Camino Portuguese: Day 4

0/12/12 Viana do Castelo to Ancora, 12.6km

I didn't get a picture the day before, but this is the Eiffel Bridge.  Pretty cool.

I didn't get a picture the day before, but this is the Eiffel Bridge.  Pretty cool.

Looking back at Viana do Castelo.  I would really like to visit this town when not walking on the Camino.  They seemed to want tourists and I am happy to oblige them in the future.

Looking back at Viana do Castelo.  I would really like to visit this town when not walking on the Camino.  They seemed to want tourists and I am happy to oblige them in the future.

 I grabbed a quick breakfast at the hostel before setting out.  Today was supposed to be another long day, 27km to Caminha or so I thought.  The walk out of Viana do Castelo had two options and I chose what I thought was the easier option, to walk along the coast. At some point I moved inland and I followed that through some woods before coming to a crossroads.  I had lost the yellow arrows again.  This was a common occurrence on this trail.  At the crossroads, both directions had yellow "x"s on them.  The "X" means the Camino does not go through there.  There was a "third" option but it had a sign that looked like it said "no trespassing" so I decided to head back down the hill and get reconnected with the coastal route.  This would be known as "THE BIG MISTAKE".  I ended up walking on more boardwalks, then the beach, then through more forest and so on.  Not to mention, there were no yellow arrows, so I was essentially following a Google map printout plus the map on my iPhone and hoping I was where I was supposed to be.  I had wasted so much time finding the Camino, my mind was toast, much less my body.  I made the decision to get a room in Ancora, still about 9km from Caminha.  I found a hotel for 39€ for the night.  It was perfect.

This picture does not do justice to the amazing meal I had here.  One of my most memorable meals on this walk.

This picture does not do justice to the amazing meal I had here.  One of my most memorable meals on this walk.

   After a shower, I set off to find an ATM and a grocery store.  I also wanted to find a place for dinner later.  I found all three.  I got off the tourist track on the beach and discovered a lovely restaurant for dinner.

   The waitress spoke some English and I ordered Caldo Verde, a local specialty.  It's basically kale in pureed potato soup.  It was delicious.  For my second course, I had salmon with potatoes, carrots, green beans and cabbage.  It was so good.  Of course, I had a hearty glass or two of vino tinto with dinner.  After dinner I enjoyed an espresso and a local digestivo made with honey.  It hit the spot.  All for 20€.  Totally worth the splurge.  I went to bed happy and content but undecided about tomorrow.