Barcelos to Balugaes

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I did not get to see / explore enough of Barcelos, a pity as it is a great wealthy town with beautiful shopping areas.  The main cathedral was under renovation and we were extremely lucky with our accommodation right on the Largo da Porta Nova.

According to Brierley guide today’s recommended walk is from Barcelos to Ponte de Lima, 34km.  We have learnt that 34km’s in Brierley terms is possible closer to 37 km’s so we split the day into two.  Halfway mark is Balugaes, this was the goal for the day.  If tackled in one day to Ponte de Lima this would be the longest day on the Portuguese Way.  I am happy we split this section into two as today’s walk was stunningly beautiful and allowed for plenty of time to soak up the beauty.

Today’s journey……

I needed a much-needed cappuccino early this morning so ventured off alone letting the others know that they will find me in the first open cafe along the route.  I sat enjoying my  morning cafe con leche and no one arrived.  We all somehow embarked on unplanned solo journeys today,  which was awesome and special in so many ways.  We had communication via what’s app (gotta love technology) and kept in touch checking on each other throughout the day.  It was a short 17km walk today and I enjoyed 5 rest stops taking it slower than ever enjoying the beauty today.  The route was spectacular with some interesting decor along the way.  The beautiful natural landscapes lifted my spirits.  The vineyards were plentiful and the woodland through the peaceful Neiva valley was spectacular.

I sat on a bridge with my feet hanging over watching the water flow by slowly thinking about the girls and for the first time on this journey really missed them.

I noticed an advert along the route – Casa do Rio with a swimming pool, hmmmm looks like bliss and all I could think of was my sore feet soaking in an ice-cold swimming pool.  I sent the pic to Sharon who then without hesitation phoned and booked our accommodation for the night.  WOW, we arrived at this majestic bed and breakfast.  The facilities and environment are really awesome, in fact unbelievable, after 17 days of average and below average accommodation, this was TRULY HEAVEN.  Big sparkling blue pool bedded in the midst of huge estate rolling lawns.  A Jacuzzi on a wooden deck above the pool as well as a sauna.  A calm peaceful river runs through the gardens with quaint cosy seated areas alongside the river.  Pinch me / us, are we in another world or what!!  We were welcomed with organic juice made from fruits grown on the property, as well as homemade cake.

Janine joined the four of us today and we lay sipping wine in the beautiful gardens catching up on Camino stories and life in general.  Welcome to the camino Janine!!

The receptionist arranged for a driver to pick us up at 19:00 to take us to dinner.  We felt so spoilt and dinner was great, portions were large and sadly a lot of food was wasted.

What a walk, what a day, what a place to have stayed, what a what a what, just loving the camino!!!!

A few more portuguese words we have learnt.

Aberto – open

Cervaga – beer

Galo – cock

Moeles – gizzard


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