Wednesday, November 11, 2015

It wouldn't be a pilgrimage without at least one steep climb, right?

Hello, everyone.

We left Ponte de Lima after having the (totally unexpected) experience of drinking coffee at 7 in the morning. This was the on this trip that a coffee shop or bar was open that early in the morning.  We promptly found ourselves walking on lovely forest area paths and passed a dam with pretty water flowing over the top.

After that we came to a Fishing Park, a place where people could borrow poles and catch fish (pay by the pound for the fish) in a pleasant location. There was a snack bar with a nice, clean bathroom. (Don't laugh! Someone, somewhere will be glad to know that, if they make it to the Fishing Park, there is food, drink, and a bathroom.)

We passed the famous Fonte de Tres Bicas (Fountain of Three Mouths) and shortly thereafter came to a road crossing. Our way along the trail continued on dirt--not only straight ahead but steeply up! We stood there looking at it and trying to get up nerve to go. While we, and some other pilgrims, were doing that a young man walking solo came up, said "huh," and trotted right up the hill! After seeing that, we had to quit waffling and go.

We saw sap-gatherers marks on the pine tree trunks.

After we got to the top, and rested a bit on the considerately placed bench, we got to go down. There were even more rocks on the downhill side.

Note the yellow arrow hidden in the electric pylon. This was a standard place to put them on the Portuguese way--apparently folks aren't so in love with having yellow spray paint on their walls and rocks as all that.

DH went out onto the top of the dam to get this picture.

It's amazing how much less steep this things look when you aren't walking them! This is the uphill side. 

The down hill side. 

We reached Valencia/Tui on this day. This is the fort on the Portuguese side of the border.
 We reached the Spanish-Portuguese border this day and crossed over. There is an albergue close by the cathedral in Tui and we happily stayed there. An afternoon snack of tortilla de patata, a tour of the interesting cathedral, and dinner ended the day.