Day 26 – 5th November 2016, A Guarda to Mougas
Today’s walk was everything I imagined the Coastal Route of the Camino Portugues to be, stunningly beautiful, wild, rugged and windswept; capricious colours adorning it’s magical, earthy, yet ethereal cliffs and sea strands; white horses galloping apace onto the sun-bleached sands.
Aaahhhh. I could stay here a while and contemplate the majesty of it all.
If only I could stay. However, the Camino trail drew Brett and I onwards – ultreia, always forwards. I experienced the painful realisation that soon our Camino walk would be over as we were only a few days away from Santiago de Compostela. I made a mental note to myself to really savour every moment of our epic journey together.
I am continually reminded of the mystical and magical nature of el Camino de Santiago – the unfolding outward and inward personal odysseys the pilgrimage reveals to each one, who hears the call and walks the walk. I don’t want my walk – our walk, to end.
I paid particular attention today to the hues of sky and sea, the shapes of the rocks, the lush green grass, the stone walls and archways that might have been a gateway to the past, the bright, yellow flowers mimicking the sunshine and offering their own special warmth as we passed by.
We paused for a lunch stop at a café restaurant in Oia, where we had a spectacular view from the balcony.
The afternoon trek continued along the waterfront, where the sound of the waves accompanied our footsteps, while soft pastel-painted clouds scudded across the sky.
Soon we arrived in Mougas and made our way to the albergue Aguncheiro, a modern, colourful hostel, where a bed in a small shared dorm costs 10 euros each, clean sheets included. It was a friendly place and at once we felt right at home.
Brett and I also took the liberty of booking a reasonably priced evening meal and found ourselves enjoying the company of fellow pilgrims Hilmar and Suzanna, cyclists from Germany, Oliver on foot (also from Germany), Alphonso and Pepe from Mallorca and Luciana a cyclist from Argentina at the table.
Table fellowship is an important and joyful aspect of pilgrimage, and something we had missed on the Camino Portugues. Unlike the Camino Frances, which can be hectic at times, with pilgrim numbers year on year on the rise, the Camino Portugues seems more of a solitary affair at this time of year. I didn’t mind solitude that much, because I’m an introvert but Brett missed chatting with other pilgrims. We hadn’t met many pilgrims or other globe trotters on the way. Those we had the privilege of meeting, were great company and tonight was no exception.
Stories metamorphosed into song and before long we all joined in with a cross-cultural rendition of John Denver’s “Take me home, country roads”, complete with four-part harmony. It was one of those wonderful, spontaneous moments that connected us all instantly and we will remember it for a long time to come!
Distance walked today = 22 km
Cumlative distance walked so far = 580.03 km
Peace, love and light,