yesterday’s bread, I walked out to the lighthouse and through the small and tight streets of the old town. They have their own little mermaid sitting out in the bay which you can reach at low tide. I wonder where I’ve seen something similar?

There was also an exhibition of set of mosaics of the lighthouse’s I had walked past when doing the Lighthouse Way along the Coast of Death, last autumn. Many were easily recognisable.

After washing my clothes, I went to the local supermarket to buy something for tomorrows breakfast, but they had no bread left, so I ended up with a couple of yoghurts. On the street below the hostel, there were three of four bars. I picked the most popular and went in for a beer and ended ordering a burger – their specialty burger. It was pretty bad.

I went to bed with earplugs, just in case it was noisy on the street below with people coming and leaving the bars. But I didn’t hear a thing. Not even all the rain that fell.

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