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