El Camino de Santiago

Camino Portugues

El Camino de Santiago

Camino Portugues

Âncora to A Guarda 8.1 miles plus 4.1

None shall pass

Today promised to be a short day and the last in Portugal. So I left Ancora and it's huge fortifications looking forward to being back in Spain. 
I am not sure I did Portugal justice in a few days. The people were very polite and friendly, all the accommodation was spotlessly clean, the coastline I walked was beautiful but I did not find its soul somehow. Nevertheless I had a lovely coastal walk ahead of me and as you can see blue skies are back.

Take note of the mountain in the background

Very soon I reached the last Portuguese town of Caminha where I hoped to cross the river Minho into Spain

Usual empty streets

Caminha main square

The ferry

I planned a short day today because I had read that the ferry had a habit of breaking down and also that departure times were unreliable. So true. If it went at all it would not be until late afternoon. Fortunately there is a water taxi which cashes in on the ferry's idiosyncrasies.  It was €5 fare but there had to be at least 3 people. €15 for a solo trip was fine but before I pushed the boat out (sorry, couldn't resist) I decided to have a last Portuguese beer and see what happened - sure enough 2 chaps turned up and shared the ride. Good decision.

It's the only way to travel

Still 165 k's to go

The signs which the Province of Galicia install are familiar to me from my first Camino and I felt a real sense of 'coming home'. The path climbed up into the woods before eventually dropping down into the town of A Guarda

I was checked into the hotel by a very enthusiastic receptionist who welcomed me warmly and then produced a tourist map. She prodded it repeatedly then drew an arrow to something. "Muy, muy bonito" she gushed, making a circle with her thumb and index finger which she kissed loudly several times. I thought I had finished walking but apparently not. The day was still young I supposed so I took an interest and after dumping a few things in the room set off. What is the matter with me? I was climbing a mountain!

Looking down on A Guarda

And a bit higher

What have we here?

Apparently this is all a National Monument, both a Celtic and Roman hill fort settlement. There are also rock carvings which predate the settlement by 2,000 years

Fascinating though all this is I had no intention of climbing to the top, but maybe just a bit higher

Nearly there

Ok made it!

A look back down the Portuguese coast

Remember that mountain I pointed out on a previous photo? This was it.

I had climbed 1118 feet (341m) above sea level but I wasn't climbing down. Taxi!!