So, I said today was day 3 and was corrected by a fellow pilgrim -
there's a group of us on the same schedule and we meet up in towns,
either at the same albergue or just wandering around town - that
today is day 4!
Day 1: Lisboa to Alpriate
Day 2: Alpriate to Vila França de Xira
Day 3: V de F to Azambuja
Day 4: Azambuja to Porto de Muge. Staying at Quinta da Burra. Came
through the doors and all our companions were already there: Leila
and Cláudia from Vancouver, Fátima from Brazil, David from Italy,
Sophie from Belgium, and a women from Sweden whose name I can't
remember. It's unusual - though probably not in Sweden. Or maybe
she's from Denmark...
This place was bought in 2007 by Paula Castro and she moved here in
2009, after first doing a ton of work. It's a very old building, a
defunct homestead. She had to cut through tall grass to get in; had
to put on doors, roof, windows; remove feet of earth to get to paving stones.... now it is a lovely relaxing quiet and soothing place to
stay. She decided to take in pilgrims after a few people stopped by
requesting refuge, realizing they could not make it to Santarém, the next town. I'll attach some pics.
She has definite ideas about how to do things, as you might imagine
of someone who would take on this kind of project. By the time we
arrived all the rooms were taken. Fátima was going to sleep in a hallway. Paula said she was in the process of cleaning a storage room
(kind of barnlike, but with bathroom and shower en suite (so to speak) and we could stay there. Fine with us. And Fátima was going to join us. Then a bit later she says she's going to ask David if he'll
switch so we can have a private room. We were kind of aghast - but
she insisted. He agreed! Now Fátima is back in the hallway. Why?
Don't know, but Paula has her way.
She is really generous. Upon arrival we were offered beer, wine or
OJ and a snack. The fee for the night includes breakfast, a
ham sandwich and an orange to go for the next day's walk. Dinner
tonight is by donation.