Date: 20 April 2018
Walked from: Barcelos
Walked to: Ponte de Lima
Distance: 34.7 km
I had an early start today, and was rewarded with a beautiful sunrise and perfect early morning walking conditions as I climbed my way out of the Barcelos area and up to sleepy little Tamel São Pedro Finn. Tragically (and I accept I may be over-dramatising this point), when I arrived there the cafe wasn’t open. I guess the extra 4 km I had to walk to have my morning custard tarts made them taste even better, but t’was with a heavy heart and a hungry stomach that I continued my walk northwards.
Today’s walk involved two hill passes (hardly Everest-like in their proportions) over the Neiva and Lima river valleys and lots of peaceful footpaths through woodland – largely pine and eucalyptus – and past a lot of tiny vineyards, which must surely have been producing grapes / wine for personal consumption only. The final 10 km into the market town (alas, no market today, but it’s attractive and, as the name suggests – Pont meaning bridge – it has a splendidly long bridge traversing a wide river) of Pont de Lima was pretty much all downhill, with a cold drink stop along the way to help cope with walking in 28C.
I met even more new people today (all of whom started in Porto), and only saw a couple of faces from the day before; I suspect I walked a longer day yesterday than most. I even met a couple of fellow London dwellers, and a number of friendly North Americans. Germans predominate – in fact, I’ve reached the conclusion that I really need to learn a bit of the language, if only to be able to talk to more people when I’m on walking holidays in the Iberian Peninsula, so I’ve signed up for an evening class when I get back.