Day 3 – Fão to Moldes 17km

Helen: We couldn’t believe it… We slept in over an hour later than expected. It was a foggy morning and still pitch black at 7am so we simply didn’t stir. We quickly got going and made it to Esposende for a coffee break.

Today was the first day where we had to take a bit of a gamble whether or not to follow the official Camino trail as certain sections become difficult and sandy on the coast, whereas the inland track gets hilly. So we had to choose between sand or hills!

The official coastal route still follows a significant part inland after Marinhas, whereas the newly popular Littoral route stays true to the coastline. This Littoral pathway is still under construction in parts, and the boardwalk ended abruptly in construction works so pilgrims must take the sandy way – not great for us!

So after Marinhas we headed inland and followed the official coastal Camino through the backstreets of local villages. This went well up to Belinhos, then the track descended into a forest pathway with tree roots and stones. Although it started off well enough, soon it became virtually impossible to push.

Thankfully, the track was popular enough that we were shortly joined by a local Portuguese family some very handsome mountain bikers who hauled, pushed and carried our chairs over any obstacle we met. This truly was the Camino spirit alive and well!

And that theme continued for the rest of the day. We pulled into Moldes at Cafe Pataca for a late lunch, where the owner Fernandes not only welcomed us in for a feed, but also gave us ice cream, coffee and shrimps. It was heavenly!

We then decided to have an early night and head to the local Alberg but unbelievably it was fully booked! And that was even before 3pm. It seems to be an incredibly busy time on the track. Amazingly, we ran into a lovely group of Pilgrims who we’ve been keeping pace with since the start of the trip and they were able to offer us a spare sofa bed in their accommodation tonight in a local house they had managed to find.

So we’ve got a bed for the night and some lovely company thanks to the beautiful spirit of the Camino!

Lisa:

A well deserved 7am sleep in this morning waking to a very foggy morning and magical sunrise to start the day.

Signage has become more frequent and Helen is the master at spotting the yellow arrows, it’s a bit like where’s Wally !!

We set off towards the coastal track, plenty more cobblestones, and some gnarly hills to tackle, not without help of some pilgrims and fabulous locals. We ended up in a forest heading down to the river where the track become very narrow and rocks turned into boulders, luckily a local Mum, dad and daughter were behind us and didn’t hesitate to dive in and help us over the rockiest of terrain, followed shortly by a large group of local mountain bikers who got us safely down to the river, a very hairy scary descent🙏🏻

Stopped for lunch where a local shouted us lunch and the owner giving us ice cream and shrimps ! I think we are spreading joy amongst the locals they are truly gob smacked at what we are trying to achieve, and we are truly grateful for their kindness and generosity.

We decided to call it a day and stay in this little village for the night, on our way to the hostel we bump into out South African & British friends who we met at the very start who tell us that everywhere is booked, they had managed to find a house to rent for the night, so we joined them and slept on the couches downstairs.

Today was all about the people, and the Camino really did provide. Night night.

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