Day 5. June 11
Valenca to Redondela
23 miles / 37 km
Fitbit steps: 43,051
Crossed into Spain first thing this morning. The cobblestones of Portugal gave way to shaded earthen paths that were heaven to my feet.
Spain has a deliciousness about it that’s hard to explain. There are lots of people about, busy sidewalk cafés, even the dogs are friendlier. Most (no exaggeration) of the dogs in Portugal barked ferociously as I passed–watchdogs! I saw lots of dogs today and not a one barked or chased me. Actually, I stand my ground, walking sticks at the ready when necessary.
When the day got to be too hot, I stopped at a “stable” cafe for an orange soda. It was a bit odd to walk past box stalls filled with straw on my way to an upscale bathroom. The owner of the stable must have decided to capitalize on the pilgrims as they passed and he did it with panache. Not only did he bring me that orange pop with ice, he also used his machete to hack a few slices of Manchego off a big wheel of cheese, then added several pieces of baguette to go with it.
Tonight I stopped in a restaurant for tapas. A guy at the next table immediately asked where I was from. I almost said Canada, but the Texan was sincere enough with his questions. When I said the States he wanted to know which state. When I said California, the two women at the table said they’d heard of me. “Really?”, I say. “Oh yeah, you’re the one who’s walking really far each day”. I think they wanted to qualify that comment with the words “old lady” but caught themselves. Well, that would be me.
I’m in the municipal albergue tonight and it’s a sardine can. 20 beds in a space the size of my bedroom at home. I arrived too late for a lower bunk so here I am climbing up and down a ladder.