6:25 am to 5:00pm walking time
Originally I thought I wouldn’t make it to Spain today. I thought I’d have one more night in the north of Portugal. But then my legs felt good and Stefano from Italy had a strong desire to stay in Tui. Since we all had a great time together at the albergue last night, I don’t think any of us really wanted to part ways. So we walked the extra 3.4 kilometers to Tui.
Today ended up being an easier day that I imagined and it started out perfectly. We left the albergue while it was still dark out. We made it up to highest point of the walk just before sunrise. I remember the climb being brutal last year since it was later in the day and hot out. Today it was easy and much quicker than I remembered.
It’s actually one of the most peaceful trails of the Camino. And even more so being that we were the only pilgrims we saw until we got to the top. Even then, only two other pilgrims showed up before we left.
After reaching the summit it was literally almost all downhill from there for the rest of the day, until the end when you have to climb the hills to the town center of Tui.
Before reaching Tui we took a few rest stops including lunch in Valença, Portugal. The last stop before the border. Along the way we started to see more and more pilgrims than we have before. That’s generally the case the closer you get to Santiago, as you only have to walk 100km to earn your compostela. I also met the first Americans today on the trail, all of which were part of a Camino tour group.
It’s good to be back in Tui, but since we arrived at 5pm Spain time, we ended up with the last four beds at the albergue – all four top bunks. This is one of my bigger fears of the Camino since I have a fear of falling. The albergue also has another thing I’ve hated the idea of my whole life – shared showers. The kind with no walls. 😳 But the Camino is supposed to test you, right? Consider me tested.
Hopefully tomorrow we will be able to reach an albergue before it fills up. Or I just might have to search out another “suite” again. 🙂 All in all, it was a great day on the Camino. My body is starting to feel in the Camino groove, which makes it almost feel easy to walk 19 miles in a day!