Brilliant sunshine welcomed us in Oporto in northern Portugal. This is arguably one of the world’s most picturesque small cities. It was here in the 15th C. that many of the ships of the great Portuguese voyages of discovery, were built. In the evening we too travelled by boat to the mouth of the River Douro. But instead of venturing further, we returned to enjoy a riverside meal and to sample the fine wine and port for which Oporto is renowned.
Next day a visit to ancient Citania do Briteiros was well worth the 15km taxi ride from nearby Guimaraes. Our Portuguese guide, Gonzolo brought the 3,000 year old ruins to life, giving us a glimpse of how former civilisations lived in this hilltop fortress.
Our Camino then began in earnest via cobbled stone lanes, across a medieval bridge to the small hamlet of Arcos. It’s harvest time here in Portugal. Green and golden corn fields and vines dripping with green and red grapes make a great backdrop for our photos. After a night in the pretty seaside town of Vila do Conde, we headed for Barcelos, the home of the colourful cockerel, the national symbol of Portugal. Following is a brief explanation of its significance http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cock_of_Barcelos
Next day on foot by forest lanes, vineyards and cool streams and supported by a local taxi (as we became a little weary) we arrived in picture perfect Ponte de Lima. This charming little town is a fantastic place in which to spend some extra time. Here we were happily accommodated in an attractive Portuguese family run casa and dined al fresco on tapas, washed down with local vino and a welcome cup of tea!
Tomorrow our journey will take us to the fortified border towns of Valenca (Portugal) and Tui (Spain) which in centuries past were fierce warring enemies, but these days are on much friendlier terms!