Tuesday, October 6, 2015

On to Sao Joao

Hello, everyone.

Our walk to Sao Joao took us along what was probably the wrong route at one point--we didn't see some of what the guidebook said we'd see. We did, however, see the unusual sight of a grocery store that provides shaded parking for the customers. With giant square umbrella-like covers!

Church of St. Michael (not in Sao Joao but in Oliveira dei Azameis, a good sized city before Sao Joao) 

The next morning, leaving Sao Joao and heading on to Grijo. The sea was in sight!
 We walked along highway and big streets and eventually smallish highways and streets going from Sao Joao to Grijo. There were glimpses of the sea in the distance, off on our left, and many, many houses. On this ridge, it seemed like many of the businesses were on the side of the road without the ocean view. Only a few restaurants were on the view side of the road.
The exit door of the parish albergue in Grijo.
The albergue in Grijo has signs that appear about 3 or 4 kilometers ahead, wooden signs that is, occasionally stuck onto a pole along the winding trail up and down through neighborhoods. Grijo is a separate little village, a bedroom community almost for Porto.

The albergue itself is on a street with moderately fast traffic and no sidewalk. Just keep an eye out after you turn the corner with the "100 meters" (or some such small number) sign. It's on the left, in a yellow-painted house and there is a giant shell on the brown wooden door. That's it! Don't let your oblivious hiking partners tell you it isn't. (Ahem. And if they do, pray you encounter the friendly pilgrim's assistance fellow with his backpack to turn you around and take you back to it.) If you go too far, you come to the corner where the trail turns and you go  between the cemetery and the front entrance of the old monastery. The place is nice--it's a converted house. (One bathroom with shower, and a cold water washtub outside with clothesline apparatus. A neighbor can prepare a meal for a reasonable charge, or the pilgrim can go to the bar next door and eat for about the same amount of money.) The volunteer hospitaleros told us while they were there that the house had been given to the parish--the hospitaleros are parishioners that take time from their day to come over and clean and do the paperwork with the pilgrims--and that the pastor and parishioners had decided to make a shelter for pilgrims of it. It's at a very good location to rest before the push through lots of streets and highways into Porto.

On the picture above, the yellow arrow goes on toward Santiago. The blue arrow goes on toward Fatima. (We did encounter singles and groups of Fatima pilgrims walking. It was so pleasant to encounter other pilgrims!)