Yesterday I walked 29km or 18 miles, which was rather more than I usually do on the first day of a camino. Any day, in fact. I arrived at our hotel in Barcelos with my walking companion at 17.05 having set out from Vilar do Conde on the Atlantic coast at 8.20.
This is the conversation that took place at the reception desk when we arrived there:
Boa Tarde. I have a reservation for 2 rooms tonight.
No, we don't have anything. How did you reserve?
What is the name of the second guest?
Ah, yes. We have 2 reservations in that name.
Strange, then, that they took the money from my debit card.
As you can see, there's a fairground right outside and it'll be noisy until late. We have only 1 room at the backside of the hotel. So, who wants that room?
Maybe up to 10pm.
I live in Spain. The noise is not that great and that's not late in Spain.
Well, maybe 11.
Still not late. I won't be going to sleep until after that. So, I'll take a room at the front.
But, truth to tell, the noise - and the vibration of the entire hotel it caused - didn't stop at 10. Or at 11. Or at 12. Or at 1am. It actually stopped at . . . Well I don't really know as - with foam plugs deep in my ear canal and a pillow on top of my head - I finally got to sleep sometime after 1.10.
All of which was very bad news for my colleague as, when we checked in, she had bravely plumped for a 'frontside' room as well. But later found, after she'd quickly changed her mind, that the only 'backside' room had just gone
By the way . . . I did record the noise at 1.08 but it woefully failed to do justice to both the noise and the vibration caused by the relentless deep bass beat. Or whatever it's called.
But it wasn't a complete waste of an evening. I know now Portuguese hotel receptionists can lie as blatantly as those in Spain - and doubtless elsewhere - when it comes to things that might irritate guests. No wonder they took the money upfront. I rather doubt that my imminent complaint to Booking.com and a nasty review on Tripadvisor will achieve much but one must do one's bit for posterity.
A couple of photos . . .
This is taken in the shop in Pontevedra I mentioned last year as not being an official distributor for Swiss army knives. So, where did they get the display stand from? And is it genuine? More to the point - Are the knives?
Finally . . . This is a bar in our old quarter which might well be owned by a couple of grocers . . . .