Day 17, Barcelos – Ponte de Lima, 37.4km

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  • June 27th, 2014
  • Ponte de Lima: Albergue Casa do Arnado Municipal (€5 for a dorm)
  • Weather: Perfect for walking, 23 degrees

It was a long day today and I wanted to arrive with enough time to see the sights of the destination, Ponte de Lima.

The track was lovely, mostly along forest trails and it was a beautiful sunny day. Gigi and I passed each other all day and it was nice to know that I had a friend either in front or just behind me.

Gigi

Gigi

 

I passed 7 other pilgrims that had either started in Barcelos or Porto so the trail is definitely getting busier although I’m not sure you can count 7 people as busy compared to 500 a day on the French route last year!

My feet starting aching from walking on cobbles for too many kilometres so I switched over to my Teva sandals (with socks) and walked the last 12km in them. I was surprised how comfortable they were but I still don’t think I could walk a 30km day in sandals, there wasn’t enough arch support.

The entrance into the town of Ponte de Lima was through a beautiful tree lined promenade beside the river Lima. As I was walking along I could hear 1920s Jazz style music coming out of speakers in the old lamp posts and there were many couples sitting on the benches watching the world go by. It was very romantic and a lovely way to enter the town. It is said to be the oldest town in Portugal and I fell in love with it. There is very tough competition but I would say it’s the prettiest town I’ve walked through in Portugal and I could happily have stayed 2 nights.

I bumped into Joanna which was a lovely surprise because I thought she was a stage ahead as she has limited time. We caught up on the last few days and then checked into the albergue Casa do Arnado Municipal (€5 for a dorm). I then went exploring and my first stop was the Festival de Jardin, a fun garden display from designers around the world. Next stop old town, riverfront, dinner, then more wandering around the old town.

If you want a relaxing weekend away then this is the place to visit!

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