9/30 – We bade farewell to Barcelos to walk eleven miles today. We got an email from our new friends Patricia and Ray, that Casas do Rio is the land of pilgrims dreams, with a pool, jacuzzi, sauna, wifi, laundry service, game room, and super breakfast. They were staying for three days, so we will catch up to them. Ooh my! We can’t wait!
Some interesting things we saw today:
The walk in was lovely, and we arrived in early afternoon, so we had plenty of time to jacuzzi and swim the afternoon away, and sample figs and kiwi from the fruit trees on the grounds. At supper time, a car arrived to take the four of us to a nearby restaurant, where we enjoyed good food and great company. We hope we’ll have another opportunity to spend time with Patricia and Ray.
9/28 – today is what hikers call a zero mile day. No agenda, just rest. We usually take an extra day when we get to a city, but spend it sightseeing and walking around, so it doesn’t qualify as zero miles. We only did a little walking today, and here’s what we saw:
The Remains of the Palace of the Counts from the 1400s:
The town square, Largo do Municipio:
The tower, Torre de Porta Nova, and the views from the top:
At 2 in the afternoon, the square, already busy with shoppers and cafe-sitters, came alive with music. Crowds gathered to listen to the music and dance. College students played mandolin and serenaded the crowd:
Our residencial is right on the Caminho and right on the square, and we took these pix from our balcony!
Many pilgrims start their journey in Porto, and today, for the first time, we met others walking the same path; Martin from London, a couple from Poland, a man from Hungary, a girl from Germany, and a couple, Patricia and Ray, from Sacramento! We walked with Patricia and Ray into the city, and met for a drink in the evening. So nice to share experiences, and to communicate in English!
For lunch, we stopped at a pilgrim-friendly restaurante where the proprietor’s picture was in our guidebook! We asked him to autograph his photo, and he was happy to oblige.
By 3pm we walked over the bridge into the city:
Throughout our travels in Portugal, we have encountered the image of a colorful rooster on many shops and souvenirs. Now that we are in Barcelos, here is the story of The Cock of Barcelos:
If you look closely at the cross, you will see St. James holding up the feet of the hanging man.