Day 13, Oliveira de Azemeis – Grijo, 30.9km

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  • June 23rd, 2014
  • Grijo: Grijo Albergue (€5 for a dorm)
  • Weather: Cool breeze, sunny and hot then rainy, 22 degrees

Gigi, Joanna and I all woke up and started getting ready around 6am but Paulo had had a late night watching the Portugal vs USA football match so we could hear him still snoring away!

It was a lovely cool morning but the walking was along very busy roads and I found myself cut off by two cars on two separate occasions and was happy that they hadn’t run over my toes!

I had two choices today. Either do a 30km day and be only 15km away from Porto or do a 45km day to arrive in Porto. I decided on the 30km day so I wouldn’t be too tired and will have a nice easy 3hr walk into Porto tomorrow and still have energy to do all the important sightseeing and port tasting 🙂

I arrived at the Grijo Albergue (€5 for a dorm) and there was a sign on the door saying it didn’t open until 5pm – I was there at 1pm. I went into the adjoining cafe and saw Gigi, he was going to sit and wait there for 4 hours until it opened… I was starting to think maybe I should walk the extra 15km into Porto when a man approached me and offered to call the albergue owner. When he got off the phone he said that someone would come to open the albergue at 3pm… a two hour wait.

I went back outside to try and decide what to do when a car drove into the driveway where I was standing. There was an elderly couple inside the car who spoke no English but made me follow them down the drive into their house and then force fed me a massive, delicious lunch! I texted Joanna (she was behind me) and she came in too for lunch. They were so kind! They called the albergue and got the man to come and open it for us as soon as we had finished lunch.

We checked into the albergue (5 euros for a dorm) and soon realised it was just the four of us again, our little camino family made up of a Frenchman, Italian man, Polish girl and me.

Around 5pm the albergue owner came to me and Joanna and said the family wanted to invite us to dinner at 8pm along with the two men because there was only one restaurant in town and they knew it wasn’t open tonight. So off we went at 8pm and found ourselves at dinner with 6 other family members having a massive feast of BBQ pork and chicken, salad, potatoes, roasted peppers, sardines and just when you thought it wasn’t possible to fit anything else in, it was time for the caldo verde (green soup) with pieces of chorizo… Washed down with white wine, homemade wine, a grappa type liquor, then port… Oh and homemade delicious bread and then two types of dessert and coffee! It was the biggest and best meal on the camino with many laughs (especially because Paulo is vegetarian but was dutifully eating pork, chicken, chorizo and sardines!)

The family were so kind hearted and generous and tried to load us up with leftovers when we left. As it is we have enough cake for breakfast for the four of us and enough bread for lunch!

It will go down as one of the nicest acts of kindness I’ve ever experienced. A truly wonderful evening (and lunch) and I’m extremely grateful. Obrigada.

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