In the courtyard

Tomorrow I will take a walking tour of Porto and possibly a boat tour also. So, I stayed around “ home” today.

A view from the hammock

After a magnificent lunch ( again!) cooked by Francesca I retired to the hammock, slung in a shady spot in the middle of the yard. I fell asleep for a few moments and then remembered that I had promised to spend a little time with a young man who is working on a translation of a book of Portuguese legends. The owner of the Alberge gave me many pages of already translated material which was pretty good but, here and there, the vagaries of English required the touch of a native speaker. We spent a pleasant half hour poring over the original and some of my notes, I think to good effect.

Communal lunch in the shade
Lavender in the morning

Every day at about 1;15 we are served a lunch for the staff, always on the best plates and with wine. Then at 2:30 the doors open and the pilgrims come in to claim their reserved bed or to ask hopefully if there is one free. Yesterday I was asked to compose a note for Facebook explaining that from now on, even if the pilgrim has a reservation, no check-ins will take place after 8 pm. Just during the week I have been here, late arrivals of people with reservations have meant that someone must stay at the desk until midnight. The redoubtable Olena decided that” Isobel, native speaker and so polite Canadian” was the one to explain the whys and wherefores of this new policy.

And rosemary

Now at five o’clock it is quite hot on the street so I am happy to sit here in the cool garden and write a little.

Oh, met my second. Anti vaxxer of the stay. The first was a French lady who quickly dismissed my dissent to her claim that the poor Canadian truckers had been brutally deprived of their rights last year. The second , today was an American who, upon hearing that I was Canadian asked if our Prime minister was the son of Fidel Castro. “He’s a leftist” He was a person who revealed a significant legal career and so, with an aside that I did not think political leaning was an inherited gene, I withdrew from the fray. I had been reading the stoics and taking my note from Marcus Aurelius who says you’ll meet people with ideas you cannot combat and so…. it is better to preserve one’s energy for adversaries who are amenable to reason. Just the fact that confessed to reading The New York Times was enough to put me on the wrong side of the tracks. The wonderful thing about sn Alberge is that people leave and are replaced by new faces, new ideas, new souls.

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