Thursday, May 14, 2015

Barcelos to Lugar do Corgo

A fresh breeze was blowing as I made an early start at 8.00 am - just right for walking, as I had about 10 kms to do, and much of it uphill.

I took my time on sandy tracks and woodland paths, going through small villages, few of them signposted. The flower of the day was foxglove, growing in profusion on all sides. The vines here were all trained upwards to human height for easy picking and then espaliered along wires. They were supported by uprights of reinforced concrete, a method I have not seen in Spain.

I also admired the local gardens. On warm South facing slopes, they grow Australian plants such as bottle brush and proteas, and even orchids in pots on their front steps. I stopped for a coffee and custard tart at S. Sebastio opp. the church and then for a cider at Portela to fortify myself for the final climb up to the pass.

I arrived at my destination, Casa do Fernanda, just after 3.00 pm. This albergue has the reputation of being one of the top places to stay on the Camino Portuguese because of the warm welcome given to pilgrims over the years. There are 10 beds in a bunkhouse which were already full when I arrived, but fortunately I had phoned yesterday to book a private room in the main house. One guy from Berlin is going to sleep on a sofa under the verandah, and they regularly seem to have an overflow because there is a scarcity of accommodation between Barcelos and Ponte de Lima.

Richard Branson lookalike!

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