The morning sky appeared threatening but not threatening enough to keep the Stand-up paddle boarders from their routine. We got off to a cool start. As we made our way to the ocean’s edge, we passed fields of wild calla lilies. So beautiful, they were stunning. We did pass the Fort of St John the Baptist on the way out of town. After being abandoned for multiple years, it is now an eight room boutique hotel. Minutes later, we saw dark clouds, and, as we were putting on rain protection, it started to hail and it hurt. Fortunately, it only lasted a minute or two as the wind blew the storm past us. We continued on through several towns along the ocean, walking on sidewalk, cobblestone and boardwalk.Our paths crossed with several other pilgrims. Along the boardwalk we met Maria from Sofia, Bulgaria, Frank from Germany, and a nice couple from San Diego. There was beach bar that had a place to hang camino shells, so we did, having painted several scallop shells from home before we left. The boardwalk ended and we turned towards farms and forest. After speaking about how lucky we were that the weather had held up, once again we were pummeled with hail and cold rain. Again it was only a few minutes, but it was not pleasant. After the farms, we wound through small towns, past churches and cemeteries and flower planters used as car-parking dividers. Esposende at last. We chose a hotel with an ocean view, walked into town to get some dinner and ended up bringing some wine, small empanadas and pastries back to the room. Yes, the pastry pilgrimage is in effect too. Everything was delicious. The special pastry from Esposende region is called Exposicao. It is a filled pastry. The manager of the shop Rio Doce told us the filling is made from a local squash or melon. It translates to ‘Shelia’. It tases kind of like a winter melon. I won’t be trying this at home.
Along with the words ‘Bom Caminho’, we have added the words ultreïa et suseïa to our Portugues Caminho vocabulary. These three words added to the Bom Caminho greeting roughly translate to “onwards and upwards,” and can be used as an exchange between pilgrims – one says ultreïa, the other says et suseïa – encouraging each other to keep on walking; yeah right.
Here we go again…Bom Caminho, ultreia et suseia!