We woke up with vim and vigor looking forward to what the guidebook stated as a near 20 mile walk. As noted before, these distance statements have underestimated what our Fitbit, Apple Watch, and Stepz programs show. We wanted to start as soon as we could because of our anticipated late arrival in Baiona.
We had decided to buy provisions for lunch in order to save time from eating in a restaurant. The Supermercado around the corner opened at 9 AM. So, we arrived for breakfast at 8 AM. Our concierge greeted us pointing to individual trays with plates, coffee cups with saucers, napkins, and utensils precisely laid out. We picked up our trays but before we could start, he pointed to plastic gloves that we had to wear when picking up our food and pouring coffee from the buffet. This was the first time that either us had encountered this safety procedure. People in Portugal and Spain wear masks indoors and many outdoors – even teens. No rulebreakers observed.
At 9 AM, we bought our provisions to add to the bottle of local wine we purchased the evening before. A jar of Malle mustard, 100 grams of cheese, and a freshly baked baguette. We were good to go.
We found the clock tower in the town square and what appeared to the main church. We stopped in the church to stamp our passports. Social distancing is practiced here. We were right on the shoreline as we made our way out of town. About 5 miles out, we encountered a stylized distance marker that we would see throughout this walk – 159,130 km to Santiago. We were within 100 miles or so they say, whomever they are.
About a half mile later, our trail led us to the main road whose shoulder was wide and yellow. The Yellow Brick Road ( YBR). We walked the rest of the way on yellow except for a few off road diversions to see the shoreline or walk a path in the hills.
We had several interesting moments along the YBR. We were nearly windblown off the path several times. Laird wanted to title this day – the Windiest Day of My Life. You may be able to feel the power of nature in the photo below. Our destination was in the far distance about 10 miles north where a lighthouse stands.
On our way, we encountered some bulls in a pasture, and a pair of Norwegians who were doing a roundtrip walk from Porto to Santiago. They warned us to stay on the shoreline rather than doing the hill path. Too rocky and dangerous, they said. When Norwegians tell you something, you listen especially when one was 6’5” and looked liked a Nordic skier. What am I, all of 5’3” to say to that.
On one of our diversions into the hills, Laird said that we should do an artsy shot of us. Here we are below. I added a photo of a shrine to the Camino. The Galician is flying stiffly in the breeze. When we descended the hill, we decided to have our lunch. We found a bench on the YBR that overlooked a small bay. We saw what we took for birds but they were surfers. They were pretty good. We both agreed that sharing lunch, slopping the mustard and mayo on bread, pouring our own wine, putting our garbage in bag in 40 mph winds, and watching surfers was the best moment of the trip.
After two hours of walking, we came to the lighthouse. We were turning east and looked back on the western shoreline that we had walked for six days. We still had three miles to go. They were a hard three miles – our vim and vigor was gone and only sheer determination drove us to get our boots off.
We made it by 7 PM. We were both beat. But right on cue, dinner perked us up. We went to Restaurante Mosquito, the attached restaurant of our hotel, yes, Pensione El Mosquito. Lucky for us, we are here in the off season when those buggers are not around.
We chose to share the Insalata In Casa, a surprising combination of smoked salmon, avocado, anchovies, and tomatoes. I was hoping that Laird did not like anchovies. Alas, he took his share. The paella mariscos was as described filled with what you see and with loads of squid, octopus, and clams unseen. A shiny pan was all that was left. With two draft beers each, we were contented and looking forward to our tourist day in Baiona.