As the last days of the Spanish Summer merge into Autumn the lush green vegetation provides a delightful backdrop for our journey. The morning air is crisp as we set off in the ‘early’ morning sunshine. Fortunately at this time of year the sun rises late – our hotel breakfasts rarely commence before 8.00am!
Each day we surprise ourselves in being able to successfully repack our luggage in time for it to be transferred to the next hotel! As we pass other pilgrims carrying heavy backpacks we are grateful to the enterprising locals (such as Juan from Sin Mochila) who provide a reliable luggage transfer service along The Camino Portuguese.
Leaving the pretty small town of Pedra Furada we take a shady Camino forest path that has recently been developed by community members. A few of us decide to take the high road to a lookout that provides a vista over a tapestry of farmland to the sea. Not surprisingly a well restored Church adorns the peak. The great variety in Church architecture along the Camino paths never ceases to amaze!
Halfway through our journey we take a ‘long distance walking free’ day. We travel by bus to the mouth of the Rio Mino with Guillermo and Maria who conduct a Galician small group tour company – http://www.galicianroutes.com. They share with us their knowledge of the history and culture of their region. We visit the tiny hamlet of Oia with its dramatically sited Monastery overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Our arrival is timed perfectly to enable us to sample freshly made raisin bread and other delicacies that are being sold at the end of the midday Mass.
People here in Portugal and Spain are most welcoming of travellers on their Way to Santiago. Each morning we enjoy the warm hospitality and excellent coffee provided at Wayside cafes. As we near the end of our journey we take a side trip to Finisterre (once thought to be ‘the end of the Earth’) where we stay in a comfortable family run hotel beside the Atlantic Ocean. Here we enjoy two delightful days of sightseeing and walking through picturesque rural landscape, including a visit to the colourful fishing village of Muxia.