Day three of hiking through Portugal

Being woken up by strange noises in the church, didn’t stop us from lounging around in our godly room all morning. Eventually at 11.30 am we packed our rucksacks and left.

We enjoyed a thick creamy hot chocolate and a warm cheese croissant for breakfast in the bakery next door – it was divine.

Arming ourselves with a tonne of pastries, we set off for the day. Exiting Viena do Castilla was somewhat tricky, the yellow camino signs were not as clear as they were thus far or maybe we were too full from breakfast to pay attention to them. Consequently, we took a wrong turn and had to double back on ourselves to find the right path. We discovered that the path was signposted but somehow we missed it. When walking in bigger towns, there are more lamp-posts and so it is harder to find the ones with the camino signs on. Whereas, when walking through forests or small villages the signs are easier to spot.

Leaving late we caught up with other pilgrims in the afternoon. A group of 6 Australians were having a rest stop under a tree. Their end destination was to be Villa Praia. We kept this in mind for us too.

We walked a little way further and stopped outside a yellow church for a rest.

The Australians then reached us and had their stop too. Moving on we walked through shaded forests.

Later we reached a village, where a perfectly groomed garden was apparent. They had many red ornaments outside.

We passed a railway track, walked down a hill and spied a cafe offering a pilgrim’s menu. This was a couple of hours into the day’s walk. We were not hungry but weren’t sure where the next break would be so we stopped for fried fish, rice and salad costing €6 – very reasonable.

At around 6pm we made it to Villa Prai, legs and feet throbbing we were desperate to find an albergue to sleep in. However, there were no signs. In fact again we lost track of the camino route, missing one vital sign. I asked someone and they directed us back on the path. We were still unsure where to stay the night.

Consequently, we stopped in a cafe to find some WiFi. It appeared that there was a hostel nearby. We walked there and got the last two beds available – result. The hostel da avenida was full of pilgrims. It was right on the beach front. Sitting in the lobby we had a wonderful view over the Atlantic sea.

Showering made me feel a million dollars. Next it was time for food. We had a pretty average salmon dish from the restaurant next door. Costing €8.50 euros we couldn’t really complain. The waiter said they didn’t offer desert – how silly. Instead we walked through the town to find a pastry shop. We stumbled upon a festival. Singing, dancing and traditional food was being served. The church had been lit up. We enjoyed some surgery treats while soaking up the atmosphere.

On the walk back we bumped into a couple of australian pilgrims and spoke to them, they had guidebooks, plans and looked organised. Pretty much the opposite to how we were doing things. Nonetheless, we browsed their books before heading back to the hostel.

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