June 5, 2019
Another day on the Camino is not just another day on this planet. You are not able to predict how magnificent each day really can be. If you are receptive to meeting people, really listening to them, and being willing to learn…there is a world of amazing experiences waiting to be uncovered.
After a long, long day I came to an Albergue called Quinta Estrada Romano. This place was fully renovated and looks so amazing from the outside, and then on the inside. I decided in a heartbeat this was the place for me tonight.
As it turns out there were only 3 pilgrims staying in the Albergue this night. Our bed selection was totally open. Each bed was made up with sheets, pillows and, blankets were available. There were even towels on our beds…..
The staff are volunteers and have enthusiasm fueling their engines. In every way the moment you walk onto the property you are welcomed and, in at least to a pilgrim, pampered. The staff are all volunteers and they wash your clothes, prepare your meals and basically answer questions you may have. People were trying to help me resolve an issue with Vodafone to no avail….but really put so much effort into helping.
Out of the gate….the meal was fantastic….but this wasn’t what made the evening so remarkable. Learning about all the personal journeys, and the stories of each person was beyond any expectation any of us could have had. so when dinner was served the staff joined us for the meal. It turns out I sat beside “The” Lesley. I didn’t know who she was….just heard the story….
Lesley, the most gracious host you could ever want, walked the Camino many years ago. She had noticed a dilapidated farm during the walk…but promptly forgot about it. Later when she had gone home she looked at her pictures and saw a For Sale sign on the picture of the farm……and decided to buy the property, renovate it and operate this as an Albergue and Cafe. The investment must have been substantial both from a physical and fiscal standpoint. The building today is stunningly gorgeous.
We spent a fabulous evening exchanging stories, getting to know a little about everyone….and all enjoying the magic of the Camino.
Carlos from Brazil, Matthew from Liverpool, Christine from Victoria, BC, and Camilla from Denmark….along with Lesley from Montreal (originally).
The pilgrims included Richard….the professional walker from Florida. He has walked the most significant trails in the United States…..meaning the the Pacific Coastal Trail, and the Appalachian Trail, and this is his 8th Camino.
Patti from Oshawa is a real walking machine on her second Camino…..
….and then there is the snail in the group…..Moi.
The following morning everyone was wishing us all well and honestly everyone who stays here has stayed in Quinta Estrada Romano…or as I think of it as Lesley’s house.
Anyone looking for an amazing experience., especially young people should contact Lesley and offer to volunteer…..I’m going to tell you this experience will change your life.
Today the rain poured viciously from the sky and I decided to hang around the Albergue . Finally I set out….got about a kilometer down the road…and discovered I left my walking poles at the Albergue…..so back I went….and then headed down the road once again. Hate when that happens…..
The rain had totally stopped and today was a fresh temperature day. The hi’s were in the mid-teens and perfect for walking. Few hills……Luckily so making my way to Tui was rather uneventful.
I walked into Valença, then crossed the bridge to Tui…which is in Spain.
My plan was to only walk this far today as my foot and heal are getting sore. As I was walking into the centre of the Old City of Tui I met a couple who split their time living in Utah and California. Danny and Chris are such nice people and as I was taking their picture in front of the Cathedral who walks up but Patti. She has checked into the Parador for an evening of well deserved pampering. As all of us were looking to eat……
The 4 of us head out for lunch and have a fabulous time in the process. We exchange stories and phone numbers. If I am ever going near Palm Springs I will definitely look them up. So much fun!
My next move was to get to Porrino. The next town. My foot isn’t having any of this….so I hopped in a cab…….
Totally legit in my mind.