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Portuguese Tour update – 11 weeks to go!

Yikes – I checked on the calender and there’s only 11 weeks to go!

Give or take a few days.

This past week Catarina and Jennifer and I have been busy doing logistical stuff –  hotels, restaurants, the van etc. There’s been very bad weather in some parts of north Portugal and western Spain, and in one district the power went down for nearly a week, with no internet and very little communication.

Seems like it’s been a harsh winter – as harsh as our summer here in Australia.

The Rubiaes situation has now been sorted. The bloke who runs the Casa Olivierha just outside of Rubiaes has confirmed that we’ll not only be able to stay in his three rooms, but he can guarantee us similar standard accommodation in Casas nearby. We’ll also have a home cooked dinner at his home that night. And breakfast the next morning, before we head off.

Fernando speaks good English, he sounds like a great bloke over the phone, and I’m sure he’s going to be a wonderful host.

Finding the right accommodation in Santiago over Easter has been tricky. I’d booked us into the Carris Casa da Troya, as I stated in the last update, however I wasn’t entirely comfortable with this booking. My wife and I have stayed there in the past – it is definitely a beautiful hotel in a very good location, however I wanted to see if I could get something which would suit us better – something a little less “corporate.”

Those of you who have been to Santiago before know about the Hotel Costa Vella, voted the best boutique hotel in the city year after year. I now know the owner, Antonio, quite well – my wife and I stayed there on our last trip to Santiago – and I’ve been on his hammer for us to stay at his hotel. Unfortunately though he has a long standing group booking from Iceland, of all places, that’s taken out all his rooms.

However Antonio has been incredibly helpful in trying to find me just the right place. I got an email from him during the week recommending a new place that’s not yet up on the booking websites. Antonio said he thought it would be perfect for us.

It’s called the Hotel Literario San Bieito – and it’s only been open a couple of months. It’s three star (Antonio pointed out that his hotel, the Costa Vella, is only two stars – as is his other hotel, the Moure). The San Bieito is a new renovation of a very old building, and it looks simply beautiful. It’s in the old town, only five minutes walk from the Costa Vella, and Amadeo who runs the place will make us very welcome.

I’ve put the hotel details up in the itinerary, but here is it’s draft website and Facebook page –
http://www.hotelsanbieito.com
https://www.facebook.com/HotelBoutiqueLiterarioSanBieito

On the van front, Catarina through her mother has been able to source the van I wanted – a Mercedes Benz Viano. It’s a luxury vehicle, which will sit 9 people.

http://www.mercedes-benz.com.au/content/australia/mpc/mpc_australia__website/en/home_mpc/passengercars/home/new_cars/models/viano/w639.flash.html?csref=sem_Viano_Google

So it’s been a busy week, on the phone talking to the hoteliers in Spain and Portugal about our requirements. But it’s fun!

By the way, we’ve still got a few spots available on the tour – so if you have any friends that might want to join you, put them onto either me – billpgstours@gmail.com – or the travel agent Duncan Ford, at duncan@flightbiz.com

Eleven weeks to go. Hmmm, even though it’s 39C outside right now, I might go for a walk soon!!

Signs VdC

5 Comments Post a comment
  1. I am so jealous. You are all going to have such a splendid time!
    Lynda

    January 18, 2014
    • Come join us Lynda!

      January 18, 2014
      • Believe me, we would if we could. I daydream of the Camino Portugese and Frances all the time. Like you I recieved an unexpected check before going on the Camino in August. It was a one time pension payment from my being a volunteer EMT/volunteer firefighter back in the 70’s and 80’s. It paid for the flights. If it hadn’t of been for that check we wouldn’t have been able to go. We are saving now and hope to go on your food tour or maybe you’ll do another Camino. The Camino sure seems to get under your skin and just keeps calling you back. You are all going to have such a super time.
        We’ll be on the next one.

        January 18, 2014
  2. PS Could you send a few degrees of your heat up this way. We are dark and gray and rainy (Seattle!Also, you have made mention several times of your sports team. I just really need to say GO SEAHAWKS! Our football team just has one more game to win and then we are in the Superbowl!!!!

    January 18, 2014
    • Hi Lynda –

      yes, Im thinking of doing a tour of Sicily – and perhaps hooking in Assisi as well. Maybe later in the year, depending on my other work requirements.

      Ill keep you informed as to those plans.

      And as for your footy team – Ive been watching FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS and am starting to get an understanding of American football. It would be pretty amazing if your team made the Superbowl!

      Bill ________________________ PGS PILGRIM TOURS http://www.pgspilgrimtours.com +61 412 944 777

      January 18, 2014

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