Mealhada – Agueda

6 April 2018


All right then, let’s walk in the rain

Weather wise, it doesn’t look promising! Big dark clouds filled the sky when we started walking this morning – the owners at the restaurant where we had the delicious pig meal last night told us they expected 100% rain today. Well, I suppose that means we definitely WILL get wet on our way to Agueda (but just how wet, we’ll find out at the end of the day!)

In the last few days we noticed these bread bags hanging from the gates of houses in the smaller villages. I remember seeing the same thing last year on our Camino Frances in the smaller Spanish towns. I have a suspicion that the home owner ordered it from the bakery and that it is then delivered early in the morning. I am amazed every time that it is left untouched until the owner comes to collect it!


Fresh bread at the front gate of a house in Mealhada

We could feel the rain approaching – it had suddenly become colder and darker since we started walking an hour ago. We were lucky to escape the rain as we walked through the woodland – I can only imagine the mud slides we would have found ourselves in if it had rained here.

P Camino (9) - Agueda (Medium)


Walking in a woodland just as we left Mealhada


That must be rain clouds in the (not too far) distance

A surprising song – Waka Waka:

As we approached Alpalhao, we walked past a modern sports field. We couldn’t see anyone on the sports ground, but heard loud music as we got closer. Athletes were probably training indoors to stay out of the coming rain. The song we heard was familiar and reminded us of South Africa. It was the theme song of the Soccer World Cup 2010 which was held in South Africa, our home country. We could hear Shakira singing “Waka Waka (This time for Africa)” for almost 2km! It was quite an inspiring moment!

The modern sports ground where we heard Shakira singing “Waka Waka (This time for Africa)” … the right song at the right time!

And indeed, it was inevitable – when we reached the Rotunda Anadia, the rain came down! Luckily there was a bus stop nearby … and even better, it was equipped with a vending machine! We bought a takeaway coffee and hot pies while we waited for the heavy rain to subside. I would say this bus stop was just in the right place!


Only 3km into our walk, the rain came down

From here it was very difficult to take pictures … we tried but it was almost impossible!

We chose the option route so we could walk through Alpalhao. Although it was 1km from the original route, we were looking for a café where we could drink a hot coffee and take some shelter from the rain.

A dry place and friendly service:

After walking almost to the end of town, we saw an open café – only to find the Finns on their way out. They also spent time there to stay out of the rain. While we were enjoying our coffee, the lady at the counter (who could speak English) invited us to stay there while it was raining. She asked us about our Camino and where we were from – it was an unexpected visit but turned out to be a good one.


The friendly Portuguese lady at the café where we found shelter against the rain

🎵 Have you ever seen the rain 🎵 … you know the song:

We walked the last 16km in pouring rain. Berto said at one point that he didn’t think there was a hint of a dry spot on him! And then you have to consider that I was walking in my hiking sandals. I didn’t even try to miss the puddles, because my feet were soaking wet anyway!


P Camino (10) - Agueda (Medium)

Even with our rain jackets, we got soaking wet

We walked through a few small towns but decided not to seek shelter at a café again. It looked like the rain wasn’t going to stop anytime soon.

Just the two of us on the road – who in their right minds would any way be out in this weather?

A proper rain storm:

And then, during the last 7km, the rain turned into a storm!! We didn’t even bother to put the hoods on our rain jackets – it certainly wouldn’t have helped. We just hoped our clothes in our backpacks were still dry (we made sure to pack our clothes in dry bags this morning before we left).


A small river in the gutters next to the road … luckily, we could still see the yellow arrow

Are we there yet?

Just before we reached Agueda, there was a tunnel under the bypass where we could stop for a while to catch our breath. I don’t think I’ve ever walked in such torrential rain!


A wet silhouette in a tunnel

Accommodation – Agueda:

Albergue St Antonio

The Finnish couple joined us in the tunnel and together we walked the last kilometer (uphill and in heavy rain) to Albergue St Antonio – which was of course at the end of town.

It was with the greatest relief when we were able to check into the albergue and arrived at a warm and dry room. And although we had two bunk beds in our room, it was just the two of us and we could use all the available space to get rid of our wet clothes! Fortunately, our clothes in the dry bags were still dry (they were also the only things that weren’t soaking wet!)


Our room in Albergue St Antonio – it was dry and warm inside


The view from the terrace of Albergue St Antonio – during summer it must be great to relax on the grass with this view. But today we stayed inside the communal area where it was dry!

We then had to walk half a kilometer back (in the rain) to the supermercado where we could buy red wine and snacks for the afternoon and next day. Tonight we are not preparing dinner – we placed an order with the albergue for a takeaway and spent the rest of the afternoon in the communal area. And once again we used the dryer for our clothes – clothes that aren’t supposed to be tumble dried…oh well, such is life!


Where do you want to go? Santiago de Compostela!

Our Italian pilgrim friend joined us later – he was also caught in the heavy rain and got a taxi to bring him to the albergue. As we all sat in the communal area, we talked about our day and agreed that it must have been one of the hardest days on the Camino, weather-wise.

There’s a cat in the house:

Later that evening the rain let up for a short while and we were able to spend some time outside on the terrace. A beautiful cat joined us (apparently the albergue is not his home, but he always “visits” when pilgrims are around). There was a note on our dormitory door that said the door should always be closed so the cat could stay outside. But when we went to bed the very same cat was sprawled out on one of the top bunk beds. We didn’t have the heart to chase him out into the cold.

A beautiful cat at the albergue

I’m a little worried about my feet. The blisters didn’t look good after my feet were wet all day and my swollen ankle is very sore again tonight. We’ll see how the next few days unfold.

Click here for Day 12 …


8 thoughts on “CAMINO PORTUGUESE – DAY 11

    1. We laughed so much while walking in the rain (I mean, what else can you do)? Although it was probably some of the worst hiking conditions, it was also our best memories! And when you find such a lovely cat at the end of a wet day, all is soon forgotten anyway!

      Liked by 1 person

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