After the relatively short second day, I was ready for a big effort; and so it ended up being, a 46km long stage from Portela de Tamel to Rubiães, with the main location along the way being the famous Ponte de Lima, which was also the day’s half way point.
It was a long day of walking, which started in the cool, pre-dawn darkness as I set off from Tamel. I was to very shortly be blessed with experiencing one of the most amazing sunrises I have ever witnessed. It literally took my breath away! After some 4 hours, I arrived in Ponte de Lima, with the expected hustle and bustle of locals going about their daily business, as well as groups of tourists snapping photos, as I crossed the old Roman and medieval stone bridge over the Rio Lima.
For most of the afternoon, in contrast, I enjoyed the wonderful solitude of walking alone in silence over fields and through the forests, which included a nice climb, as I closed in on my day’s destination at the pilgrim hostel in Rubiães. Immediately upon arrival at the albergue, I had to take off my shoes and socks to see exactly what was going on. Something to explain the ever growing pressure in the morning, and then its sudden release in the afternoon, which was followed by a very wet and sloshy sensation between my toes for the final hours of walking. Well, I almost wish that I had not, as my previous much smaller blisters had obviously ballooned up and then burst during the course of the 10 hours I’d been on my feet that day. They pretty well could have been two freshly cooked chapatis! They weren’t actually that painful in the evening, but the next day, upon waking, I wouldn’t be able to say the same, and that would make it much slower going to get to my next destination of O Porriño, which would include a crossing of the border, formed by the Minho River, from Valença in Portugal to Tui on the Spanish side.
About the Camino Portuguese:
The Camino Portuguese de Santiago, or Portuguese Way, is a Christian pilgrimage trail of about 245km that starts at the cathedral in Porto, Portugal and ends at its architectural namesake in Santiago de Compostela in Spain, but it isn’t just for the dogmatically inclined. It’s also traversed by people of all backgrounds and for all kinds of different reasons, though commonly in connection with personal growth However, regardless of the multitude of possible personal life or spiritual perspectives, it’s also simply an absolutely magnificent and interesting, scenic week long walk!