We decided to take it a bit easy today because we had a short walk to complete. We started with a leisurely breakfast. Our server brought over the platters of meats/cheeses, breads/cakes, and fruits. We spooned our eggs and bacon. It was the largest breakfast of the walk. All of our breakfasts have been similar but this one was substantial. I chose to include before and after photos. Laird had both natas. We were fueled for today’s walk.
We walked along the quay to the ferry dock. The gates were locked. However, the ferry captain came out and called for a private taxi on our behalf. A fellow came for us in a beat up car and drove us back beyond our hotel where his boat was docked. Twelve Euros later, six each, we beached in Spain. We jumped off the boat. I imagined a humble MacArthur walking up from waves proclaiming — I have returned. We were on shore coming like smugglers with bootlegged goods. No passport control in sight.
We took a moment to bid Portugal farewell glancing back at the fort that stood on an island at the mouth of the Rio Minho.
We continued to move forward past a forest of trees with example of pictographs from the area until we reached a restaurant by the A Guarda harbor. It was 2:00 PM though our stomachs were still on Portuguese time (GMT) – 1 PM, early given our previous lunch times the previous days. Beer, of course, but just a small slice of Spanish tortilla and a garlic toast. Just right, and 4,50 Euros. An excellent price given that we had ringside seats of the waves crashing into the breakwater.
Within three minutes, A Guarda harbor appeared before us. We found Hotel Vil da Garde, rested, and had time to walk the town. We met a fellow who was the crew coach for the local women and men’s teams. We looked over his shoulder as he shouted encouragement, we think, to his crew of women’s four with coxswain.
We ended the night with a fine dinner of mussels and chicken (Laird), sardines and grilled fish (Ron), and a bottle of Albariño (note the “vegan” on the back label). What an advertising coup. It’s like labeling olive oil cholesterol free.
Now safely in Spain, we can publicly show one page of stamps in our pilgrim’s passports — the top row, our last hotel from Portugal and the boat “company” that took across the Minho; bottom row, our lunch spot and our current hotel.
We’ll need a good night sleep because another 20 miler is ahead of us tomorrow. And, we did.