Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Day 19: The Day Amanda Ditched Me

Oct 5: Amanda and I woke up to a beautiful, clear morning! We watched the sun rise above the corn field out the window of our hotel. We ate the breakfast provided by the hotel and made plans. And Amanda decided... to ditch me. We had planned for a 20 km day today--about the same distance that Amanda covered two days earlier without any trouble so it didn't seem like a problem at the time, but after falling apart yesterday doing 24 km, Amanda decided that 20 km was too much. She did, however, have to finish the trail in time to go back to work, so we couldn't exactly slow down too much either.

View of the sunrise from the window of our hotel room.

So we decided that she'd take a taxi halfway up the day's planned hike and only walk the last half of the trail. I would walk the entire distance, and we'd meet up in Viana do Castelo where I made a reservation for a hotel. We planned to meet at a specific location in town, and I gave an estimated time of arrival--give or take an hour. But I also gave Amanda the address of the hotel and if for some reason we had trouble finding each other at the appointed location at the appointed time, we had a plan B to meet at the hotel. And email. Email each other if any of our plans changed.

We were both a little paranoid at the idea of splitting up after the disaster it turned into yesterday, but we had a plan, and a Plan B, and a Plan C. It would be okay. Surely it would be okay.

Amanda's feet were still sore, but she wasn't limping like she was at the end of the day yesterday and with a half day of walking, she figured she'd be okay. It wasn't that big of deal that she'd be skipping about 10 km today since we weren't within 100 km of Santiago and therefore could still legitimately qualify for the compostella at the end. Technically, you only have to do the last 100 km to qualify. We were still well outside that distance.

So we called a taxi, and Amanda got in and was whisked away. I hit the trail at the same time at about 9:00.

Amanda is in this taxi, getting a head start on me!

The day's hike was largely uneventful. The Coastal Path, sadly, did not follow the coast at all the entire day, lingering a few kilometers inland. On the other hand, the trail led through some nice forests and even followed a real trail for a short distance--always a nice surprise!

I stopped at two churches along the way which both had stamps for my credencial. Since leaving Porto, the churches seemed much more likely to have stamps available and be unlocked and open so I could poke my head in.

While walking along and pondering the meaning of life, I was a little disappointed with the fact that I had to choose between the Coastal Route or the Central Route. I want to see everything! It kills me when I have to make a decision between two different paths. It annoyed me on the Florida Trail where there were three different places I had to choose between two different paths. It annoyed me on the Arizona Trail at one location where I had to make such a decision. And it annoyed me on the Portuguese Route when I had to decide between the coastal or central routes.

And an idea just popped into my head. Why did I have to decide between the two routes? Why didn't I just do both of them?! After reaching Santiago, I could take a train back to Porto then walk back to Santiago again along the central route! It would take me maybe 10 extra days. I had the time. I could totally do it. I should do it! I was really excited about this idea! I wondered what Amanda would think. Maybe a little disappointed that I wouldn't be flying home with her at the end of the hike, but probably not surprised that I'd want to keep going.

Near the end of the day, I passed over a long bridge across the Lima River and into Viana do Castelo. I followed the markers through town, but missed a turn near the city center for the location where I'd meet Amanda. I quickly realized my mistake at the end of the block, and instead of backtracking, I turned right and came into the plaza from the opposite direction I had initially intended, and Amanda was sitting on some stone steps waiting for me. Plan A worked! Yea! =)

Amanda, however, was a bit surprised to see me walking in from the "wrong" direction, asking me what had happened.

"I walked a block too far," I told her. Nothing exciting.

We checked into the Hotel Carmo with a tiny little room and a shared bathroom, but it was a measly 25 euros and we had a great view out the window.

Amanda said that the taxi took her further up the trail than she had intended and wound up walking less than 10 kilometers, but she was feeling well and generally happy.

At dusk, I headed out again to get some dinner and see a bit of the city and found a Pizza Hut at an indoor mall near the train station. Yesterday, when I went out looking for dinner, Amanda had expressed an interest in pizza--but I never found any. She hadn't said anything about today but hey--there was pizza! I should get her some!

I ordered a medium-sized Portuguese specialty pizza. That's what it was called, the "Portuguese" pizza, which had some Portuguese ingredients like chorizo or something--I don't really remember anymore. I just remember thinking when it Portugal, one should order Portuguese pizza. =)

The pizza was good, and I got a small box for the leftovers which I brought back to the hotel for Amanda. When Amanda saw the Pizza Hut logo on the box, she seemed surprised. "The American Pizza Hut?" she asked me.

"No! I found it in Portugal," I said.

"But Pizza Hut, Pizza Hut?"

"Well... yeah...."

She shook her head. "How the heck did you find a Pizza Hut out here?"

"It was just there." I shrugged. "I wasn't looking for it. I just found it by accident."

Amanda ate the leftover pizza slices minus the crust (she doesn't like the crust on pizzas, so I ate those) and seemed to like it well enough.

And that was that. Our day was over!

Edifício Paços do Concelho
Men of the Sea Statue

These sheep did not want to get out of my way!

This was the tiniest little kitten I'd ever seen! It's hard to get a good sense of its size since there's nothing in this photo to really compare it to, but I swear it would fit entirely in the palm of a hand. It was probably four inches long! I've seen mice bigger than this kitten! Absolutely adorable too. (The kitten, not giant mice.)

This monument was in the shape of Portugal and the northwest corner of Spain with a map of the Portugal Camino from Porto so Santiago displayed. Very cool!

More and more places along the trail have custom stamps available. This church even promotes it with a sign!
My favorite part about this church was the stained-glass window of a pilgrim. =)

Lima River
Crossing the Lima River into Viana do Castelo

Streets of Viana do Castelo


Quite Contrary said...

The Urban Dictionary lesson of the day -- the leftover crusts of the pizza (the part without any topping, i.e., the part that Amanda doesn't like) are the Pizza Bones.

Amanda from Seattle said...

Yup, not a fan of Pizza Bones :-)