Helen: Hardest day yet, not only covering difficult terrain but starting to feel the aches and pains of pushing day after day.
We left our accommodation in Moldes before sunrise, pushing onto the official Camino de Coasta with headtorches. Shortly, we climbed up up and up to a cathedral. Across cobblestones it was slow going and quickly became exhausting.
At the top we met again our English/south African friends on the trail that have been with us from the start. They quickly agreed to rope up to our chairs and we were off, up more cobblestones and into the forest.
Like yesterday, The path became progressively worse with rocky boulders, but our friends helped us through. The road down to Chafe was brilliant – all downhill to a cafe for a very welcome breakfast at Cafe Sebastião (step up to get inside).
Afterwards, we followed the official route until the next town where we veered off onto the main road to dodge more of the forest trails. We met the trail again in Viana do Costello and had lunch at a small bakery in town.
In the afternoon, we chose the Littoral route towards Carreco, which was absolutely phenomenal. Beautiful bike pathway along the coast. Great for pushing except for the strong northerly, which proved again exhausting work.
We arrived in Carreço to find a bed for the night and once again met our South African friends who we joined for a beer before heading up the hill to the most spectacular Albergue Casa do Sardão (approx three long wide steps into building but bathrooms beds and showers all on same level once inside). Beautiful beds and rooms, luxury!
Afternote: we had a delicious pilgrim dinner with our lovely South Africa friends at Sergio restaurante (no steps, bathroom on same level).
Lisa: ‘Do you want cheese & ham with that’
Up and out at dark hit with steep cobblestone roads that went up and up and up, the only relief was watching the sky turn into beautiful orange and yellows. Then team Springbok arrived just in time to rope up and attack the forest which ends up a similar story to the day before, very hard yakka through narrow tracks and over rocky boulders, no one in their right mind would seriously entertain this, but sure makes a memorable Camino 😂 once over the other side of the hill we left the team for dust for the most awesome downhill run on the road to the coffee shop. To say we’re grateful and humbled by their efforts is an understatement, the Camino constantly reminds me to have faith in humanity and it never lets me down.
We decide to take the coastal track the rest of the way avoiding more crazy forests, we bumped into our Italian friend again who kindly eased the cobblestone hills for part of the way.
The coastal path was a relief even if the strong cold northerly wind felt like it was pushing us backwards which was so unfair I thought, but beautiful views made it worthwhile.
Heading towards our Albergue we see team springbok in a cafe drinking beer so we all head up together to book a bed. The hostel was amazing, an old monastery run by the 2 nicest men you could meet, so accommodating and comfortable and the best shower ever will be very hard to leave here. We all go out for a pilgrims dinner which was totally first class meal, love this place. Must go to sleep now