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Sunday 17th May 2009 - 6:27pm
Rates by Susan
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So folks! Here we are after one day´s walking!

Well we tried to cheat but it didn´t go very well... we took the metro up to a place called santa clara, there was a monastery there and a big roman aquaduct that was very impressive, it was all very pretty!

From there it should have been a short (relatively) 13km walk to the albergue and main route at Rates a walk which my guidebook assured me was waymarked with arrows! BIG LIE! there were arrows, but they, um, weren´t the right arrows. Unfortunately they turned off the road we were on about 200m before we should have done and then we followed them for several km thorugh some admittedly scenic forests for quite a while until we came out back at an aquaduct and realised we´ve just walked round in a giant circle!!!

So i think the arrows were some kind of bicycle path or something.. we tried to walk up a motorway for a while but eventually we had to give up and go ALL the way back the way we came do by about 1pm we were still only a couple of km past our start point!! So in the end we followed some fairly sketchy directions along roads and eventually reached real live yellow arrows and the proper camino route only about 4pm!!

Still we´re here now and we have beds and stuff! There was even hot water in the showers! What a delight for a donativo albergue eh!?!

Maybe its a lesson in cheating, maybe its a lesson on not following the guidebook advice but we´ve certainly done more like 20km rather than the 13km we were hoping for on the first day....

Apparently everyone else in the albergue that took the metro (to various other metro stop destinations) got lost also so maybe portugal´s just hard to negotiate!

Bonus points on their provision of internet access so far though!

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