Friday, May 12, 2017

Day 20: The End of Portugal!

Oct 6: Amanda, once again, decided to skip ahead on the trail so as to shorten her day of walking--this time taking a train ahead rather than a more expensive taxi. And without Amanda, I could do much bigger miles, so we agreed to meet up again in Caminha at the end of the day--27.4 km ahead and the last Portuguese town before we would cross into Spain. Amanda would walk the last 10 km or so of that distance.

I got an 8:40 start and split off from Amanda immediately. I had two routes I could follow--the Seashore Route which hugged the beaches closely or the Coastal Route which was a couple of kilometers inland and more in the mountains. Naturally, I took the Seashore Route. The two routes would merge in Ancora, then diverge again for a few kilometers a short way before Caminha where the two routes would merge again.

The day started clear and beautiful, but halfway through the day the fog rolled in and obscured views the rest of the day. It became cold out--especially when I stopped for breaks.

The trail wasn't marked--the main Coastal Route was marked, but not the Seashore Route that I was following. For the most part, it wasn't a problem. Just keep the ocean on my left and I'd be fine!

But at a couple of places, the trail led inland a bit to get around a river on a bridge, so I had to "feel" my way around without the use of markers. Turn here, or at the next road? I had no idea of which roads might go all the way through or would dead end.

There were places where I could have walked directly on the beach, but sand is hard to walk on so I preferred to walk on the boardwalks and roads, even if it meant walking a bit inland if that's where a road led me.

Late in the day I stopped at a cafe and was so cold outside, I stayed inside to consume my pastry and Coke. I never liked eating indoors! I was dirty and smelly and liked the fresh air that the outside provided, but this afternoon it was just too cold. (Although I showered regularly at the hostels and hotels, I had yet to wash my clothes since my arrival into Portugal three weeks earlier. At best, I'd get them wet, but they had yet to see any soap applied.)

I arrived into the town of Caminha late in the afternoon just as the sun was struggling to break through the fog again. I found Amanda without any trouble. She led me around the town to check out the sights she had already seen, and we checked into a nearby hotel before going out for dinner. All-in-all, a pretty uneventful day!

Castelo Santiago da Barra

It's an ocean pool! Apparently the water gets refreshed with every high tide!
Forte da Areosa

I'm surprised Amanda didn't think to do this! =)

These carved rocks date to the iron age and were used to hold sea water. The shallow basins allowed the sea water to evaporate quickly leaving the salt behind to be harvested.

Forte de Paçô
Forte de Paçô

Forte do Cão
Forte do Cão

Forte da Lagarteira

Who rolls out a red carpet... on the beach?!
Late in the day, just as I was arriving into Caminha, the sun started coming out again.

Amanda and I tried to find the stamp this sign hinted at, but we never did!


Karolina said...

The 'carpet' on the beach might be used by vehicles which transport boats onto the water. Otherwise it would be too hard to drive on bare sand.

Mary said...

I thought the carpet was left over from a beach wedding. We have lifeguard trucks drive on the beach all the time!

JA Smith said...

Was there any seaweed harvesting going on near the carpet?

Ryan said...

I never saw any seaweed harvesting. Or if I did, I didn't recognize it as such! =)

I like the idea of it being left over from a beach wedding. A red carpet seems a bit fancy for any other purpose. It's too small for people to drive on (unless it's a motorcycle or something), and it doesn't actually reach all the way to the water which is what I'd expect if it were people carrying seaweed across the beach. But left over from a wedding makes a lot of sense--especially considering that it was near a lot of infrastructure for civilization. (On the back side of the beach, behind the photo, were lots of buildings with restaurants, lodging, and who knows what all.) Easy and scenic place for someone to want a wedding. =)

-- Ryan

Anonymous said...

We have those type of carpets here on the east coast near me. They make the sand much easier to navigate. I often see folks needing the "beach wheelchair" be pushed down the carpets. Idlemoon