Camino Portugese: Stopping to See

It is so beautiful here. The rain that was strong at daybreak never really happened. We treated ourselves to a day of rest.I read a quarter of my 500 page book about Magellan where I learned about the history and historical majesty of Portugal, as well as Spain where we will be walking tomorrow. Portugal has heart and even more soul.   

It was in the voices of the four young girls that were playing soccer and shouting out counting games on the street below this afternoon noon while I was coming out of my afternoon meditation.  
I saw Portugal in the spirit of the stonemason who was replacing a section of the street with granite paving stones that had been dug up and put aside in order to get at some utility pipes below our window.   If this were back in the US there would have been a crew of at least four men including one police-to do what this individual did with just one other person handing him blocks, shoveling sand, and sweeping for him. He worked relentlessly, carefully, and steadily – always squatting and shuffling- never even standing for a few minutes and bullshitting with people walking by that I’m sure he knew.

We got upgraded to a more luxurious room last night after I complained about the poor Wi-Fi connection. I had some credibility when the beautiful woman who was tending to the desk informed me that my room is really distant from the router hub above the office. At 11 Mb it is almost twice as fast as my home connection now. She moved us right next to the power spot. 
I visited this church today. 
It was a few hundred feet from the hotel. I came in through a door that had a scallop shell-shaped thumb latch. 

I tried to kneel, but my battered knee that took a hit riding in the Rockland (Maine)Bog back home on my mountain bike on October 17  just couldn’t take the pain. It was a medium-sized church,but  I was surprised to see only 20 pews in the main chamber. There were three altars inside. 

On my right was Mary holding the baby Jesus.

On my left was the living Jesus. 

The massive central central altar depicted the crucifixion.
This town is composed of some 5000 residents. It’s incredible testament to the spirit of these people. 
Just before I came down to write this sitting in the central lounge at the hotel I watched the little happy girls playing ball outside my window on the first floor. While they were playing, a young man who was wearing earphones and listening to his iPhone was walking by and he stopped to talk to them. Each of the girls lovingly kissed him on both cheeks.  
This was my experience on the Camino today, when I did not walk even one step forward on that path.

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About tjamrog

I'm sixty-seven and live in the Maine woods. I thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2007, the Pacific Crest Trail in 2010, Vermont's Long Trail in 2011, and the Continental Divide Trail in 2013 . I am outdoors every day. I offer guided backpacking trips and classes in Maine, through "Uncle Tom's Guided Adventures".
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2 Responses to Camino Portugese: Stopping to See

  1. Gail Munroe says:

    Very impressive photos and commentary. How’s Mame doing?

    • tjamrog says:

      Yes. So great. We are having our usual ups and downs, but are steadily trucking along. She told me to tell you that she will be in touch with you.

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