Thursday, 17 November 2016

Stages 7 & 8 Arrival in Portugal | Montalegre and on to Esponende via Braga

Esponende, Costa Verde, Portugal
17th Nov, 3:30pm
High 17°, Low 13°
Sunny, Overcast

Having a rest day today, having finally made it to the Portuguese coast, north of Porto..

We arrived in Portugal on Tuesday afternoon after a beautiful sunny drive, and passing through the dramatic rugged landscape of the frontier with Spain. We had decided to cross in a rural area, and via a route I have not previously taken. (EM509-1)

It did not disappoint, and we were soon walking through the afternoon sunshine up to the medieval castle which looms over the northerly town. It felt good to be back in Portugal again and I spent the early evening relaxing and taking in the grand vista afforded from this hilltop vantage point. Rio enjoyed running free again in his mother country.

Yesterday we set forth in the direction of the historic city of Braga, the religious centre of Portugal. We had our lunch break up on a hill by the Baroque church of Bom Jesus, a pilgrimage site with excellent views of the city below.
After some deliberation we decided to set a course for the west coast to arrive by early evening, as we were both hungry to hear the sea again, and walk on the vast expanses of sand. We decided on a small town called Esponende were we knew there was a free camp; this would also be a good place to rest up a while and discuss the route south. There are a few days of rain forecast so we may well use these to travel further south where it'll be warmer.

I'm now sitting atop a dune looking out across the sea.. There's a ship on the far horizon, and the beach stretches south a good few km until it disappears around the point. I've been here all afternoon, the sounds of the waves and the vastness of the ocean bringing the rest and tranquility I've been seeking..

Thanks for following along!

It'd be nice to hear from anyone out there who's enjoying the site.

Boa tarde!

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