Tag Archives: Golega

Golega to Atalaia

9/5 – we walked out of Golega this morning, and ran into this fellow sitting on a bench:

Our guidebook always tells about the historic church in town, but the churches are seldom open. Here’s Golega’s 16th century church: image

As we walked in the early morning, we came upon a little old lady peering down into the dirt beside the road, and occasionally picking something up and tossing it in her shopping bag. When we got close enough to inquire, she showed us a bag full of snails. Sure enough, as we walked along the highway, we could see lots of snails, and picked some up to give to her. Jim asked to take her picture, but she started yelling, so we moved on…

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Today our walk is only 7 miles, to the tiny town of Atalaia, which boasts one restaurant, and one very nice B and B.

When we got to Casa do Patriarca a little after noon, we read the sign that said checkin wasn’t until 2, and breakfast would not be served before 8:30. We started to fret, as we really wanted a cool shower, and if we can’t leave at 7am we’ll be walking in the hottest part of the day. Our gracious hostess, Senhora Oliviera, put our fears to rest, saying the sign was for the tourists. We are Pilgrims, and can have whatever we want! And, she ran our laundry through her washer for us! Another Nice person of Portugal!

A note that I may have already mentioned, but no one has electric clothes dryers here. We found this true also in Ireland, Spain and Italy. Even hotels hang their sheets and towels outside to dry.

The B and B has a lovely back garden, and we ate our lunch in the shade:

Now here is a question: we’ve been seeing this fruit tree growing all over, and no one can tell us the name of the fruit. It looks like an apple or a pear, and is edible but not sweet, with an astringency that makes your mouth pucker. We’re told that they are used for making marmalade, but not eaten out of hand. What is it? Eliese?? Anybody??image

For supper we walked to the only restaurant, where we saw this sign in the window:

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Now, you know we had to order snails for dinner! Maybe these were the very ones we picked this morning! Jim ordered a snail appetizer, and we expected maybe six snails on a plate. Instead, the waiter brought like a gallon of snails, and some toothpicks. You just stick a toothpick in the shell and haul the little slimer out, then suck the garlic and butter out of the shell. Yum!

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Vale de Figueira to Golega

9/4 – we allowed ourselves an hour for the 20 minute walk to the train station this morning, and we needed it! We got turned around and had to retrace our steps, but we got there just in time for the 7:56 am train to resume the Caminho where we left off yesterday. image

A Nice Young Lady of Portugal engaged us in conversation on the train, and was able to explain why we’ve been having so much trouble with the language. Google Translate only gives us Brazilian Portuguese, which can be very different from Portugal Portuguese. We were asking for Trem (for train), when the local word is Ferro. Duh!

Nothing new to report today… more corn, more tomatoes, more peppers. We did spy a patch of pumpkins, and a sunflower field. image

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The last 5 miles into Golega was on a busy highway with absolutely no shoulder to walk on. Every time a truck went by I covered my face and hoped for the best. Better routes for pilgrims, please!

The town of Golega is known for horses and there is a great statue at the entrance, in case you had any doubts.image

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We stayed at a hotel above a restaurant, and were the only guests! Our room had an ensuite toilet without a door, which was a little weird, but oh well…

For supper, Jim wanted to try a local specialty, so I ordered the same thing. We got plates piled high and overflowing with pork ribs, four different kinds of sausage, tripe, chick peas, cabbage, rice, carrots, potatoes and other things I could not identify. I gave it the old college try, but couldn’t eat half of the serving. Should have taken a pic, because you won’t believe how much food there was – I may never eat again…

Walking gives you lots of time to think, and today I thought about folks back home.

We’ve been keeping up with our boys and grand babies weekly by video call. Emma at 20 months likes to say Hi Gramma, and she always asks to see Grandad, so Jim jumps into the picture and we wave. After that, she may show us a toy, or go off and play, or sit down to color, and we can watch her while we catch up with Peter and Lauren. Not sure what she thinks of us being on the flat screen.

Up until a few weeks ago, Lexi at 3 and a half would say hello, tell us her news from school, sing a song and generally ham it up in Lexi style. Recently, however, she’s become more interested in where we are, asking why we are always calling from bed (at a hotel), why we don’t have a living room, and asked if we were real or just a picture. When I told her we were real, she asked to see the back of my head, as proof that we were three dimensional! Last Sunday, she asked when we were coming home, and if we would come home if she gave us our house back. She asked if we were coming to her birthday party in January. Several times.

Now that it’s September, I think about the start of choir practice, and the start of book study, and the friends who will be starting without me. I think of the folks at the Q and hope they are ready for another holiday season.

So, there is another side to life on the road, and that’s missing the people you love, even though you’re having a wonderful time.