Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Sleeping in a 14th Century Convento in A Guarda Spain

 Some friendlies along the way.
 Almost to the town Caminha.

 Mario's boat taxi across the River Mino into Spain 
 Beautiful boardwalk on the Spanish side.  

Interesting statuary in our convent hotel.

Very nice walking this morning, minimal roads and wide shoulders when we ended up on them. Lots of forested path which is so nice. We ended up walking about 3 miles more than we wanted to because the ferry in Caminha doesn't run on Mondays.  We'd heard this but for some reason chose not to believe it. Okay,  we can either stay here for the night and get the ferry in the morning that may or may not leave on time due to tides or we can try to get a hold of this guy we heard of who will take you across for 5€ a person. I had his number so I called it and was given to a semi English speaker, Mario's brother.  We established a time to meet and where.  I thought he said Restaurant Isla but my GPS had no clue.  Walked to the tourist office in Caminha and the lovely lady knew exactly what we were talking about and drew directions for us on the map. I had the name of the restaurant wrong but now we knew where to go. I felt like we had just won the next clue on Amazing Race! Only problem was, it was a mile and a half back the way we came.

We had time for a beer on the dock while we waited for our 2pm scheduled meeting time.  Sure enough a car with a pilgrim shell dangling from the rear view mirror told us this was the guy. He said in the best Portuguese we could understand that there were two more people expected but after waiting another 15 minutes they were a no show and we hopped on the boat.  We thought possibly his explanation of where he was taking us meant out into the Atlantic and straight into A Guarda and we'd have no more walking that day. No such luck.  A 5 minutes ride across the river and we paid Mario and jumped out onto the beach.  About an hours beautiful walking on la Costa and we found ourselves right in the shimmering seaside town of A Guarda Spain in Galicia.  Nice to be back in Spain!

We didn't make any hotel reservations but right away we came upon the 2 star Hotel Convento San Benito. A ancient convent and Monastery that had been turned into a hotel.  This place was amazing for 48€ a night. As always,  whenever we get a tub I'm in it.  After a rest, we ventured out for supplies and dinner we wandered around this old place and took advantage of the complimentary port wine offered to guests near the cloister.  Nice! We are back in Spain certainly.  Groceries are different,  the way we remember them from our last Camino.  Made our way through town and found a pizza place where we had the ensalada mixto and yes John ate the tuna! Will wonders never cease! And a pizza bolognaise to share. All very good washed down with a nice rioja.

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