9/26 – I loved Porto, but it was time to move on. Today we walk 16 miles, taking 5 hours to actually get out of the suburbs of Porto and back to small towns, cornfields and cobblestone streets.
Our guidebook said that today was a good day to contemplate our mortality (because we had to cross a busy highway), and I guess we did. We stopped for a break at a cemetery, busy with workers and family members attending to the memorials on the graves. The custom here in the cemeteries we’ve seen is that bodies continue to be added to the original family plot, commemorated with small frames with pictures and details of each deceased. It reminds me of all the family pictures clustered on my mother’s piano…
Our goal today, Vilharino, is a mystery town, in that it is not listed either on a Google Maps, nor on the signs as we walk. When we get near, there are signs offering three choices of lodging: a monestary, and two hostels. One hostel offered free wifi, sheets, towels and a swimming pool! Guess which one we chose?
The Amadeu Vidal hostel is a private home, and not only did we get to swim in a crystal pool, our host also ran our laundry in his washing machine and hung it up to dry for us! We slept in a suite that contained a full kitchen and dining area, and the charge was ‘donativo’ – whatever we wished to pay. A lovely evening.