Camino Day 2: Light Bags and Blending Days
Buen Camino! Today was our first full day in Spain and we’ve been putting our rusty Spanish to good use!
Mary’s taken a few classes, and despite one specifically on verb conjugation, she remains speaking solely in the present. I, on the other hand, took one course in first grade, and my Spanish teacher was fired that year because she showed us a movie where people were graphically trafficked into the US from Mexico… For those who aren’t in the US, in first grade you are six years old. SO my Spanish language skills consist of random vocab words that I piece together with ‘con’ (with) and ‘y’ (and).
A note from Day 1…
I’m finishing up the entries for Day 1 and 2 on Day 3, so things are blending together, and I realized I omitted some of the people we met on Day 1 that are worth mentioning here!
First, we saw two men in their late teens / early twenties at the cafe we ate lunch in. I noticed them because they had multiple beers and weren’t dressed like typical walkers (one looked like he was about to play basketball, the other had on tiny shorts and a tech button up). They ended up walking by us later and said they were from Slovakia. Super nice, and we saw them drinking their way through the day at other stops! Buen Camino!
Around the same time, Mary pulled off for a baño break, and I pulled into a shaded bench for a siesta. Two women were already there who were a mother/daughter pair. The mother actually used to live in Grand Rapids, MI! For non-Michiganders – Grand Rapids is about an hour away from Lansing, where I’ve lived the past few years. Small world!
Back to Day 2 – Starting in O Porriño
This morning was easy to get up and out as we are spending dos noches (two nights) at the family run hotel, so no need to pack up and check out! Great for us because it meant we could lighten our day packs as well😊 Specifically, I’ve been carrying my work laptop in my daypack because I bought a few books in Lisbon and Porto, so it no longer fit in my suitcase…
Mary and I also got dressed, and looked like we were from the same catalog, but different seasons. She had on a long-sleeved, olive green REI running shirt and black joggers, and I had on the same REI shirt but short sleeved, and black running shorts.
After breakfast at our hotel, the son of the owners gave us and two women from Columbus, Ohio a ride back to town to resume our walking. Today we are going to Arcade, which is about 13 miles away.
After our usual mix of morning stops for coffee/tea (my order is ‘uno té negro con azúcar y uno agua’😉), and stamps from little churches, we were ready to step out some miles! The day consisted of two steep hills, both on the assents and descents, so we tried to keep pace up throughout the day to not end up finishing too late.
The morning consistent of more countryside roads and villages, with a great view and immersion into Spanish life. Also of note is just how pedestrian-forward things are. Car drivers will screech to a halt if they see you waiting to cross the road and are really patient in waiting for people to walk by.
We’ve also seen a few of these areas where people leave prayer cards, camino bracelets, and cards that say who people are walking in memory of. I’m not sure of the entire symbolism as things are lost in translation, but it’s a cool thing to see.
Redondella is a medium sized industrial-like city just before Arcade. To get there, we had to descend our second and last steep hill of the day, which put us directly on N-550 (a fast highway with little to no shoulder). We walked right on the highway for 0,5 km (0.3 mi), and we then on sidewalks of the busy city. We stopped for lunch at a nice restaurant, where I ate the best spaghetti carbonara. If you follow me on @shannon_hikes on IG, you already know. We’ve been eating GREAT on this trip!
Once we made it into Arcade, we were quickly met with Restaurante Duarte, where we were supposed to meet the ride back to the hotel in Porriño. However, because it was Sunday, most places (including this one) were closing early. It was 4:30pm so we decided to keep walking and found a cafeteria open just down the street. The staff was really friendly, and despite some language barriers, they recommended what we should order.
The food came out on a literal robot! It was wild. In the most unassuming little cafeteria, in a small seaside town in eastern Spain, a robot brought our food to us.
Back to the hotel!
With some help from our new amigos at the restaurant, we made the call back to the hotel in Porriño and they sent a taxi for us, included with our stay (thanks to Portugal Green Walks!). The ride back took about a half hour, and I was able to take a shower and lay down for a bit. Mary and I reconvened for another night of ice cream cake at the hotel dinner room.
Unfortunately, there were no more offers of whiskey, but it was still great cake!
Later that night as we’re getting into bed, the power in our room shuts off, and an emergency light pops on….. Mary tries flipping the breakers in our room, to no avail. She goes outside and finds the man who owns the hotel (Daniel), who comes in and then flips a few breakers in the hallway. Suddenly the outlet right next to my bed at head level (because I was in bed), starts sparking, and my iPhone charger that’s plugged in SHOOTS OUT OF THE WALL. He flips a few more and sparks start shooting out of the block still in the wall. This was so scary, for a moment I truly thought I was in the line of fire from this outlet and going to be burned or something!?
Daniel runs over, pulls out the block, and outlet converter (converter from US to EU), and tries the same setup in another outlet. Turns out the block I was using was having issues in the outlets? Even though I’d been using it this whole trip, and for many years… Rip because that immediately went in the trash.
While low-key traumatizing, we actually had pretty restful nights after this😅
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