Day 12, Agueda to Oliveira de Azemeis, 37.2km

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  • June 22nd, 2014
  • Oliveira de Azemeis: Bombeiros, €5
  • Weather: Cool breeze, sunny and hot then rainy, 22 degrees

I accidentally hit the off button rather than the snooze button on my alarm at 5:30am, so I had a longer sleep than intended and didn’t leave the albergue until 7:15am. (After the first week of 4am starts it seems like late mornings are now becoming the norm!)

Again I wasn’t sure where my destination was going to be today, I was just going to see how my feet felt and how the weather was holding out once I arrived in Oliveira de Azemeis, then assess if I could walk further.

It was a lovely morning walking through eucalyptus and pine forests (the smell of the forest after it had been raining was so strong and reminded me of Australia), across a roman bridge, a little bit of highway walking and a few muddy tracks in the forest.

I’m always so amazed to see the beautiful old buildings here are left in ruins. Today was no exception and I stopped quite a few times to take photos of these once grand buildings.

I bought 1kg of delicious cherries from a roadside stall for lunch and they were only €1! I bumped into Joanna and Gigi and we kept passing each other the last few hours up and down some very big hills to eventually arrive in Oliveira. This was where I was going to decide whether I was staying or continuing on another 10km and there were two factors that made me decide to stay – we saw the locals placing flowers along the middle of the streets for a festival (can’t pass up a festival!) and secondly the temperature had dropped dramatically, the sky turned black and there was thunder!

The three of us decided to see if we could stay the night at the bombeiros (fire station); quite a few of them are open to pilgrims. We found the bombeiros but all the doors were locked. Joanna saw some locals and asked them if they knew how we could contact the bombeiros and before we knew it, one of the locals was on the phone to the bombeiros asking them to come and let us in. A few minutes later we were being shown around the accommodation and allowed to stay for €5 per person. Usually it’s free but fair enough they are charging a small amount because they have hot water showers, toilet paper and beds.

Paulo from Italy showed up a bit later so all 4 walking pilgrims are now in the same place!

Paulo, Joanna and I ended up in the only restaurant open in town and had a fun night of trying to converse – Joanna’s English is great but Paulo’s is a little limited so it was an evening of hand gestures.

Another terrific day on the camino.

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