Friday, January 18, 2013

Day 8, Agueda

We planned to stay at an albergue in Agueda but we were enchanted by a Siren's song on a sign, "good breakfast, possibility of washing and drying clothes" and changed our plan. We walked past two places close to the town center, past the turn off for the albergue, and kept walking. So long that we thought we must have past it. About to give up, we saw another sign pointing ahead. We continued for I don't know how long. Long enough that I asked a homeless guy for directions, ignoring the sight of the food my wife had seen him pick out of a dumpster (I didn't know this until later- all I knew was that the food in his hand was nasty). He cheerfully encouraged to keep going. I thanked him, and spotted a sign. Just 200 more meters. 200 more giant meters, more like.

Celeste looks like a great place but the guy on duty gave a vague answer about about laundry and then told us the ridiculous price (58) for one night. Bye! We left, noting that we would have had to walk back down town to eat (no restaurants nearby) and then walk back to the hotel.

We walked to the albergue. Actually we walked past it twice before finding it, locked up right, looking like nobody had been there in years. I guess we should have called first.

Now, desperate, we went onto the hotel. 70,000 for a room, plus 20,000 for an extra bed. Too much, thank you.

The clerk was very nice and chatty, very interested in our walk. We thanked him and left, no hard feelings, we'll just stay at the fire station (I'd forgotten about another alternative). Just outside, JH decided to run back in and use the bathroom. The desk clerk came out to talk more. He asked what our budget was. I said "50". He offered to add the extra bed for free.

I said, "OK, 70."

He said, "You can stay in a fire house another day".

I'm sure you've noticed that we agreed to spend 12 euros more for this. Why? The guy was nice. And it was actually in town. And we were tired.

We cleaned up and Mr Manuel recommended a restaurant, explaining its mid range price but you'll like it.

The O Ribeininho restaurant was great. The waiter was funny and helpful even though he could only "do easy English". After the meal, he asked where we were staying. He chuckled at the answer, "you could have stayed here. It's nice. And cheaper."

D'oh! In all of our scrambling I'd forgotten about my original first choice.


1 we are going the right direction!

2 ignore the Siren's song

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