El Camino de Santiago

Camino Portugues

El Camino de Santiago

Camino Portugues

Esposende to Viana do Castelo 19.3 miles

Early morning at Esposende beach

The mileage each day turns out to be quite a bit more than it is supposed to be, the answer to this is simple, I make stupid mistakes. Yesterday I overshot the hotel by failing to realise  that it was not in the town itself but in a beach resort on the other side of a river. So I had to turn back and re - cross the bridge which gave me the willies the first time. An extra 2 miles. This morning I figured I had walked that bit, albeit in the wrong direction, so took a cab to where I did a u turn.

Portugese towns give a whole new meaning to the word 'sprawling'. I walked for well over an hour before getting through the town and it's beach front where the Camino turned inland.

Bye bye Esposende (finally)

This was by way of a welcome change as I like walking through little villages and my hat doesn't blow off all the time

Go in the guide notes said

You may know I am not a frequenter of churches so 2 in 2 days is out of character. However, this proved to be worth it for the humour factor. The first thing I saw was a priest who was at the altar but in a Muslim pose. I thought about coughing politely but I didn't want him to think I had the virus so I sat down heavily in a pew. Rather startled he turned and jumped up and began talking rapidly. I did the "Sorry English" thing with upturned arms. After a lot of gesticulating it eventually became apparent he had lost a contact lens. Now it may have been unchristian of me but I did not feel like grubbing around on the dirty carpet to help so said "Sorry English" again and hurried out.

Still 208k to go!

I love walking through forest paths and this one was accompanied by the sound of a fast moving stream. The notes said that it would eventually be crossed  via an ancient bridge. Sadly, said bridge was now ancient history having been washed away, so necessitated a diversion. 

What no bridge?

Shortly after this I made a fairly serious error of judgement. Although I had been comfortably supported by yellow Camino arrows to this point I was seduced by the promise of a new route which would extend the coastal path on what is considered the 'litoral' Camino. So I took it

Doesn't it look lovely?

The path started on newly - built boardwalks through glorious fields of wild flowers and lush vegetation heading towards the coast. I was feeling smug at my adventurous decision and happily joined the beautifully constructed  although quite remote coastal path BUT it just fizzled out. I managed to scramble along to a tiny seaside village where a sign proclaimed something to the effect that the 'litoral' Camino was completed to this point but as for the rest they were still thinking about it. Oh great. Looking at what lay ahead I suppose it might have been possible for anyone who had spent time in the French foreign legion but it left me no option but to work my way back up to civilization and head straight for Viana dodging traffic on a fairly busy road

The final  hurdle was a very wide river but thanks to Monsieur Eiffel it was an easy crossing. Viana is actually a city and well worth exploring but not for me, I've had enough excitement for one day. Tomorrow I am following the yellow arrows