So far our Tour has had a deliberate historical focus. But during the final days our attention shifts to encompass more long distance walking. After visiting Oporto with its port wine cellars and an old quarter that tumbles down to the Rio Douro we join other pilgrims along the Camino Portuguese. The colours of Spring are particularly attractive as we walk through the lush countryside. We can’t believe our luck – despite the occasional rain cloud in the distance, the weather overhead is just ideal.
The many and varied churches along ‘The Way’ are a constant fascination. The atmospheric sound of church bells as we walk the ancient pilgrim trail adds another dimension to our journey. A periodic coffee stop allows us to ‘regroup’ and meet people from many different countries who, like us, are enjoying the freedom of being in this picturesque landscape.
Each day there is an option to walk a shorter or a longer section of the Camino. We also visit nearby places of interest such as the colourful fishing town of A Guarda at the mouth of the Rio Minho / Mino that marks the border between Portugal and Spain. On this Tour we are accompanied by a minibus so there is no need for us to struggle up the steep hillside to explore Santa Trega, one of the many fortified villages of (most likely) Celtic origin.
Our final day walking to Santiago de Compostela follows the coastal inlet of the Ria de Pontevedra. The route is delightfully varied along woodland paths that offer tranquility and shade. Those who decide not to walk the whole distance have time to explore the medieval core of this charming city. The more intrepid members of our group arrive tired but pleased with their efforts of conquering the arduous section of this most scenic route. And finally we arrive in Santiago…