In Second Wind, Bert imagined what the last nun might do when she inherited her monastery. I think we figured it out. She sold it to a Portuguese couple.
Our first day of hiking brought us to the Monastery at Vairo. There are about 50 beds, all cots, in rooms of three to six, some with tile walls. The hosts are Portuguese speaking and give credence to the belief that you can communicate with anyone of you really want to.
We hoped to have escaped from stair climbing after the spiral stairs in Lisbon and fifth floor walk-up on Porto, but we "lucked" into the top floor here...four flights up. The view is magnificent. We have a room with three cots and two double windows. They are wide open. A marvelous warm breeze is blowing in as I type and Russ reads.
So far we seem to be the only people here and it is already 4:30. Could we have a whole monastery to ourselves? It is a donativo. I hope more people come. I hate to see this place not have enough people to stay open.
Following Brierley's guide, we took metro past the commercial section of Porto. The short walk here was relatively challenging because it was all on cobblestones. After our warm welcome and a few minutes of settling in, we went to the nearby restaurant for a late lunch.
The Rice with Seafood was excellent. It came with a full bottle of green wine, lots of olives, rolls and spreads. Our language choices were Portuguese and French. We got by.
The meal took a while to cook. It was all from scratch and fresh. We were entertained by the locals our age who were all playing with a toddler. About a dozen Grownups came for coffee and each in turn played with the little one. Maybe it is the only baby the town's had for years?
Having showered and done laundry, it's time to read and rest up for tomorrow. We are glad to be out of the cities and on the trail in our lovely personal monastery.
We could not post on May 16 when we were at the monastery because there was no internet. So, an update--one other pilgrim spent the night with us. She had the four person room across the hall. Janna, a young Czech from Pilzen, had a huge pack...maybe twice ours. But she was only a third our age :)
Of note to other pilgrims: there was a small notice in the monastary kitchen saying the "tap water was not controlled" and should not be drunk. In 6 Camino's we never saw that before and thought the warning should have been more prominately displayed.