Day 16, Vilarinho to Barcelos, 33.7km

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  • June 26th, 2014
  • Barcelos: Albergue Cidade de Barcelos, donativo
  • Weather: Perfect for walking, 19 degrees

I slept so well at Casa Laura and felt energised to get up and start walking.

Today was one of the most scenic walks since leaving Lisbon. The path was mostly along a trail (cobbled or forest) and I passed through gorgeous ancient villages and over medieval bridges… All surrounded by farmland and wine vines and crops.

There were a couple of scenic detours available and I took both of them. The first was to see a megalithic burial mound and after walking along a dirt track that turned into walking through a cornfield, I arrived at the mound. It was a mound and it was ancient.

The next detour was to climb a hill to have an unparalleled view of the Atlantic Ocean. It was supposed to add 2.5km but my GPS reading said an extra 4km. The view itself after the long climb was so-so. However the castle ruins on the way down which were built on top of a roman casteum which was built on top of a prehistoric settlement called Citania, was pretty amazing. The ruins are completely off the beaten track and are overgrown and covered in moss, so it felt like I was discovering this ancient world by myself. It was very impressive.

I arrived at Albergue Cidade de Barcelos in Barcelos and was given an overflow camp bed in the reception area as apparently it was full… But I could only see about 8 other names on the list before mine so it must just be very small. It’s a donation albergue, the first I’ve come across on this camino.

There was a lot to see in Barcelos so I was soon out and about sightseeing in the medieval town. Churches, ancient walks, bridges, towers and the weekly market… Then a nap by the river in the sun and then it was time to meet Jeanie and Gerry for dinner. We had a wonderful time catching up again and comparing notes on the past week since we’d last seen each other. They’re a lovely couple and I hope to see them again somewhere along the way.

The architecture has completely changed now to big stone buildings and many stone walls rather than the grand tiled buildings I was so used to seeing. It seems more wealthy here but also more rural. I’m looking forward to tomorrow but I’m not looking forward to crossing the border into Spain in a couple of days time because this will mean I’m almost finished 😦

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