The 3rd Sector of the Coastal walk from Porto to Santiago de Compostela was completed last month on Saturday November 5th but as I was away, regrettably I couldn’t participate in it. This 25 km. sector began in Esposende and finished in the beautiful and historic city of Viana de Castelo and the organizers, Grupo Terra Verde, have very kindly allowed me to put their photos up on my blog so that you all don’t miss out on this beautiful and different walk to Santiago de Compostela!
A magnificent total of 98 ‘caminheiros’ and Tiko, the spritely little dog (a frequent pilgrim with his mistress on these walks), subscribed to this pilgrimage and another early start was required to reach Esposende in time for the much needed Portuguese expresso coffee, getting credentials stamped and taking a group photo.
Fortunately the weather was favourable and the group set out in good spirits, all looking forward to what the day would bring. They were graced with fields and farm animals, beautiful coastal and rugged inland terrains, granite bridges over river rapids, beautiful old buildings, historic churches, an old fortress and in doing all this, had the sheer pleasure and satisfaction of enjoying all the nature around them. A visit and a few minutes for reflection inside one of the small churches along the route brought even more serenity to this walk.
Lunch was at a local restaurant where traditional Portuguese cuisine proved to be delicious and satisfying. Celebrating one of group’s birthday with a magnificent birthday cake was a highlight of the lunch.
Arriving at the final destination of Viana do Castelo at night and seeing the reflection of the lights over the river is a truly beautiful site. Viana do Castelo lies on the Lima River estuary and is surrounded by ocean, river and hills. The walk closed at the famous Natario’s Cake Shop/Café where everyone popped in to buy their irresistible warm cinnamon doughnuts called Bolas de Berlim.
My sincerest thanks to Manuel Valdrez, António Veiga and Vitor Malheiro of Terra Verde Ar Livre for allowing me to put up a selection of their photos below.
The 4th Sector of the Costal Walk starting out from Viana do Castelo and finishing in Caminha, where the River Minho separates Portugal and Spain, will be done this Saturday December 3rd and I’ll be on it without fail! More to come…