Friday, 6 June 2014

Day six Valenca to Redondela. 19.5 miles.

Hostels can be strange places. The one I stayed in last night was a mixed dorm. Normally the beds are separated but here they were pushed together to form doubles I assume, to get more people in. But it was rather intimate. I looked at the bed next to me and tried to figure out exactly what it was I was sleeping next to. I eventually identified shaving soap so it was a rather  hairy lady or a chap, fortunately, it was the latter. The toilets and showers were also mixed but they had no locks, so doors were constantly being opened and the facilities echoed to screams from the ladies when the shower door was opened and grunts from the men. And much finger ringing was going on by those who did not get them out of the way as the door slammed closed. I was subjected to such an incident when my shower door was opened by a hairy hiker who's tummy skin was folded over the top of his underpants. I responded in the most English of ways, ' nothing to see here, move along please'. He looked me up and down, grunted in ageement and pushed off.

The highlight of today was rain, rain and more rain. It started as I left the hostel so I donned my best water proof gear. I will not stint when it comes to rain gear, irrespective of cost I will always go for the best. So, clambering into my Yellow Poundland poncho I set off to conquer Spain looking like a ripe banana. When I got to the wrought iron bridge that crossed the river into Spain there was not a soul in sight, so I strode across the 600 metre iron edifice with no one to witness this wonderful event. 

On the opposite bank the town is called Tui, and like Valenca has a well preserved granite 'old town', the highlight of which is the church cresting the hill. With its  crenelated curtain walls it was obviously built to repel unwelcome souls as well as repair the souls of the sinners of the town. There were no barking dogs here, simply the sound of shutters rattling open. Shopkeepers appeared bleary eyed, glancing up and down the street either looking for custom or just making sure they were still in the same place.

As I crossed the granite sets of a small square an elderly lady coming towards me dropped her shopping trolley and made a slipping movement with her hands. The night's deluge had left the square like an ice rink. She proceeded to show me the scar on her kneecap where I assume she had fallen down. I then showed her my scar and among much ooing and ahing we commiserated with each other.  We shook hands and it made a hasty retreat in case this was some sort of ancient betrothal ceremony peculiar to the town.

A few miles out of the town I came across a bedraggled bird on verge.  Obviously hit by the 
previous night's storm. I could do no more than to dry it off and move somewhere safe. I hope it lived.

The track was now mainly woodland with the occasional hamlet thrown in and I I was making good progress. The rain was now becoming incessant but there was nothing for it but to plod on. By the time I got to Porrino, nine miles from my destination, the heavans opened. The  poncho was doing its job which was just as well as I had a long climb and a longer descent into Redondela which I  reached at 1600, just as the rain stopped. My hostel tonight is a former 16c Tower House, but it doesn't have wi-fi, so if you'd get this it means I have found a bar with one and I'm sinking a couple of pints.


  1. Can you give me the name of that hostel with the open minded arrangements so I can avoid that one!? Very nice to read you blog. i am walking from Porto in september, and its nice to read and see your experience.

    Greetings, Debby

  2. Thank for you blog. I am going to do the walk from Porto next year and will use your blog as a guidance. Thank you!!!! Janu

    1. My pleasure, good luck. I will be walking the Camino Norte in May