Camino Portugues Portugal

Day 12: Mourisca do Vouga to Oliveira De Azemeis

Today was going to be a long day. I’d cut 4 -5 kms by taking the train to Mourisca do Vouga and walking back to Agueda, where I spent the night. But I still needed to walk 33 kms to Oliveira de Azemeis. I breakfasted at the hotel, checked out and bought at sandwich to take with me at the baker on the square. I walked uphill to the station and waited for the 9.15 am train that would take me back to Mourisca do Vouga. I took it in the right direction this time.

The village follows one road and doesn’t seem to have a lot to offer – although I did notice the door knobs on the yellow door below.  I passed through Pedaces and a font and large pine tree.

It was up and down all day and from Pedaces it was downhill to the Ponte Velha de Marnel (on the historical Via XVI Roman Road – now a heavily trafficked main road).

Back on the N1 I crossed a long bridge over the river Vouga, and followed a forest path through yet another eucalyptus forest for a couple of kilometers. On the outskirts of Albergaria-a-Velha, I stopped at an Intermarche for a coffee, cola and cake – which had the same positive effect as yesterday.

The town seemed to be a pleasant town with all amenities, and dates back from 1117 when an inn was built here for pilgrims.

It started to rain, so I pulled out my poncho and messed about trying to get it to cover my backpack. By the time I’d succeeded, it had stopped raining again. I followed paths and roads towards Albegaria-a-Nova, passing a statue of Nossa Senhora do Socorro. The new town (Nova) was not comparable to the old town (Velha).

Prior to travelling to Portugal I had read a number of blogs about walking in Portugal and most had mentioned that the Portuguese drive like crazy. I hadn’t experienced this at all, until I reached to village of Branca, where I twice felt that cars were very close. I stopped to eat my sandwich short after the two incidents – sitting on a bench, giving my feet some welcome relief and fresh air, and waiting to see whether it would rain again.

I passed the an old chimney, that looked as though it could fall any minute and walked along the railway tracks towards Pinheiro da Bemposta.

I walked along the Music Band Street before I reached Pinheiro da Bemposta.

It was up again towards the old administrative and judicial center of Bemposta.The column to the right of the stairs in the picture below is a Manueline Pillory, a symbol of regal power, and also served as a place for public executions, similar to the pillory in front of the cathedral in Porto.

I continued on towards Oliveira de Azemeis, passing the Ponte do Senhor da Pedra before starting the climb up to the town. After 30+ kilometers, it was heavy going.

I was staying at Hotel Dighton which was easy to find just off the main street. It had been a hard and long walk, and I looked forward to getting some rest and a good dinner. A small starter (melon and ham) and mixed grill.

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