Camino Portugues Portugal

Day 16: Matosinhos to Povoa de Varzim

After a good nights sleep and a very good breakfast, I took the double-decker bus back to Matosinhos, where I started walking to Porto yesterday. Today was a much longer walk, 29km, the first 22km along the coast to Vila do Conde, and the last 7km inland to Povoa de Varzim, where I would stay the night.

Immediately after Matosinhos, I crossed the river Leca on the Movel de Leca drawbridge, before rejoining the coastline for what turned out to be a not particularly interesting stage, mostly along boardwalks next to the beach. I passed the Farol da Boa Nova Lighthouse, the 2nd tallest in Portugal and an obelisk, marking the spot where Dom Pedro and his army landed in 1832. Dom Pedro was born in Portugal, and was the founder and first ruler of Brazil, who invaded Portugal in 1832, in an attempt to make Portugal more liberal.

Vila do Conde, close to the mouth of the River Ave, welcomed me with the imposing Monastery of Santa Clara and a very large market selling fruit, cheese, bread, fish, not least bacalhau (salted cod) as well as clothes and household things. The market was busy. I took a break watching life pass by, already fairly tired. The church is supposedly the most beautiful in Portugal (like many others!) but was closed, and the was a large aqueduct overlooking the town.

The last 7kms were a hard slog through residential areas and along a main road. I had run out of water, and feeling a bit dehydrated, so I was looking for a supermarket to buy some water – but not having a lot of luck. With about 4kms to the hotel, a man came up to me a pointed across the road and said “water”! I thought there would be a tap, but instead, a dozen or so bottles of water were in a basket, with a note stating that they were for anybody walking the Camino Portugues. When walking, I often hear the term “the Camino delivers”, meaning when you are need, the Camino finds a way – and that certainly felt true just then.

I made it to my hotel at 3pm, after stopping at an ATM to get some Euros. I showered and took a new, before looking for somewhere to eat. Dinner was at a restaurant close to the hotel, and I must say, that not even in the US have I been served as much to eat. Given my limited Portuguese I chose pork. Little did I know it was all parts, most of which I had no idea what where. 220 dkr for soup, main course, desert, wine and water. The wine alone would have cost the same in DK. I would estimate that 200, more or less, could sit in the restaurant, and as I left, there was a queue of at least 50 people waiting for a table. I passed by a Lidl supermarket to buy water and some mixed dried fruit and nuts, and walked back to the hotel. It had started to rain.

Just before I reached Mindelo (17km), there were a number of places with different figures set up.

And today’s trip:

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