It’s unanimous – we are having the best time in every way! Perfect weather for walking with blue, cloudless skies. Our group from diverse backgrounds, has really gelled. Each day walking varying distances, independently or together, sharing interesting conversations and laughter. Ever changing scenery and meeting local people and other travellers are always highlights. We rate our accommodation, often family run, as five star, yet it’s classified as two. Fresh orange juice, bacon and eggs and homemade preserves are especially appreciated. So too is a warm, soothing bath at the end of an energetic day!
The food in Portugal has been fantastic! Generally we lunch outdoors beside an ancient or scenic spot, often having coffee or a cool drink in a nearby cafe. In the seaside town of Vila do Conde we dined in a traditional restaurant on freshly caught fish cooked on hot coals. Fresh lettuce and flavoursome tomatoes, unlike the ones we are used to in the city, dressed with local olive oil, turn a basic side salad into a feast! Tonight we are staying in a rural Casa where tapas, wine and a home cooked meal will be served ‘al fresco’ by the friendly family who have welcomed us to their home.
Each day we pass families harvesting their crops. One kindly man offers us bunches of grapes which we eagerly devour. Kiwi fruit, passionfruit, apples and pears are ready for the picking. Golden corn ripens in the early autumn sun. Although we are often distracted by a multitude of sights and photo opportunities, no one has lost their way. The yellow arrows that signify the path to Santiago are easy to follow. We take our time getting to our destination, knowing that if we tire of walking, a taxi to our next hotel is never far away. It’s great to walk with simple day packs and find our luggage waiting when we arrive. Doing a load of washing and hanging it out to dry has never been so good!