I am lingering in the Douro River Valley here in Portugal. Sometimes, when I walk through the countryside, I feel like I am in a scene from Under the Tuscan Sun.
Month: November 2017
We started the day at about 3º C—pretty cold—but by the time I reached Cerdeño on the outskirts of Oviedo in the late afternoon, I was hot, sticky, and completely wilted. I stopped in a grocery and bought cold water and cold orange juice and downed them all at once in a nearby park before continuing on into Oviedo.
Soon, I came to the place where the Camino Primitivo splits from the Camino del Norte. It is a weighty decision for me to choose to do the Primitivo. Most pilgrims who start on the coastal path, stay on the del Norte all the way; some choose the Primitivo. The official start of the Primitivo is actually in Oviedo (two more days walking), but this is the place where pilgrims coming from the del Norte must decide.
The days are feeling more fall-like with cooler days and nights, but fair weather is holding and it is quite comfortable for hiking. At least once a day I come across bursts of orange in fields and gardens, reminding me of home.
The village was special enough just in itself…narrow cobbled streets, stone houses…exactly what you would think of for a traditional village in Spain. But imagine my surprise when I came upon these trompe l’oeil paintings!
today was to be one of wonder. I would be slowed down quite a bit by many simple sights along the way. It is amazing that I made 10 miles by day’s end. Support for pilgrims can be found almost every day. Sometimes it is hard to find the yellow arrows that are our waymarks on the Camino, but then there are also times when you cannot mistake which way to go.
David, the hospitero, greeted me warmly, and unlike in most albergues who begin the registration process right away, he said, “First things first…Sit down. Would you like tea? Café? He asked where I was from, how my day was and I felt like he was truly interested. I ended up in a room of four beds by myself.