Friday, May 4, 2012

May 4, 2012 Portugal - Ponte de Lima day 2

 Roses in the Roman garden beside the Roman section of the bridge to town
 view of church from one of several beautiful  public gardens in Ponte de Lima
 and on the other side of the lunch table - serious stuff this Super Bock
 Penny leaving the Casa to test our new rain gear
 no Penny - don't test it in the pool
 OK Penny, lead the scared Roman Legion across the River 'Leve' (check out this story - it's a good one)
 on our way down the pilgrim path
 on the river beach where the markets and festivals are held - and the new rain gear works!

May the 4th be with you!

Today we decided to do the walk that was scheduled for tomorrow instead of going up into the mountains where the wild horses are. This was because it was so wet today. The forecast was for 90% POP while tomorrow is only 70% POP. By Sunday it supposed to actually get nice - that is the day we are scheduled to walk from Ponte de Lima to Ponte de Barque - up the river.

So today we mainly just wandered around the small quite touristy town of Ponte de Lima. We started the day with an interesting breakfast with Miguel and two people from Australia who are touring around Portugal in a small car - our neighbours from last night. It was fun to chat about all the usual things - especially the weather which is causing everyone a lot of concern. Are we really seeing global warming and/or climate change? Many people in Australia apparently refuse to believe this - but something odd is going on.

We wandered through the town, looked at a local art gallery, had lunch, bought some more cheap plastic rain gear and walked back down the river toward Barriendos for a couple of km - on the other side. This is the side where the pilgrims or peregrinos walk and we saw the neat yellow painted arrows marking their way. There is an auberge (refugio) not far from our casa - because Ponte de Lima is an official stop on the Portuguese route. Walkers are not allowed inside until 5 pm so a few pilgrims were standing around in the rain waiting to get in - like homeless men wating outside the Salvation Army in Nanaimo. We actually talked to a couple of walkers in our favourite restaurant this evening. They had walked 33 km with their packs in the rain today. Tomorrow they have to walk up into the mountains. They said they were doing it because it will be an achievement and that they had met many wonderful people along the way. Of course the weather and climate change came up again. They had a sister living in West Vancouver who thought the weather was changing because the earth is wobbling on its axis.

Almost bedtime. Hopefully the beds will be warmer tonight. Last night it was like lying on an iceberg. The mattresses are spring mattresses with not much on top of them (i.e. no foam) and the cold air beneath just sucked the warmth out of you. You could get warmed up on the side that was under the blankets - but if you rolled over your pajamas on the side that you had been lying on were cold to the touch. We ended up putting wool blankets on top of the bottom sheet and and lying right on the blanket. It was a bit warmer that way. However, tonight the whole casa is quit4e a bit warmer because we have "kept the home fires burning" and the thick stone walls have absorbed some of the heat.   

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