24 April 2018

A fine day in Portugal

Last night in Café Bonito our humans shared a pilgrim’s meal with other pilgrims from the hostel. From the left, front to back were: Jan, from Japan, Linden, from the UK, Janine, from Maryland in the USA and her husband Tim. They had both served in the US Forces, so shared something with our BBF.

On the right front to back were: Carol, from British Columbia in Canada, Christiane from Germany, our BBF and Rianne from Tilburg.

 This morning at 06:00 hrs the pilgrims were rudely awakened by the church bells peeling over a loudspeaker. It should also be said that the church was next door!

Then after breakfast we left. Carol and Christiane had teamed up so our two left alone.
 It was a fine morning with a blue sky and little wind. Once out of town the route thankfully left the road and went across country.

Outside the first hamlet we came to was this sign, telling the tale that St James had walked this way.

There were fine views over the countryside and when we came to the village of Zambujal we spent some fruitless minutes looking for a Café, but there was none!

The only thing to note in the village was that they had decorated the trees and benches in the main square!

Outside one house was an old washing tub and scrubbing board, similar to the one our BBF used later to was his small!

An old bridge was crossed and then we more or less followed the river out of The Valley.

By another hamlet was this notice describing where one could see fine examples of descriptive tiles on houses.

What had these been used for we asked, but no one knew.

Another noticed described how the Spaniards had rebuilt bridges during their time here.

In the river were many white little flowers which gave it a carpet like appearance.

The white is the river!

Then finally we had to climb out of the river bed and over the hills and far away!

More down and up led us finally out of The Valley.

Another washing pit by a small chapel, sadly closed again was passed.

Then we traversed small fields of subsistence farming. They were not allotments!

And as can be seen in the lower left connected to an irrigation system.

We also saw where the forest fires of last year had been.

Through more small hamlets with the odd motive worth capturing.

In one hamlet we came across this pond which termed with little fish which looked as if they were about to spawn!

And then we arrived at today’s destination after some 16.6 kilometres. Mind you Rianne said it was 18!

 Beds were found in a simple hostel showers taken, washing washed and then it was out again to find a place for an isotonic drink!

That found and our humans restored we can wish you all Buen Camino for today! 🐻❤️

23 April 2018

He’s added to his Harem.

Hanna, who’s birthday it is today would say that our BBF has added to his Harem (again)! We started walking today with two females and ended it with three!

After breakfast with Rianne and Christiane we set off on the road out of the village.

It took us across the river and up hill out of civilisation.

Then it went across country on generally good paths.

 The views were good across the valleys and occasionally the path was muddy. Then our BBF sang the Hippopotamus song, Mud, mud, glorious mud. 

The path was well marked with various signs.

In one village we walked through we came across a peacock, but he was camera shy! 

Here one poor beetle which had probably been crushed by a pilgrim boot was being carried away by ants for food.

Then again we saw farmers erecting what we now know was a greenhouse system.

At one stop we acquired another pilgrim, Carol from British Columbia who complained about being lost, but now she was found!

When we came across a water pump, our BBF could not resist turning the wheel to see the water flow.

The route went up hill and down dale, but the humans took it slowly to avoid any knee problems.

Here the Way had been marked with old shoes and Flipflops!

Behind one church which again was not open we found a large cross.
In one village the church bells pealed a tune over load speakers before striking the hours.

You can just see Carol and Christiane disappearing round the corner.

Just outside one village was a picnic and barbecue area which also contained an old washing area.

On one up hill stretch they came across an old ruin with a coat of arms which may have been a Knight’s house in years gone by.

The sun began to get hot, but mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the mid day sun. Speaking of mad dogs, Rianne has a neat gadget which makes barking dogs turn tail! It is some ultrasound device which makes them stop and run away!

We came across this fossil in the stone, clearly an ancient pilgrim sign!

And here some workmen were putting up new Way markers to replace the stone arrow.

Occasionally we came across some shrine or other.

This was the first windmill we had seen so far and a discussion was held about whether or not they could turn the roof to the wind. The large pole here show that the answer was, yes!

Signs to Fatima showing back the Way we had come abounded.

Then the Way was flat and dead straight. As always it was up hill into the village, but our hostel was right there as one of the first houses we came to.

Our party of humans now occupied one room and the first thing they did was to have a shower. Then washing was put in a machine and they went for an isotonic drink.

They sat in the shade to write their respective Blogs, or whatever humans do with their smartphones while not talking to each other! 

Our BBF went into the church to sing!

He said the acoustics were great.

This evening they will be having a pilgrim meal and we suppose drinking copious quantities of wine!
Buen Camino! 🐻