“Tarmac! Tarmac is the friend of your feet!” A positive start to the day is just the way we like […]

“Tarmac! Tarmac is the friend of your feet!”

A positive start to the day is just the way we like it, so you can imagine Carolyn’s delight when another attractively adorned egg was placed in front of her at breakfast this morning. She even had her camera with her, so you can judge for yourselves whether or not this enthusiasm was understandable/fully justified/just plain bizarre. When she decided to wear it on her head I can’t deny I sneaked a look round the dining area to see what the American, French and Portuguese guests made of it all. I think we may have got away with it, but my French is limited to say the least, so they may well have been giving it large about “l’etrange femme ecossaise avec le chauffe-oeufs sur la tête!” (Bet that’s got you checking Google Translate).

Having jammed as much Compeed as possible onto the soles of my feet, we set off on today’s adventure, which was a pretty straightforward walk provided you didn’t elect to take the detour to the Capela de Santa da Franqueria up in the wooded hills of Monte Franqueria. We, of course, did.
The journey was along a gradually inclining forest road that eventually reached the church buildings and impressive statue of the Madonna and child. The giant telecom masts planted right in the middle of the gardens, however, did a pretty decent job of ruining what would otherwise have been a really beautiful sight. The place had immaculately tended gardens and was otherwise quite lovely.

There was a cafeteria within the complex run by an elderly man who provided excellent coffee. The food options were, however, somewhat limited. We settled upon, of all things, hard boiled eggs with buttered rolls. These wee rascals, much to Carolyn’s disappointment, were humble, bare headed numbers, but they hit the spot all the same. Having eaten our fill, we returned to the Camino trail and continued onwards to Barcelos, which we reached by late afternoon.

This is a lovely town which has a river running through its centre and is currently in the middle of a 3 day medieval festival. Tonight all the locals are dressed in medieval costume and there are all manner of stalls selling food, drink, jewellery and all sorts. There are fortune tellers, tarot card readers, jugglers, and knights on horseback! They fairly throw themselves into their festive celebrations in Portugal, just as they do in Spain. No matter how tightly I squeeze my eyes shut, I cannot imagine the good people of Paisley investing in such a project with similar levels of enthusiasm (now there’s a fine example of polite understatement).

I must finish now, as (i) we have a 33km walk tomorrow and need to get some rest, because we’re not as young……etc…etc.
(ii) my battery is about to pack in.

Until tomorrow!

Today’s album track is “Swords of a Thousand Men” by Tenpole Tudor, because the video, as far as I can remember, featured guys in suits of armour. What do you mean, that’s a rubbish link?
One last thing: The flag of Barcelos is a saltire identical to Scotland’s. A wee bit of home in sunny Portugal ( thankfully minus the rain !!!)