Agueda to Albergaria – a – Velha – Happy 50th to me!!

Home / Camino Portuguese Way / Agueda to Albergaria – a – Velha – Happy 50th to me!!

If you have been following my blog you will have figured out that I have completed the Portuguese Way and in fact back home in South Africa enjoying the fruits and memories of an epic journey.  I fortunately made extensive notes every day while on the camino so just need to strap the notes together and post the blogs.  Sadly, two days home and my Samsung S5 mobile phone was stolen and all 4000 odd pics of my journey across Portugal, into Spain and on to Finesterre are GONE.  Saddens me deeply but it is what it is…….  I have pics that are being sent to me from the others who walked with me and as much as I appreciate them sharing their pics with me, it is kinda not the same as having MY PICS!!  I have a few on Instagram which you can access from this blog and then a few more on Facebook that I will copy over to the blog.

A N Y W A Y, let’s get back to the Camino happenings…………..

I know the blog is late but in Camino “language and time” – today is the 27th June! 2014!

I have been on planet earth for 50 years!

A wish came true for me in that I am celebrating this special day on the CAMINO.  Every step I took today I reflected on 50 years of my life, some of which I am most proud of, some of which I would change (yes, I would change some decisions I took)!!  Having celebrated my 48th birthday on the Francis Way Camino in 2012 it was a wish to celebrate my 50th on the Portuguese Way.  How does one celebrate a milestone like a 50th on the Camino, well it is as simple as – you don’t, ………and that is what makes it so special.  I feel energised (in my mind, right now not my body), am so grateful for what I have in life, feel blessed and looking most forward to the next 50 healthy, happy, content and wealthy years ahead of me.

THANK YOU buddy for making my morning extra special with a gift, a silver bracelet with the camino shell charm on it.  THANK YOU Koren for my cards and notes from home and all the euro’s my family sent me to spoil myself once I have finished this journey.  THANK YOU Alan for the body massage voucher, so unexpected and much appreciated.

Koren was up and ready for her first day on the Camino before I had even opened my eyes.  Trust me there is no rush and in fact the slower one takes this journey the better.  Difficult to explain this to an eager beaver who is just wanting to go go go.  Luckily Sharon (also an eager beaver just wanting to get going in the mornings) was ready and willing to hit the road, so the two of them went to go find a bar for breakfast and cappuccino, while I dragged my body out of bed, into the shower and clothed it yet again with a choice of 1 of 3 outfits.  The two of them found such an awesome. modern, funky restaurant about 1.5 kilometres from the hotel, what a place and great service received.  Birthday cappuccino E N J O Y E D! and got a hop in my step for the day!!  Alan joined soon after and the 4 of us were ready for what we believed would be a fairly easy and short walk today.

Once again we seemed to be on asphalt roads most of the way.  We got off the roads for a while and set foot on what must be every walker’s perfect path – through a forest, flat and even with a sandy surface, shaded by the trees. (YES PLEASE).  Arriving early into a destination can be a very different experience depending on the town. For example, arriving early in towns like Tomar or Coimbra is a delight as it allows you time to explore the town and see some of the historical buildings etc. and find several cafe’s to enjoy cafe con leche’s.  But today arriving early in Albergaria was somewhat of an anti-climax.  Albergaria was obviously once a prosperous town but now felt a bit like a place lacking a heart in the early afternoon.  HOWEVER with this said we were advised to attend a festival that was on later the evening.  Seen that it is my 50th today we decided what the hell, we will go explore the night life in Albergaria and join the festival.   Nothing is too far away in these small towns so walked to the festival grounds round 19h00 and hung around forever waiting for the festival to start.  Stage was up, speakers being tested and eventually around 23h00 we headed on back to the hotel as nothing was happening.  The entire town must have been present and the food stalls were packed, drinking places were chock a block and vibey but as for the music, it was non-existent.  The festival was in aid of the community getting together to celebrate the towns existence  – loads of food stalls and we did get to experiment with some Portuguese food dishes.

Today we also had a very interesting encounter with a beautiful young lady who suddenly appeared from the forest.  It was literally like a genie in the bottle situation, suddenly she just appeared.  I share this as it was weird to suddenly see this lady “almost perfectly beautiful in every sphere of being” and the closer we got to her the more of her beauty shone.  Her white dress was so short Sharon and I commented on why she would choose to wear black panties only to see that she had no panties on (yes this is a true story).  Once we passed her we all turned around (so typical of women) to see her bum fully bared.  Alan obviously took a double shot at the view!!  We were all so stunned as it was so unexpected and in the weirdest of all places, the forest.  Oh well, a little spice in Alan’s life for the day.  (We did have a good chuckle)!!

Part of the walk today crosses over the medieval (some say Roman) bridge of Marnel.  Absolute beaut of a bridge as you approach it and don’t forget to look back once you have crossed the bridge.  The beauty is gobsmacking.  Pack a picnic lunch and stop here to soak up the beauty and who knows you might even see some pretty women appear from the forest (only bluffing).

All in all an interesting day and every day that dawns on the Camino is a gift to me and I take it in that way. I accept it gratefully without looking beyond it. I completely forget my physical suffering (just my feet) and all the unpleasantness in the WORLD and I think only of the joy of seeing the sun rise once more and of being able to walk for another day, living in the now, focusing on the now, being totally present in the now!

…….. on my journey in life living in the NOW is the only way……….

Buen Camino, looking forward to another day on the Camino, Albergaria to Madeira tomorrow, +- 30 km’s.


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