Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Valtuille to La Portela - disaster management (Oct 1)

We were packing to leave in the morning when I discovered that my wallet was missing. I could have left it at the village bar when I was paying for the previous night's dinner or it could have fallen out on the way back, a distance of a couple of hundred metres. The bar had opened in the morning but the owner said he did not have it and we checked the path we took with no success. If it was dropped, it would have been picked up by any passer by. Contained in it were some cash, credit cards and a travel card specific for foreign currency withdrawals. Fortunately we had made sure we carried only our own credit cards and we have a second travel card. The landlady was helpful and quickly prepared a report for the police with our contact numbers in case it was found, but we held no hope for that.

We finally left Valtuille after 930am and at the next town Villafranca (yes another one of tbe same name as one we came across some weeks ago) 5 km away, thankfully  a large one, I was able to locate an internet cafe where I found contact information for the banks, deactivated the travel card. 

Villafranca #2

Then we were on our way again, on a route that followed the main road N6 and the new expressway A6, through villages with timber mills (oak, chestnut and pine trees galore). There was enough chestnuts on the ground for a roasted chestnut hawker to do a roaring business.

As the roads had been realigned following the guide maps was difficult but we eventually arrived at La Portela, our night stop.We stayed at a private albergue at La Portela. It was a truckstop but the reasonably decent looking hotel across the road did not want to serve us meals even though we were there in the advertised hour. Too early, the staff said. The albergue was very friendly and the manager, son-in-law of the owner, was most helpful in getting us booked into a place at the next stop in O Cebreiro. Most useful when our mobile phones did not work properly, which happened quite often in remote villages.

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