Day 7 July 21 – Valença do Minho to Mos in Spain, 19.65 miles

Today was the hardest day for me. Probably because yesterday I didn’t rest enough. After arriving at the albergue since I haven’t walked enough why not walk more. I needed to buy food and stumbled on a mercadillo and then went to see the old town built on a Fortaleza where they were selling the same stuff than at the mercadillo but much more expensive. It was super busy. After the walk of 4.5 miles my feet were swollen. Not a smart idea. It was nice anyway. I ate far away from the tourist side and ended up at the albergue talking with Petrus, a Peregrino from Cyprus who did El Camino de la Costa and wasn’t very surprised with it.

Another contribution to the hard walk today, besides going to bed late for a peregrina like me, was to wake up at 5 am in order to catch up with the hour I was going to lose 4 k later when crossing the bridge to Spain. Also instead of 23 k that said the app that was the distance between these two towns with all the detours to avoid ugly highways and polígonos industriales I ended up walking 31 k, around 5 miles more
I’m so glad I took a bunch of pictures of the beginning otherwise I would only remember the end. Walking on the empty streets of Valença and Tui was magical. The light and temperature were perfect for walking. It still amazed me that in seconds I changed country, language and time. My favorite photo is the one of the bridge between Valença and Tui. In Tui definitely the Camino becomes more touristic since it’s a little over the minimum distance required to walk and be able to receive a Compostela. I saw a couple of groups walking with nothing as if they were going for a jog and return home. They passed me or I did let them pass. Around 10:30 am I stopped in a cafe for coffee where I ate also one of my yummy sandwiches prepared at the albergue around 6 am. While I was leaving a huge group of 140 Portuguese teenagers arrived at the Cafe and they followed me for a while. They were loud and the route not very fun. Lots of pavement. Fortunately I have read in my guide that you could take a detour to avoid a bunch of polígonos industriales when entering into the town of O Porriños. I walked along the river with no human souls. It was nice and in the shadows. At the end of the river walk, I stumbled with the albergue of this town. It was my salvation since I needed water and bathroom and the person in charge was able to call the next public albergue and check that they had beds. They were “only” 7k that ended up in almost 10 k in the most horrible landscape imaginable. Pavement, busy streets, no cafés or shadows, not even a rock to sit on. My knees were hurting a lot. One kilometer before destiny, I found a bench where I rested while eating a sandwich. A crazy French woman going the opposite way talked to me for a while and complained about all the people that snores in albergues. It was pretty funny the way she expressed herself. «if you snore, book a private room or get an operation » saying these while her hands were flying in the sky.

After that I finally arrived to the albergue of Mos. I found the 4 Czech women and the muse that I saw in the river. I found out everything about her routine. Very neat person.

I did the usual, showered, washed clothes, find WiFi and a menú peregrino to eat. The restaurant in front of the albergue had fish, rabbit and chocolate mousse with a natural orange juice for 10€. I ate everything to the last morsel even when I was not hungry. I know I need to eat. Tomorrow is a long way to Pontevedra. I hope I am in shape for the challenge. Good night. It’s 9:15 pm and I am done.

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