Sunday, September 27, 2015

Weather that makes life easier for me

Hello, everyone.

Yesterday we got over 2 inches (5 cm, for folks in the metric zone) rain. This happened about 3 days after we planted the first four rows of our fall garden.

First four rows to be planted. (It's too warm still for the Sugar Snaps to be planted.)
The first few arugula seeds are coming up already! And the rain means that I won't have to stand out there sprinkling the rows for a couple of days.

Separately, we have about 8 tiny pots of cauliflower seedling and maybe 6 of parsley. When they get large enough, they'll go in the ground too. Well, the parsley may stay in pots for easy cooking access. ;-)

The Ho Mi Z mustard is a fairly large red mustard, good for using in Brother Victor's radish-greens soup recipe and other mustard greens recipes. I planted a lot of mustard greens and arugula and the escarole (a kind of chicory, like horticultural dandelion) because I hope it will discourage nematodes from bothering next spring's tomato plants.

The Bull's Blood beets are red-leaved, so they will pretty up a salad bowl with their thinnings even before they can be dug for fresh beets.

The kale is a fairly standard blue-green curly-leafed kale, the kind you find on plates as a garnish. I would like to put in a row of either Tuscan kale or Portuguese kale, just because they go so well in the Suppa Toscana recipe. But we'll see how much room there is--DH wants to have at least 2 or 3 rows of green beans!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Crafty stuff

Hello, everyone.

I see that my last post shows what happens when the little electronic hamsters don't keep up with the clicks, and I don't realize that things are still in process so I try to put them in again. Ah, well.

There's a new item in DH's orchid collection:

These guys do really well hung from the branches of the lemon tree by the back door. It's shaded, but not super-dark, and it's easy for me to sprinkle water into the center of the plant. (Plants that naturally grow in trees have very different watering needs from plants that naturally grow on the ground. I sprinkle the center of the plant almost every day, and from time to time DH will feed them.)

The dress for R is coming along:

Dress pieces pinned for cutting out

An embroidered slip to use for an ornament, in progress (beads from stash on hand, yay!)

Friday, September 25, 2015

One foot in front of the other

Hello, everyone.

On June 16 we passed on to Agueda, if memory serves, and met Mr. Simoes while walking through the town. Y'all may remember me mentioning his kindness on a post while we were on the road. He makes aged brandy.
Studying the guidebook before crossing a highway

Lovely tile art on a house

Local tourism council promotion of water wheels or windmills

Wine or Port production facility (out in the country)

Pretty old house on the street
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Path into the next town.
Plums on a tree on the patio--juicy but not tart.
Pilgrim laundry facility. After this, you hang the things on a line and hope it doesn't rain!
This was a private albergue/pensao at the outgoing city limits of Agueda. It has private rooms and also dorm facilities. The patio was lovely.

We walked a quarter mile back along the road to the grocery store and picked up some eggs and bread and such and had boiled eggs and bread and wine (and maybe some olives?) for dinner.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Moving along the trail

Hello, everyone.

I got distracted this week--RL stuff kept me busy.

This was the place with the suckling pig. They have rooms and also a dorm facility full of bunks. Washtub on premises, clothesline as well. Nice people.

There had been a religious processon. (We were still passing through the weeks-long Festas de Sao Joao.)

A set of waymarkers.

Scattered throughout the countryside, the trail passes ruins.
Some of the abandoned, falling-down buildings have tile murals on them, left over from when they were in use.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

On to Mealhada

Hello, everyone!

As mentioned in the last post, we got lost leaving Coimbra. I don't know if the signage was confusing or the Brierly book was incomplete or out of date. (Or maybe both!) At any rate, we wandered in circles near the edge of town and found ourselves knocking on the door of a scheduling office. The nice man inside opened up and pointed us toward the next landmark on our list, a gas station. The route took us through a tiny village--someone ahead of us was walking along the road and we followed them onto a new stretch of dirt road over a field. Oops. It was sticky mud for the last half!

Near the gas station landmark. They were revving up for a rock concert in the area, we could see signs and people parking their cars.

I guess this will become the New! Improved! back way into that village that you can almost see at the end of the track.

It had rained the night before. We tippy-toed along the edges of the puddles through the woodlot.

Many buildings in Portugal are covered in tiles. Many also have image tile murals like this one, to Mary or a saint.

A suckling pig, ready for service. The chef had done it up in the restaurant oven where we stayed, and he was taking it elsewhere to serve, but he let us photograph the pig. It is a specialty of the Mealhada area.
A programming note: I have been very busy with R's dress. Now making a bead-embroidery slip to put onto the belt. Pictures will come later! Also there have been a few stitches put onto the Catedral de Santiago cross-stitch picture. I'm still up in the corner of the sky, so there's not much to see yet. Pictures later. After there is at least a little bit to see.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

After Rabacal, a sometimes-rainy walk

Hello, everyone.

We left Rabacal early, as usual. The day promised pleasant walking weather, but delivered a mix of that and rain. In consequence of the off-and-on rain, I lost my stuff sack for the rain poncho. User tip: don't just shove the stuff sack into your pocket. It will fall out! And you won't even know it until you try to put the poncho away. (Y'all may remember that after we returned to Texas, I made a new stuff sack for the poncho. They have to be contained somehow!)

A lovely trail side tile sign

We walk in: "Where are we?" The lady at the bar smiles and says "You are here!"
This was after some very scary road walking on the major highway. Which had no shoulder, no 2 foot wide trail in the dirt alongside, no sidewalk--and lots of trucks. It was nerve wracking. And somewhere in the mix of trucks and cars and blind curves, we missed the trail turnoff that would have led us to a path away from the traffic. As it turned out, the houses behind this little place had a connection to the Camino walking trail and we got back onto a quieter trail. (Almost twice as far, probably, but quieter.)

A small shrine in the middle of a parking lot by the road

We always talk about walking on goat tracks. Sometimes it really IS a goat track!

Coimbra is a major city, with a big highway. Fortunately there is an overpass.

I think this was the church dedicated to Santiago (Sao Tiago) in Coimbra. They had adoration going on in there...but we couldn't see any info on where/when Sunday Mass would be.

These were billed as "typical" Portuguese desserts. The one in front is a kind of stacked cookie torte. The one in back is mango custard. Note that the weather was cool enough for me to wear the fleece sweater we got in Pamplona last year!
We ate in a two-story restaurant in the old part of Coimbra, where we chatted with some airline folks that were also eating there. Nice young people, and it turned out that the lady had a relative who had done the pilgrimage years ago.

The next morning, we got lost trying to leave the city. After asking a man who was working for the buses (or maybe trains) we got aimed in the right direction and headed out across small asphalt roads and eventually across a muddy field. (The track had looked drier than it was.)