Camino Portugués 

After leaving pretty Porto Covo we headed north along the Portuguese coast. One night in Comparta’s dusty car park followed, and a long drive skirting Lisbon (they’d been before and Elaine had no desire to see the impressive, but huge, bridge again). 

Wanting more beach time we found a lovely free aire right on the beach near Lavas. An immense surfing beach just outside the van…

Now, although the beaches are dog friendly in winter, Portugal as a rule isn’t. It’s not the people, but their laws, that ban dogs from all pubs, cafes and many public areas. Such a shame as it became a tad restrictive. Maybe it’s something to do with the amount of loose, barking dogs? 

Driving north we stopped overnight on Praia do Costa Nova, nr Aveiro.  It had a rather splendid boardwork, seen in the first photo. Vila Cha further up had the same…

It was then it dawned on us, we’d inadvertently started following the pilgrim’s way to Santigo de Compostela, the Portuguese route. Miles and miles of these boardwalks have been built along the coast to aid the camino followers. They are pretty impressive. 

So in a rain soaked Portugal it gave us a new route. Slightly inland to Ponte de Lima and, naturally, to Santiago. 

Ponte de Lima, as it’s name suggests, has a bridge over the river Lima. It’s a medieval footbridge on the pilgrim’s route. It is a lovely old town and goes back to Roman times. Still doesn’t allow dogs in bars though, pfft.

And the finale, Santigo de Compostela …..

It poured with rain, the cathedral had scaffolding but what a truly wonderful old city. It’s tiny but perfectly formed. Stone arches, walkways and narrow streets surround the stunning cathedral. I imagine if you’d walked all the way it would be quite emotional. We spent a great afternoon exploring and toasting the city.  

Dogs resting after El Camino – just the one..

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