Day 2: Don’t ever follow a Dutchman.

Day 2.  June 8
Vilarinho to Barcelos (via Fao)
17.5 miles / 28+ km
Fitbit steps: 34,337

Just a mile’s walk brought me to this impressive early 13th century bridge. When it was built, our Founding Fathers’ ancestors were still dealing with the Magna Carta.

Before long I heard approaching footsteps. They belonged to a young Dutchman who fell into step with me. We chatted as we walked a fairly fast pace. We bought pastries from a man who delivered bread the way the milkman used to deliver milk.

After a walking a couple hours I suggested we had made a wrong turn, but the Dutchman suggested I not worry. So I didn’t. An hour later, I made the same suggestion. “Betsy, you worry too much.”, he said.

When I pointed out that we were nearing the sea, this Dutchman conceded that we were, in fact, off course. We found an open restaurant and ordered some lunch. Then we ordered a taxi. It took us 19 kilometers inland to our destination. As we had ready walked farther than we would have walked had we not followed the wrong yellow arrows, we agreed the taxi was a reasonable solution. The restaurant owner said that many pilgrims find their way to her every week. We suggested she have the arrow painters clarify the diverging paths and she just gave a sweet smile.

Had I been walking alone I would have been crying. But the Dutchman was fine company and we a good laugh over it. You can be sure the incident made for great storytelling later at the albergue.

It’s another early night as I have 33 kilometers to walk tomorrow. As luck would have it there is a Frenchman in the bunk below me who has been sawing logs for ten minutes. There are six of us in a room that is smaller than my bathroom at home.