Day 4. 24 of April. Esposende – Viana do Castelo.
This day must be hard for us. Coastal Road actually is not really coastal. It’s good marked far away from the ocean. But it’s also alternative way. North Litoral.
When in the morning we get to good wooden path near the ocean, we saw dozens of people with shells on their backpacks. Mostly they had small daily bags. Only few had big, as we had. There are two or three possibilities to walk without backpack. Some companies organize transporting. But you need to say your next point of stay. In Spain it’s possible connect with Correos and they will deliver everything. Its not expensive.
All people walk by the road.
Road tured right. We went straight.
I have nice program in my phone with offline maps. It has 98% of all small and smallest passes. So, we went ahead by wooden platforms. This platforms more or less are very close to ocean. Sometime they had appendix to the beach. Ocean was stormy and roared loudly. Near the ocean high dunes strait. But ocean is visible ( mostly). Norte Litoral Pass to Vianu do Castela not fully finished. Signs are not very good and not everywhere. We just follow the passes and sometimes get to another platform or track strictly through the dunes.
The weather was awful. It was strong West wind and short heavy showers. But it was great!
There were no shops or restaurants by the way. After few hours we get into small unknown village near the ocean. Its looks like abandon. No people, no cars, windows were closed. In the middle of this village we saw 2-3 cars and women who unload something. Near was dark closed mariscos restaurant. We stopped for a second. And women proposed from us enter. For what? We entered. Dark and empty. From the inner door young women ducked and invited us. We follow her.
It was big room full of people who ate excellent food!!! Fresh Omar’s and langoustes stay in aquariums. No windows. Like a completely close club.
It was excellent dinner! And price was something around 30€… Soup, octopus, salad, Porto, postries, coffee…. When we escaped – this street was full of expensive cars. I do not know name of this village.
We follow our way. Coastal. Rain, wind.
In one place we crossed super modern bridge through the tiny river.
Here in my map was some mess with trails. It was that less in reality also. First we get into water road, then into swamp, into field and actually get into trail again. We lost may be 15-20 min. No more.
And again huge waves near the ocean.
It was another strange place on my map. To cross the river we need to turn inland and make long hook. I decided to pass by the ocean shore. And we saw the river. It was very clear, shallow and 5-6 widths near the ocean. We took out our shoes and crossed the river. This place with great beach was very beautiful. Its not far away of Vianu do Castela, just before big camping area.
I also think that we can cross the river by small ferry, not to go on the bridge. The day was very cold and wet. And we had been long time on our way.
Ferry boat started its circulation after 1st of May.
Our way was now to the bridge. Few km more. And I also wanted to stay on the historical ship, not in Albergue. I imagine all people, wet, tired, smell, together . And no. I proposed this hostel in the ship.
As we approached the bridge, we saw the chain of pilgrims. They all were very tired. Wind was so strong that its seems to me, it will be throw me away from the pedestrian pass.
Albergue was strait ahead. We turned left to the port. One more km.
This quay of Vianu is charming. I liked it.
There were no hostel on the ship.
And we decided to make a break in the hotel. Jasmin Hotel on the quay.
Boy on reception made for us discount. But it was still expensive. As we get to the door of our room, boy called us and said that he forced to change our room. I didn’t understand why.
But we received huge room with three windows, panoramic view on river, piece of Ocean! It was so great!!!
I get into the closest supermarket and bought everything for light dinner and breakfast. The weather was nonstop rain – wind – sun – rain.
People who passed main coastal road, just followed the auto road. Not very good, as for me.
The night in this hotel after 26 km was really like in paradise!
Day 5. 25 of April. Vianu do Castela – Carreco.
This day I planned like a rest day. As I read before in Carreco was one of the best Albergue on the way. So, I booked it before. It was not far away. Usually people follow directly to Caminha. I break this day on two parts.
In the morning, from the window I saw chain of peregrine. We were not in hurry.
We took our breakfast and without luggage made a turn around the historical part of the city. Its not big. Everything was closed.
The way to Carreco was again between wind, rain and sun. The path was excellent. Near the ocean. With view.
After 7 km , before the big historical Faro we turned to Carreco.
Albergue Casa do Sardao situated in the very old building completely modernized today. The owner Hugo is charming person who made this place very special. Albergue and territory has different levels. There are many places for relax inside and outside, huge kitchen, common hall with open air, fast internet, great view, million ancient details and domestic animals ( sheeps, horses, dog, cat, turtles).
Its very peaceful place. For relaxation. For rest. For pleasure.
Hugo proposed us personal room with shared bathroom. The same price. Ocean view. Paradise. 24€ for two of us.
And we went into the village to take a pilgrims menu.
This menu was first and last time like these. For 6€ pp we received soup ( big bowl), 0,5 kg of different kind of grilled meat, rise, chips, salad, postries, water. Coffee additional. 13€ per two… Per 1 kg of sweetest grilled meat! It was lunch menu. Evening menu costs 12€. No ideas what can be more added….
Then we walked to Faro. Its historical old one. Its stay on the hill and his bright light was visible from our window all the night.
This day we made 15 km and slept on silky linens.
Day 6. 26 of April. Carreco – Caminho.
O! We slept well in historical building (1506 year on the main gate) with modern facilities.
In the morning we took coffee and again follow the yellow sign. But not for a long time.
Coastal road again escaped in the forest or I don’t know where. And we again approached to the ocean. The weather was much better today. But wind was strong. Waves roared. Beautiful picture!
Today it’s were wooden passes near the ocean, little bit jungle trails. And again one unknown for me place before Ancona. With sand, swamp and river. We decided try to pass through the sands or cross the river if it will be necessary.
Not far away from Ancona we get I to sand dunes and soon found again wooden pass. As we approach unknown place, I understand, that its normal cross the beach.
It was just 500 m from Ancona village. Waves here were fantastic! I never saw before such a big storm! And tide starts. And water came into the lagoon. We crossed the bridge and were in Ancona. It was small wonderfully village. With great queue, small Faro and artificial port for small fishing boats. At this moment ocean was crazy. Waves may be 6-7 m high! It was scared to look on them! But we set as close as possible to Faro, to observe this nature madness and not to be killed by the waves.
Then we again follow our road to Caminha.
I wanted to make a hook and get to the end of Minha river, to the point, where river entered to the ocean. It was also old Portuguese fort in the ocean, which protected entrance to the river.
By the way near the ocean we saw a lot of old Portuguese forts. All they were in perfect condition , with the rug of green manicured grass around.
But this hook added 2 more km and I made the mistake. I turned under the railway and we get into the ordinary road, hot, with a lot of cars and people.
In half of hour we had been in Caminha.
We found our Albergue. It was closed. We need to wait 1 hour more. Albergue situated near the river. And not far away of supermarket. So, not to waist time, I went to buy something.
In Albergue work charming women Luzia. She was very friendly and smiling. She is Portuguese and made Caminho Way last autumn.
This Albergue was clean, but very uncomfortable. Kitchen ok. But one (!) toilet for M and one (!) for F! Bathroom has 3 showers and one (!) basin for washing face ext. I think men had the same. And it was room for may be 40 people and two more rooms! It was also room with washing machine.
We took the shower and get closer there river to take a dinner. It was huge portions and very tasty. Then we made small round in the historical center and visited the fort. Very pleasant walk after dinner before the night sleeping.
We made17 km to Caminha and 3 more in Caminha.
Day 7. 27 of April. Caminha – Villa Nova do Cerveira.
This night was awfully. No air at all. I was completely wet. One old woman was so bad that Luzia called for emergency. Fireman car arrived and picked her out.
We collect all our luggage and set on the bench near the river with the breakfast. It was genial idea!
In the morning it’s cold. Temperature may be 5-7 C.
So, after breakfast we started our way. First long bridge and then follow the single road. Today was Saturday and the cars were rare.
After few km the main Santiago road turns right and go into the mountains or I don’t know exactly.
Because we turned left to Ecotrail near Minha river.
Till Villa Nova de Cervera de were completely alone. I mean – no more pilgrims. This trail is luxury for bicycle, for rollers and for walking. Dozens of kilometers of ideal pass near the river, in the shadow of the trees. In the Minha anchored numerous fishing boats. Other side of the river is Spain.
We get to Villa Nova very fast. It Was not difficult trekking. Very simple. Morning cold weather escape and now we felt hot sun. 13,5 km
In Villa Nova was big marked day. Village or city, I don’t know was full of people. Not only Portugueses but also Spain’s came from another side. All restaurants were full.
I read, in Villa Nova exists one perfect hostel. But price I didn’t like. It was 33€ per two people in different rooms (M&F). And it’s also one small hotel little bit aside of the city. Minha Nova.
Few days before I made reservation, but I was tired and mistaked with dates. So, I kindly asked change the date of arrival.
And this people agreed. When we arrived, owner excused, because she didn’t know that date I asked for, was fully booked. And she proposed to me her own flat! Just near the hotel – big, comfortable apartment…. It was so kind. And get into perfect lodging!
For dinner we returned to the center. In small local restaurant we ordered roast leg of lamb. What we saw – killed us! It was approximately like a half of my leg! But it was so delicious…. We ate it, and soup, and salad….
Vila Nova also has perfect fort. Fortification buildings were also on Spain territorial. Opposite. The river in past was controlled good.
After dinner we made circle around the city and returned home for a sleep.
13,5 km and 3km around the city