Apulla Portugal to Redondela Spain

A place very different from where I stayed last night!

I'm now staying at a place - an albergue, Casa da Torre - for pilgrims walking or bicycling to Santiago
And I now have a certificate that will let me stay at any of the other places reserved for pilgrims
Life gets really strange some times, but you just gotta go with the flow...

A map showing part of this pilgramage route

This day started, and ended, with surprises. This morning's pleasant surprise was that I was not charged the extra 30 Euro I expected. My cost, including a nice supper and a good breakfast was 54 E. That supper, which I tried to keep easy on my tummy, woke me up in the middle of the night with indigestion, but, other than that, it was a good night.

This evening, as I cranked along in Spain - 77 miles with 2200 feet of climbing today - I was told there was a hotel in Redondela. When I got here, I found it a festival day and a real zoo. I couldn't find the hotel, so I asked a young woman carrying a small black kitten - after petting the kitten, of course! She asked me if I was going to Santiago and I said yes, but not as a pilgrim. She apparently didn't understand that part and directed me to Casa da Torre which was only half a block away.

When I tried to register, the young woman her asked me for my certificate. This place exists just to provide lodging for pilgrims - and, when I didn't have one, she said I couldn't stay here without one. Then she said she thought she could get me one from one of the pilgrims who had an extra one. She did and Now I have a certificate and a, very Catholic, bed for the night ;-}. Since there don't seem to be any other English speaking pilgrims here tonight, it looks like I'll miss supper, because I don't have any one to let me back in if I go out and I don't have any food with me, but after last night that doesn't seem like such a bad idea ;-{. I had good lunch at noon and a snack at about 4 PM.

Between the start and end, things went pretty well. I had to deal with two bridges - out of two that I had to cross - that were closed to cars but, sort of open to pedestrians and bicyclists. I also had to retrace my route twice when I 'lost' N-13. Portugal doesn't do a great job of road signage, although I certain have experienced worse! I also saw my first bike tourist - heading the other way and he said 'Hey!' so I suspect he was from the States - and literally hundreds of bicyclists. Sunday morning bicycling is very big in northern Portugal!

A group that passed me just after I started back on N-13

Another group coming the other was later in the day

It was really disconcerting to come to a roundabout and discover that the road I had to take was blocked off. In both cases, I was able to walk - and sometimes ride - my bike across the long bridges that were 'under construction.' At the first bridge, getting across was a very slow process because there was a big flow of pedestrians, and occasional bicyclists, heading the other way, to the beach. A LOT of people were headed to the beach everywhere I rode today!

The second bridge that was out

This sign was shortly after the second bridge

I stopped for lunch half way to Spain. Since it was Sunday, I stopped right at noon at a nice restaurant near the second big river. I had Calamari that was pretty much the same as Calamari I've had where I live, except that the squid I was eating were much bigger.

That mountain is in Spain. The dots on the beach are Portuguese ;-}

A sailboat on the river that separates northern Portugal from Galacia

Wind was not a big deal for most of my trip today. Mostly I had tail winds! although at the end of the day they were headwinds again. Hills were that bad either, although climbing with a tailwind does get pretty hot! Much of todays ride was near the ocean and that made things noticeably cooler.

The old bridge to Spain

In Spain

On the autovia heading north

On N-550 heading north

I like Portugal better than Spain, but Spain does do great architecture

In Spain, I stopped at a very busy service station. Gas is much cheaper here than in Portugal! Coke is much cheaper too. However, beer is more expensive ;-{. I decided to ride north for a while and that route, N-550, put me on an autovia. I rode it for 14 km to the next town that had a hotel - Porrino - but discovered that the hotel reception was closed. I decided, rather than get back on the autovia, that I would ride on N-550 and, hopefully, find a place to stay before Pontdevedra, some 30 miles away. I did ;-}.

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