Day 20-22, Lisbon – Faro, Faro

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Day 20, Lisbon – Faro I; 300km, 2 cars, 9h travelling (5h waiting)

T20 Lisbon-FaroAs usual I got up at 8am and ate breakfast. Then I said good-bye to O. who gave me some ticket for the tram. I should go by tram for one long stops and the card should have given me a discount on the ticket.

When I arrived at the stop, however, I didn’t know how to get advantage of the ticket. That’s why I just didn’t buy a ticket. It was 2,85€ for one stop, so no. At 11am I finally arrived at a possible hitchhiking spot….but no one stopped. Therefore I walked to an alternative spot which was illegal as one the highway. And yes, I was lucky as in Zaragoza to just bump into a highway employee you told me to get lost.

Very upset I went back, wrote another sign with a closer destination than Faro and really after I don’t know how many additional hours a woman took me to the next service area having a McDonalds. There I met a girl and a boy from Lithuania who intended to hitchhike to Faro as well. So we took some drinks first, the girl Enrika, got hers sponsored for a spontaneous painting.

We had to wait again for a minimum of two hours, but then the car that stopped was at least going all the way to Faro…finally! He didn’t had much space in the trunk so we took our backpack on the legs again, but who cares we were going to Faro.

Faro was the second and last destination were I couchsurfed. A. and A., two nice and cool Polish Erasmus students studying in Wroclaw were doing their internship at an architect’s office. After I took a shower, we went to the supermarket, cooked something and walked inside the huge city with some port wine.

Day 21, Sunday, Faro II

After breakfast we all went to a local market where we met with the Latvian colleagues of A. and A. and their friends. We bought some fruits I’d never seen before and agreed on meeting in the afternoon to go by ferry to the beach, since between Faro and an Atlantic Ocean beach is a natural reserve park.

At 4pm we cruised through the park and enjoyed the fresh Atlantic. At 10pm after we all ate some dinner we met for some wine at the harbour again. We thought we could watch a local international/traditional dance festival but it was quite boring, so we went to take 18 shots of different kinds (regional, strawberry, kiwi and passion fruit) of Poncha instead, which was a better decision.

Day 22, Faro III

A and A. had to work again. They worked quite too hard. I made myself a chilled day. I slept longer, wrote some postcards and was happy to recognize that my boss didn’t had a problem if I came a week later, which I wanted to spend in Berlin.

Then I bought ingredients of potato pan cakes, so that the girls needn’t cook after a hard 12h working day and also the pan cakes taste quite good and would give my stomach some buffer for the next long hitchhiking stage to Granada via Tarifa and Gibraltar.

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Day 20

Day 21

Day 22

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Day 9-10, Tapia – As Catedrais – Ézaro

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Day 9, Tapia – Ribadeo / As Catedrais; 21 km, 1 car

I didn’t hurry to get up and decided to walk to Ribadeo. The way was part of the “Camino de Santiago”, so I can say that I pilgrimaged the Camino – for 15 kilometres. But before, I entered a pilgrim hostel to take a shower that was like a reborn after a couple of days without.

Unfortunately when I arrived in Ribadeo, I found out that the As Catedrais, which are some coast formation recommended by Susanna from Andorra, are some more 6 kilometres away. I was too lazy to walk for another at least 1.5 hours. In addition with an about 24kg heavy backpack it wasn’t an amusing journey. I was often asked if it’s not too heavy. In fact I went part of the Camino, but not on foot, but with hitchhiking.

So I hitched a ride near the As Caterais, charged my mobile phone and camera batteries at a restaurant. After 4 days without electricity both were nearly dying and especially the camera batteries were essential for me.

I pitched my tent at an empty parking lot. The formation As Catedrais was only accessible during low tide –so two times a day. When I arrived it was the next day at about noon and that night at 11.50 pm. So I spent some time reading at started to go at 11 pm.

It was just breathtaking and magical. There were about 15 people walking along the cliffs and the cloudy sky revealed a nearly full moon after some 30 minutes.

Day 10, As Catedrais – Ézaro; ~250km, 6 cars, 7h travelling

At night it had rained which affected me for the first time this journey and only second time during my journeys from 2011 on. Because I wanted to visit the Catedrais during daylight again, I had no rush getting up. But others had: At 10 am. I got out of my tent to see the parking lot completely full. Completely? No, a little German hitchhiker blocked space for one car. But he couldn’t resist the numerous cars which drivers became very nervous when they finally saw the opportunity of a parking area.

This time, the area was full of people so I soon started to get further. I waited nearly an hour and was about to take a break, when a car with four Italian ladies stopped. I squeezed myself in the back row and the backpack on our legs. They told me, they especially had turned at the next exit to pick me up.

Shortly before A Coruña I got out, but was a bit lost there. I walked around for an hour till I figured out a possible route to my destination. With the help of a nice Galician guy I got to the right way to – at that time Muxia. Via the highway I got on the local roads of the Costa del Morte region.

At Arteixo I was taken by a guy who built windows. His excuse of not knowing English was by far the best that I had heard since. Mostly people said, it was because of the bad teachers. He instead said it was because his teacher was so pretty he could only look at her and couldn’t concentrate on what she was talking – for six years of school… He recommended going to Ézaro instead of Muxia if I wanted to do some hiking. So I just changed my destination.

From the gas station where he left me, I caught a ride some 10 kilometres further. It was some village and nearly midnight and again 10 minutes were left to the deadline, when I wanted to find a sleeping spot, when a family stopped and took me all the way to Ézaro. The son told me of a music festival from Thursday to Sunday in Cée that was nearby.

They left me at a beach where according to them I could pitch my tent without any trouble and it was true.

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Day 9

Day 10

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Day 8 (Monday), Zaragoza – Tapia

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Day 8, Zaragoza – Tapia; ~670km, 3 cars, a couple of hours waiting time

T08 Zaragoza-TapiaI got up early. I wanted to continue. So I said good-bye to the two girls who wanted to take it easy and the first people I talked to at the service area were eager to give me a 470kilometres lift, which was awesome. It was a Spanish couple and the husband wanted his wife to speak English that she was learning at evening school. So it was a win-win for Carlos, Anna and me.

They were heading to Llanes in Asturia so we passed the rainy Basque region. To be honest like the people who never heard of Andorra, I would never have imagined that Spain can have some kind of rainforest of Eucalyptus trees. But the clime covers the northern countryside in green. The beaches are wide and empty, which may be reasoned in the stormy Atlantic Ocean. Nonetheless I liked that part immediately; not only because I had escaped the heat for some days.

At the last gas station before the crossroads of the highway to Gijón (my direction) and Oviedo (south) I spoke to a Pakistani, if he was going to San Sebastian. So after only minutes of waiting I got a ride again. The problem was, he was driving in the wrong direction. I mixed up Santiago and San Sebastian in my head. That’s why he of course was going to the right direction, but in the same time I was driven back to where I just came from…. Luckily after some kilometres was a small service area where I ran over the highway to the other, the right side.

There the time passed, cars came and went away without me. At 10pm an employee gave me a free tea and pitied me. But shortly before midnight, Ainoa, a girl from Basque region, took me to Taipa where she was working and which was only 10 kilometres from Ribadeo, where I intended to go. Unfortunately she refused to speak English, so it was quite a quite drive.

Having arrived in Tapia at about 2 in the morning, I walked along the cliffy coast until on top of one I pitched my tent and fall asleep to the sound of breaking waves.

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