Date: 25 April 2018
Walked from: Pontevedra
Walked to: Caldas de Reis
Distance: 22.5 km
I have no idea why the British think they are such great drinkers. We honestly pale into comparison with the amount that the Spanish and Portuguese can put away – and yet they seem to imbibe alcohol with a panache my countrymen and I can rarely manage. I’m saying this because – PURELY in the interests of being polite / culturally adaptive – I accidentally started drinking wine at about 11am this morning.
Having spent a few a very pleasant couple of hours chatting to some new folk, and talking again with some people I’ve met before over the past few days (all while walking, naturally), I wandered into a tiny impromptu looking cafe (it appeared to be in someone’s large garage) in Briallos for a nice cold lemonade to be greeted by a group of super friendly guys from Lisbon who I’ve met a couple of times in the past few days. ‘Come in, sit down, have a drink’, they said. I noted the large jug of red wine and the white bowls they were drinking it out of in the table. Then I noted that everyone else in the place – all walkers, and almost all Portuguese or Spanish – were drinking booze too. A bowl of the young local red wine was passed to me. We chatted. Then they bought out a jug of the young local white wine, so fizzy that I thought it was lager. New ceramic bowls are handed around. I had a bowl of that too. We chatted some more. Photos were taken of the Iberian drinking gang, complete with the English interloper and then I scarpered, completing the last 5 km or so into town with what may have been a little more spring to my step…
Arriving at my hostel, I showered and headed out for a late-ish lunch in the beautifully situated and very friendly Taberna O’Muiño taverna – on the river as you come into the centre of town. The staff were friendly, the food was absolutely delicious (razor calms – mmmmmmmm)… and the booze kept on coming. I asked for a glass of the local white wine… and got a jug of wine and another white bowl to drink it out of. I asked for the bill and was brought a lovely almond tasting cake instead. I asked for the bill again, and was given a Baileys-like liquor. Eventually I escaped. It’s 5pm, I’m a bit tired, a bit merry, and really quite glad I’ll be home in a few days: my liver couldn’t withstand the hospitality of the locals on a permanent basis, but it’s a really fun way to be ending my trip.