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Day 11 Esposende to Vila do Castelo: Manna for Dinner

“When the dew settled on the camp at night, the manna also came down.”

Numbers 11:9

Last night was almost an epicurean disaster—as in dinner after a long day was going to be emergency food bars. Our Albergue was located several kilometers out of town and neither of us was up to going to the nearest grocery store. There were two places to eat that were only a few blocks away but, one was closed and the food at the other was limited to vending machine candy. Another place was about half a kilometer away but didn’t open until late. And Laurie’s left foot vetoed walking any farther. It was looking dismal until she remembered—we had “manna” in my backpack.

At lunch we had a decent meal that included a generous selection of local cheeses and crackers. We opted to wrap some up in a napkin for later. To put this in perspective, we have been on over 160 days of Caminos and in all that time have saved leftovers from lunch—zero times.

Yes, zero times, until yesterday. One of those minor camino miracles. It might be cheese and crackers to most people, but to us: manna.

Our walk today was long, almost nine hours with breaks and 17.6 miles. Fortunately it was cool and overcast this morning which made for great walking. The path varied from city streets to paths through the forest, and ended with a long walk across a bridge built in 1878 by Gustav Eiffel, he of the Eiffel Tower fame. Like his Paris landmark, it is still working just fine although this structure isn’t very pedestrian friendly; a narrow walkway and high winds made it a bit dicey.

Q&A: Jim asked if one of the pictures in the post yesterday showed a Roman aqueduct. It’s actually a 13th century (post Roman) aqueduct that was six kilometers and 999 arches long. Was built to serve the local monastery. Very impressive. We did see a Roman aqueduct on a tour of Roman ruins south of Porto, but that was mostly a rock lined ditch. Still an achievement, but not so impressive.

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