Portugal meets Poland: Day 2 Camino Portugese

I awoke to golden light with doves softly hooting and many small birds singing. Right now, I am reminded of the universal experience of those of us who treasure walking, as we awaken with hope in our hearts for what we may experience on the path today.
So much happened today. Mame and I ended up further that we expected, logging 13 miles. However, we were done by 3:45 pm. Allowing us ample time to rest for tomorrow.

The walking was world class right off the bat.  

We left at 8:30 am, and continued north right beside the expansive Atlantic, which was crashing against the rocky shoreline. We moved over a vast expanse of beach on brand new boardwalks that skirted the dunes.

Occasionally we walked adjacent to ancient artifacts etched into the rocks. Some were Algiz engravings thought to be Viking runes. Others were the remains of Norman/ Viking camps.

The most interesting to me was an astounding peasant vegetable garden tended by an old woman who was out watering the plants. She appeared to live in a hovel of a shelter that was on a multimillion dollar piece of real estate.

After five miles of walking beside the ocean, we reached the very attractive city of Vila do Condo, where we parted paths with Sioukie, who had plans to veer east and walk to Arcos.

The community gardens and use of plants here were way ahead of those I see in my community.

We chose to go coastal on a lesser traveled route (Camino da Costa) that made it into the 7th Edition (2016) of Brierly’s book. First we wound our way through Conde until we reached the shores of the Atlantic again. The path was well marked with signage.

We stopped for coffee and a snack and walked an hour later to end our second day at Pova Varzim, a gem of a seaside town with all the amenities.

We had the contact info for a church sponsored albergue, but when we followed my mapping app, no one answered the door. Then stress city showed itself when I could not get the proper codes entered into my phone to get the phone number to ring. We were on the church’s step working though all of this when a man came up to us speaking undecipherable Portugese and then switched to sign language that conveyed ” follow me”, which we did. While gathering up my things at the door if the church, I started weeping again at our good fortune, which came just at the time when I needed it the most today.
He led us a couple of hundred feet down the street to the exact place we were looking for.

The manager spoke English, signed us in, gave us a set of keys and a fresh sheet, and told us we were the only folks that were staying in the 16 bed facility, but two more peregrinos straggled in later.

The place was spotless, and beyond any place I have ever stayed at on any previous hikes. Magic. Cost= 0, donations accepted.

Mame send me out to find food to prepare supper and breakfast in the well appointed kitchen here. How’s this : 6 eggs, block of cheese, butter, 4 home baked rolls, tomato paste, big fresh tomato, yogurt, bottle of wine, two oranges for € 9.32  ?

Then more magic came my way when Cezary walked into the kitchen.

He introduced himself as from Poland, and we made an instant connection when I began to introduce myself in broken Polish. He had just put in a 25 mile day. We took over a half hour sharing our lives. End of story was an invitation for me to hike a 200 mile pilgrimage from Warsaw, where he lives. This is going to happen.

From the soft cooing of the doves this morning to the silence of these downtown streets tonight, Camino blessings happened.

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