Sunday, May 14, 2023

Day 7 - 13 May - Vila Praia de Ancora to Vila Nova de Cerveira

As Baron Bomburst and Baroness Bomburst famously sang in the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

You're my little chu-chi face
My coo-chi, coo-chi, woo-chi little chu-chi face
Every time I look at you I sigh
And you're my little teddy bear
My lovey lovey dovey little teddy bear
You're the apfel strudel of mine eye

It is usually advisable to start a tale at the beginning, particularly a bit of a fairy tale. But hey, I’ve had a couple and Mrs C was amused so I will start today’s blog at the end.

Tonight, we are staying at the most delightful guest house with even more delightful hosts. The four of us (that’s me, Mrs C, Mick and Andrea - not the hosts) have been out for several hours and as the beer, wine and port has flowed, the speculation about the German couple in the room between the four of us - not having arrived by the time we went out - had gotten a bit out of hand and politically incorrect. 

Simple things and all that but, on returning from our night out and as we fell up the stairs to our first floor rooms, one half of the German couple appeared - obviously now having arrived - on the landing en route to the shared bathroom wearing a tee-shirt and I’m not sure what, if anything, else. Childish I know but cue hysterical reaction. It probably won’t sound funny in the morning, or indeed seem particularly funny to anyone reading this, but it was a splendid end to a splendid day which had started fifteen hours earlier.

We departed our hotel Albergaria Quim Barreiros, chosen primarily because it had the word Quim in its name, at eight o’clock. We walked out of Ancona, and its magnificent beach, along the coastline for two miles before the route took us into the small town of Moleda where we stopped for breakfast. After yesterday’s hard, hard day on the feet, the absence of cobbles was indeed very welcome. We continued on and through the beautiful town of Caminha, situated at the mouth of the River Minho and on the other side of which lies Spain. Many pilgrims take a ferry boat into Spain from here and continue on to Santiago from the other side. We however had decided to follow the river towards Valenca where we will cross into Spain tomorrow. 

We passed through the village of Seixas (cue the first of today’s childish sniggering) and then on to Lanhelas where we stopped for lunch at Bar Casulo where the nice lady looked after us admirably, including the supply of 1906 bottled beer (6.5%), a very tasty little number by brewer Estella Galicia.

The route had brought us away from the coast and brought with it a few cobbles which we didn’t like so we came off-route by dropping down to the river and following a cycle & walking path for the final five miles (of twelve in total) into Cerveira. The town itself was very lively with a large riverside park, lovely town centre square and huge market going on. This all augured very well. Our accommodation for the night, Casa do Artesanato, is lovely and the welcome we were afforded by the mother and son combination who run it could not have been warmer or friendlier. Mama doesn’t speak a word of English (why would she?) but appears to want to make up for that by doing our washing, making us breakfast in the morning and sending us off with a packed lunch. So kind.

We ventured off into town, enjoying a couple of beers in one of the town square bars before moving on to a small corner-site bar on a side road which had the advantage of being in the evening sunshine. They were obviously getting ready to close so we moved on after a couple of beers there and started looking for food. An urgent toilet call saw us make a quick decision in this respect which was later reversed, following said toilet call and a beer because the girls didn’t fancy the menu. Mrs C pulled the lock off the toilet door to emphasise her rejection of this particular venue. 

We found another restaurant venue, just off the main square, which did indeed get the girls’ approval and splendid it was too. We had seen and chatted to (who turned out to be) the main man earlier in the evening when passing a Benfica supporters bar where the occupants were all glued to the TV watching their team in a live match. Benfica won the match 5-1 so he was in a good mood when we recognised each other in the restaurant later. To help us wash down the beer and wine which accompanied the meal, he brought a decanter of port to the table. By the time we were ready to leave, all four of us were on the wibbly wobbly side of life.

And so back to Casa do Artesanato where on arriving, our tee-shirt clad German friend strolled past us on his way to the loo. We retired to our room and hit the sack but strange noises seemed to be emanating from the room next door just a couple of minutes later. Was that someone wailing and moaning? A bit of Hands Knees and Boomps a Daisy occurring? Hand cuffs chinking perhaps? Was it my imagination when I thought I heard the words apfel strudel?

Who knows. Maybe we will be wiser in the morning. Maybe we won’t. Maybe we won’t want to be? Either way, another wonderful day on the Camino. 

1 comment:

  1. That's 2 references to Chiitty Chitty Bang Bang (one of my all time favourites), I'm looking forward to you squeezing in Truly Scrumptious and Toot Sweet - maybe both could follow a night on the Spanish beer and tapas!