DAY 18


ESPOSENDE – VIANA DO CASTELO

13 APRIL 2018

25.6km

It rained throughout the night, but when we’ve got up this morning, it was only partly cloudy … it might just be possible that today, Friday the 13th, won’t bring us bad luck 😄.

We have decided not to take the Senda Litoral today, but rather stay inland. Our Brierley guidebook did make a note that the Senda Litoral’s waymarks are a bit obscure and that you might need time to back-track where necessary. Maybe it was time for a walk through the nice smelling woodlands …

img_2249

Monument to the “Men of the Sea” in Esposende. They symbolise the efforts of local people fishing

img_2251

Leaving Esposende early morning – still no rain – yeah!

We’ve walked only a short stage on the comfortable boardwalks – hopefully we’ll be back on those again tomorrow. According to our calculations, we now only have two days left in Portugal, before we cross the border to Spain. It was a wonderful experience and we can honestly say that the Portuguese people were always friendly and helpful.

img_2255

The last of the boardwalks for today on our way out of Esposende

The Camino signs were everywhere today! It was such a familiar sight and great to see them – it ment we were going in the right direction.

Welcome on the Portuguese Camino!

As we’ve walked into Marinhas, we’ve heard an old Portuguese lady calling. She instructed us to stop at her house’s front gate and went into her home. A few seconds later she came back with two oranges … she had a close look at us and gave the big orange to Berto and the smaller one to me 😅.

We’ve smiled and thanked her in our broken Portuguese. For almost 400km we have walked passed these big orange orchards and some days wished for an orange … and eventually, just before we leave Portugal, we were offered oranges by one of the locals out of their own garden!

We’ve stopped in Belinho for a coffee where I had the opportunity to take a photo of the two oranges …

img_2257

Two oranges which were offered by a local out of her garden – no guess here which orange belongs to whom 😁

From here a delightful stretch of woodland paths followed that took us to the high point of the day above the rio Nieva (140m).

It’s been a couple of days since we’ve found ourselves in the forest and we’ve enjoyed this stretch

Loved the hike in the woodlands between Belinho and Ponte Neiva

img_2268

For a change there were a few up hills and we had to choose our steps carefully between the loose rocks

At Ponte Neiva we came to the pedestrian bridge over the rio Nieva. We did read in Brierley’s guide book that this river might be in flood sometimes and then you may need to retrace your steps back and take the road bridge – we were lucky that it wasn’t necessary.

The stone bridge over the River Nieva

img_2278

A steep up hill after we’ve crossed the River Nieva

I did mentioned earlier about the numerous amount of Camino signs we’ve seen on today’s journey. After the lack of these signs for at least the first two weeks, we were happy to see each of these signs!

Camino signs in abundance between Ponte Neiva and Chafé

In Igreja we’ve heard the beautiful sound of church bells ringing and on top of the hill we’ve seen the Santiago de Castelo do Neiva, the oldest consecration to the apostle ever found outside Spain.

img_2290

The Santiago de Castelo do Neiva in Igreja

We’ve seen two pilgrims left the church and decided to have a look inside. It is a small church, but beautifully decorated. There was a visitor’s book and next to that, a basket of fruit and small packets of cookies that were offered to pilgrims for free. We’ve signed the book and each took a small packet of cookies – it might come in handy for the last 10km.

img_2286

Berto signing the visitor’s book in the Santiago de Castelo do Neiva

We’ve walked another few kilometres through woodlands and did not escape the muddy paths! As if we have not seen enough of these for a lifetime!

img_2294

What is a day on the Portuguese Camino without a walk in a muddy pathway ☺️

img_2297

The last of the forest paths for the day – it was a great stretch to walk on our way to Viana do Castelo

The orange we’ve received earlier from one of the locals and small packet of cookies we’ve got from the church in Igreja was not enough to keep our stomachs full and just before Darque we’ve found a nice lookout where we’ve had our usual lunch of hard boiled eggs and cheese.

Yep, it’s lunch time for a tired pilgrim! In the distance one can see Viana do Castelo

img_2300

A local on his farming vehicle in Darque – towards the end of a long walk, I would not say no for a lift on one of these 😉

We could sense that we were getting closer to a bigger town as we had to cross the busy N-13 and with this, the traffic also increased.

dsc04013

The rio Lima estuary and Viana do Castelo beyond

On our way into Viana do Castelo we’ve seen two pilgrims in front of us. They were packed with pots and pans hanging from their backpacks … I had no idea how it was even possible to walk with all of these swinging around! But by now, I know that no pilgrim is the same and some prefer to have more stuff with them than others.

dsc04012

Two pilgrims were walking in front of us just before we’ve got to Viana do Castelo. According to their lugguage, they must be camping

Accommodation – Viana do Castelo:

Hostel Maca de Eva

We’ve struggled a bit to find our hostel for the evening, Hostel Maca de Eva, but after walking a few streets up and down, we’ve got there and checked in.

img_2306

Hostel Maca de Eva in Viana do Castelo

Just next to the hostel, was a big group of children busy rehearsing for a concert that would take place that evening. It was great to just sit there and see them performing while singing and dancing.

img_2307

A group of children rehearsing for a concert close to our hostel

As we were sitting in the sun in the square, we could see the Monte Santa Luzia, a magnificent monument that dominates the skyline of Viana do Castelo. But after reading that it’s a very steep climb up innumerable steps, we’ve decided to just take a photo from a distance 🙂

img_2312

Monte Santa Luzia seen from the square in Viana do Castelo

And so this day, Friday the 13th, end in perfect sunny weather – no bad luck for us today!

Tomorrow will be our last day of hiking in Portugal – we will be sad to leave Portugal, but also excited to see Spain again!

Categories: Portuguese Camino (April 2018)

2 comments

  1. Can catch a funicular (cablecar style) up to the top. Quite cheap. Station is near the train station. Worth it if you get a c
    Chance.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: