Camino Português – Day 21 – Ponte de Lima to Pecene (Casa da Capela)

A perfect day and a perfect stay

07 Sept 2016

28, 166 steps / 24.58 km

Honestly – days on the Camino – any Camino – do not come better than this.

We set out from Ponte de Lima as the sun was rising. That is a theoretical point as the mist was so thick that an object 93 metres away was invisible, and the Sun had 93 million miles to combat.

I cannot compliment too highly Ponte de Lima. We found it lovely.

The route out was gentle at first, but gradually became serious. Thankfully, the sun was hiding as we made our way to Arco.

There is a great little bar there where we had café-con-leite and a chocolate eclair, before starting on the serious part of the day.

The path over Labrujo is very steep and rocky. It takes you through delightful mountain scenery. The views are great. It was a pleasure just to be alive in such a place.

The path was really steep in places and I saw people on bikes struggle to the summit. In the weather we had, it was a delight. In rain, the fine powder soil would make for very slippery mud. I will say – I LOVE my poles. They are the modern scientific approach to using ‘all-fours’. (Note – Black Diamond Z poles – magic! Other makes are available).

We met a group of American girls from (as is usual on Caminos) the US North-West. Great fun to talk/walk with.

Strangely, plastic bags adorned the pines here. Someone was collecting the pine sap. I am not sure why, but I shall Google it later. The sap must be sweet because hundreds of flies had met their demise in the bags.

Over the summit to The Roulote Bar just short of Rubiäes and just 5km from our accommodation at the wonderful Casa da Capela
Before we arrived, we walked along the ‘Via Romana XIX’. This narrow path had been laid by Romans over 2,000 years ago to connect Ponte de Lima to Astorga in Spain. The stones had been carefully laid and a truly ancient bridge built. As I sat on the top of ghentidge looking at the trout in the river below, I could not help but wonder about how many other ‘bottoms’ had sat on that very shone over the last two millennia. The mind gets boggled so easily…

I can wholeheartedly recommend Casa da Capela. The staff are as delicious as their wines and their evening meals. Clothes washed, bodies showered clean, comfortable rooms – BLISS!

This is our last night in Portugal as tomorrow we shall stay in Spain, in Tui.

I have had my best day in Portugal today. I shall miss it, and especially the people and the language (which I massacre on a daily basis). I shall not miss the road walking between Lisbon and Porto, but all that gets forgotten in a place as lovely as Casa da Capela.
Only the good memories linger on…

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