Camino Portugues Spain

Day 21: Valenca to O’Porrino

After being woken by a group of 20 or so Americans ready to walk at 6.45, I showered, breakfasted, packed and was walking through a fairly deserted  Valenca by 9am, on my way to O’Pirrino, 21kms away.

30 mins later, after crossing the International bridge, it was 10.30, and now in Spain. The first time I have hiked across a border. There was a nice view of the bridge and Valenca as the path passed along the river.

Tui, another medieval town on a hill, was commissioned in 1170 by King Fernando to consist of Cathedral, dwellings and a wall. With it’s cobbled streets, it is easy to imagine that it still looks like it did back then. For that reason, I found it far more authentic than Valenca, far less catering for tourists.

By mid morning temperatures were hitting the mid 30’s, so it was nice that a good part of today’s walk was through forests where one could get some shade. I passed a pilgrim monument in front of the Ponte da Veiga do Louro (an old Roman bridge), an armband tree, a sculptured water outlet, and a painting of Santiago’s Portico da Gloria (amongst others).

I walked for 5 or so kilometers with a German couple from Koln. It helps time fly when you exchange stories and experiences.

At one point there were arrows pointing both left and right – the left arrow showing an alternative route, bypassing a large industrial area. I took the alternative. The first 2kms were beautiful with a river and grapevines. The last 4 through a residential area along a road. In the middle of the forest, a man was selling drinks from a van, and as there was no service today, I bought a coke to give me some energy. It was still hot, but they are promising slightly cooler weather tomorrow.

Just before the alternative meets the main route, there was an alternative to the alternative and a beautiful walk along the River Louro to O’Porrino, today’s destination. The River Louro runs out in the River Minho (which I walked along yesterday) close to Tui. I sat in the shade and called home, before finding my room for the night. A palace 2 days ago, a 1 star pension tonight, but clean and quiet and a friendly owner.

I showered and walked into town. Many shops were closed down, others closing. Depressing. I sat on a bench to write this text, and a Japanese man sat on the next bench. We chatted for 30 mins, he was surprised that I had walked in Japan, and I was surprised that he was here. He’s already done the Camino Frances, now doing the Portuguese and is doing it far quicker than expected, but his home flight date is fixed. So he’s decided to walk very, very slowly for the remaining days.

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