Sadly we didn't get to walk today. My mum was too weak to walk the 15 km to Barcelos. Luckily our hotel was very understanding and ordered us a taxi to the next town. This way my mum was able to rest for the day and get her strength back for the next day of walking. It was nice to be forced to relax in our hotel all day. We were able to catch up with friends and family on decent wifi (not always easy to find,) and do some laundry, We stayed at a hostel called Barcelos Way Guest House, which had both private and dorm style rooms. We stayed in a private room with private bath and it was great. Simple and clean, just what we needed for the day.
Barcelos was a beautiful town divided by a river with Barcelinhos on one side and Barcelos on the other. We stayed across the river on the Barcelinhos side, which is a bit smaller with less around but we still liked it. When my mum was feeling a bit better we ventured across the bridge to check the town out. It was a short walk because of the heat but we went back a second time to find a restaurant for the night. The town was cute, pretty small in size with lots of hills. The architecture was beautiful and there were wonderful gardens by the cathedral in the town.
As you can tell from the photos of the rooster, this bird is very important to this town. The legend of the rooster tells the story of a dead rooster's intervention in proving the innocence of a man who had been falsely accused and sentenced to death. According to the legend silver had been stolen from a landowner and the inhabitants of the town were looking for the criminal. One day a man from neighbouring Galicia turned up and became suspect despite his pleas of innocence. The Galician said he was passing through on a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela (like us.) However, this did not matter and the authorities arrested him and condemned him to hang. The man asked to be taken to the judge who condemned him, the authorities agreed and brought him to the judge's house. The judge was having a a banquet for his friends and the accused man exclaimed that he was innocent. He stated that "I am innocent as it is certain that this rooster will crow when they hang me," while pointing at a cooked rooster on the banquet table. The judge decided to not eat the rooster, however, he kept his judgement and sent the man to be hanged. As the pilgrim was being hanged, the rooster stood up on the table and crowed, just as the pilgrim had said he would. The judge ran to the gallows in hopes to find the man still alive and luckily enough he was due to a poorly made knot in the rope. The man was immediately freed and sent off in peace.
Learning to be patient along our journey was difficult for me. I think that my mum getting sick was a wake up call that we didn't need to arrive in each town first, it was not a competition but the journey was the most important part of the Camino. That evening after a day of relaxation and writing, we ventured off to town for dinner in a restaurant that was suggested to us in our guide book. We waited for it to open as we were hungry, which was great news because my mum was finally getting her appetite back. We walked up the stairs that led to the restaurant that was an old house converted into a restaurant. When I saw old house, I mean old. It was such a funny experience, another one to add to the books. Our waiter did not speak a word of English and the menu was in Portuguese. We had a pilgrims meal which was three courses and in the end quite delicious. It was moments like those that I'll always remember from our trip.