Our stop happened to be just around a creek. A group of pilgrims passed by (from Madrid if I recall correctly) and we asked one of them to take a photo of the brothers and me sitting on a small bridge. The photographer in me was hoping it would be a perfect shot but Ze had his eyes closed. Bummer.
We trudged on and the three of us were getting a little bit behind because we would occasionally stop to take shots here and there. There was one area where Chico borrowed my camera to get a shot from an elevated position. The effect was rather good because he focused on us while blurring the nearby leaves on the foreground. It was at this point that I got convinced that Chico really has an eye for good shots.
The path led to a long wooden bridge with the unmistakable yellow sign on the railing. Only a fool would get lost to the intended destination, as the yellow marks are conspicuous all throughout. Further on, the group went again for a quick break. I made some calculation that at the rate we were going we could not do the original plan of spending the first half of the day walking and the rest of the day, exploring the town of the chosen stop. I did not mind the pace because it allowed me to have considerable rest, so convenient actually I felt it was just a leisurely walk. Before the trip I was initially worried that I might be the slowest one, delaying the overall pace of the group but such was not case.
In one of our stops I notice a blue arrow pointing towards the opposite direction. Chico told me that it was a sign leading to a route to Fatima. How cool is that. I made a small reminder to myself to visit Fatima if given the chance to spend some time in Europe again.
Around 12 I was feeling a little bit hungry and I was wondering why the group still has not decided to have lunch. Then I remembered that lunch in this part of the world is at 2 pm.
We had lunch at a restaurant at the foot of a hill. We ordered a sumptuous Octopus meal with chili, a specialty of that region. And boy that Octopus really tasted heavenly, partly because I was extra hungry from walking. (I would later learn from a Spanish friend that the Pulpo in the Galicia region is the best and taste different from the ones served in the Murcian region.)
Ze borrowed my phone for a while because he was expecting a feedback from an internship in one of the leading firms in his city. I was hoping he would make but he told me he didn’t. Ze is a debater in his school And I presumed he was a good one as I see in the fb feeds that he represents his school in contests)
After lunch, the group had to choose whether to pass by a scenic route though 4 kilometers longer or a shorter one but would lead us to an industrial area. Good thing the group decided to choose the shorter route as I was looking forward to just have a good rest in the albergue.
The industrial path reminded of a similar industrial area in Subic, a city in the Philippines. The path looked strangely familiar and yet I am thousand miles away from home.
The heat was rather scorching but I did not mind. I initiated a quiz game with Ze that started first with a vocabulary game. Eventually Chico joined us and I gave them logical puzzles. One was concerning weighing eight balls with one defective ball. I was quite pleased that the two brothers had appetite for logic games. It made the walk much more interesting. Time just seemed to fly by easily.
We passed by a highway and had a quick stop in a bakeshop where I took some candid shots of the group. Normally the shops we stopped by have stamps to put on our pilgrim passport to show proof that we have indeed passed by the route.
A few of us went to the supermercado to buy food.
I saw Helena again and she looked so lovely as she sat there near the fountain. She told us that she would catch a train to the next stop where she will spend the night.
Our group decided to walk on. We met again a Spanish family that we have met earlier in the woods. They were checked in the albergue in Mos. (about 3 km from O Porrino). The albergue was already full but the management allowed us to sleep on mats in the recreation room on top.
While we were waiting for the room to be cleaned, we had our phones charged. Ze and I played a game that seemed like trump. The suits of the cards were weird , different from the ones I am used to- clubs, clovers hearts and diamonds.
Spanish cards photo taken from www.delcampe.net
Playing that card game with Ze just seemed surreal. Maybe because the card suits look different. Maybe because it just seemed so unlikely that I would meet again my host in Porto. And yet there I was with him. And he was teasing me because he beat me on the second round. I normally am a sore loser but I did not mind because my heart was bursting with joy. It was our first day of Camino with the group. Everything just seemed perfect.