Andrej Raider

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Mountains, Madhouses and English-lessons (Pontevedra-Valencia)

Posted on | July 17, 2011 | No Comments

Original Date of Post | February 26, 2009 |

The sun followed us the next days. Between Pontevedra and Arcade we laid down on grass-fields multiple times, just to rest and enjoy the sunlight. We arrived very late in Arcade and first tried to find some help in the church. But after they heard that we dont have money, they seemed to be very disgusted and kicked us out. We were lucky to find a park and camped there.

Janina and the tent at night in Arcade


Next day we hit Redondela. Redondela also has the Pilgrims hostel, but also this hostel doesnt help  pilgrims without money. The entrance for both of us was 6 Euros. So we started to search for this spark of light which normally always appears when there is no-where else to go. This time we were not that lucky. Exhausted we decided to leave the city. We prepared ourself to have a very tough and cold night. On the way to the exit we passed an English-school and couldnt believe it was still open.  In the entrance-hall the English-teacher welcomed us enthusiastically in English: “Hello and welcome! Whats cooking?”. We explained him our situation and he asked us to follow him into the class-room, where 6 confused students started staring at us. Happily the teacher pointed with both hands on us saying: “This guys have a problem. They look for a place to sleep. Does anyone of you know any place?” Silence. “Come on! Any place to sleep.”, “a hostel”, said one pupil. “Right!”, said the teacher. “How about a hostel?” We explained why we couldnt go to a hostel and a bit of our story. Surely the students didnt understand everything but the teacher listened very excited and gave us the 6 Euros we needed for a warm bed this night.

The next morning we walked to Vigo. The way to the Capital of Galicia was sunny, beautiful and hilly. When we arrived in the center we stopped at a bar. The girl at the bar was just preparing a Cappuccino when we disturbed her to ask if there might be a place to sleep for us somewhere. She asked where we come from and we told her a bit of our story. “So you are walking around the planet, right?” she asked. “Thats right.” I said. “Well I know a place for you to stay” she replied and wrote an address on a piece of paper. Only 20 minutes later we arrived at a huge white building. In the entrance-hall it smelled a bit like hospital. The old lady at the reception had a scary smile in her face. We greeted and she asked us if we were the worldwalkers. I guess the woman from the bar called in and told her that we would come. Suddenly 2 people with white lab coats appeared and wanted to separate us. I started to panic “Whats going on here?”. Then 3 more of them appeared and we were surrounded. I was confused. “Be calm, sir. We just want to help you”. I realized that we were in a madhouse. Thankfully I refused any kind of help and we went out of there. We decided to move on to plan B. We managed to find a couch via couchsurfing for 2 days. Days full of nature, city, the sea, night-life and great compny thnks to Alba and Roberto.

Well rested we continued from Vigo to Porrinho. And eventually we planned to reach Tui, a little town which lies on the border between Spain and Portugal. At that day I looked onto the map and announced that this is going to be a nice, short walk of 8 km through flat ground. So we left the city pretty late. …. But as it always comes different, we got lost and found ourselves on a path which led us into the mountains, 600 m high. After 6 hours of walk we arrived in a tiny village, 25 km away from our starting point, without any clue how far and in which direction our actual destination lies. Nevertheless I have to say that this was one of my most beautiful getting-lost-experiences.

Sunset in galician mountains

Sunset in galician mountains

The way into the unknown

The way into the unknown

The very idyllically situated village seemed to be without people. There was only one man on the small road enjoying the fresh air of the night. He looked at us as if he was seeing other people for the first time of his life. We told him that we got lost and if he know any place to sleep for us. He shaked his head without saying a word. I guess he was just too shocked. We walked around through the silent streets and after 20 minutes we heard noises coming from a big house at the border of the village. It was the inn of the village which was actually closed. But it seemed that a small circle of guests was having a good time inside anyway so we knocked the door. A man opened up and let us in. It seemed to be something like a family meeting. We got sandwiches, hot chocolate, warm and friendly company and eventually they opened up a party-room in the back-yard of the inn, where we could sleep. We spent a very nice evening and kept walking to Tui the next day. As usual, the church refused to help us, but again, thanks to the hospitable people we met here and there, a warm place to sleep was arranged. So that next morning we finally reached the destination we were eager to reach so much:

The bridge which leads to Portugal

The bridge which leads to Portugal


To be continued….


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