Sunday July 2,2017
OK. That was brutal. This leg of the trail tired us out. It was sunny, 28 C ( 83 F ) with no breeze plus the 22 km ( 14 mile ) turned out to be 32 km ( 20 miles ) of mountain climbing. St James obviously did not believe in taking the shortest and straightest route to a destination.
We met two young traveling companions at breakfast, one was from Australia and the other fellow was from Slovakia. They had walked the coastal Camino route from Porto to Esposende in one day because they couldn’t find accommodations in Vila do Conde. The Australian used to be a nurse and had decided a few years ago to enjoy his life and to travel more when many of his patients ended up dying with the wealth they had accumulated, without doing any of the things they wanted to do, later in life.
When we started on the trail we were in god spirits. The pathway was flat, wide and easy to walk on and they were preparing for a bicycle race in town.
Along the way we found a plaque with salutations for the Camino walkers in several different languages.
As we walked inland, I heard church music and our route took us to an open-air church service, which we attended even though we couldn’t understand exactly what they were saying.
After the service, our route took us through little villages along the foothills of a mountain range.
After we reached the highest point in the eucalyptus forest and started our descent, we found a trail marker with a note as to where we could get our passports stamped.
After getting the stamps, I caught up to Pete and Kathy and we soon came to a concrete bridge, which we had to cross to get to the other side of the river.
Google maps kept telling us that it was only 7 miles to our destination but the trail kept meandering back and forth, which was lengthening our walk. We finally saw the bridge we had to cross when we were 2 miles from our destination.
We were just about out of energy when we started crossing the bridge and we reached our hotel room just before 8 pm.
After a refreshing shower, we opted for a simple picnic dinner in our room.