Camino Torres, stage 9, Ponte do Abade to Moimenta da Beira 22 km

Today’s distance 22 km
Elevation gain 311 m
Elevation loss 244 m
Total distance from Almería 1,095 km

Last night we stayed in a Residencial that was about 1.5 km off camino. This morning, the most sensible way to regain the route was to walk 7 km along the minor road EN226 to Vila da Ponte, a winding road that necessitated crossing from one side to the other to avoid oncoming cars taking right-hand blind bends very tight and putting our lives at risk. It was a misty and still morning and we could just make out the wind turbines on the hilltops, lazily deciding whether they could be bothered to turn. A lot of this section was alongside the Rio Távora, between pine woods, vineyards, small crop fields, and many fruit orchards.

A helpful message advising people not to urinate in the fountain!

The camino track today more or less follows the road, but takes diversions here and there that add kms and probably a good deal of elevation. Being a Sunday and relatively quiet, we opt out of the diversions and stay on the road for 17 km. Here we take the final diversion which gives us 4 km of delightful track walking, past wild cherry trees, dog roses and honeysuckle. Passing by vineyards, dipping into a valley and back up the other side through a pine wood, giving shade from the increasing heat of the early afternoon sun. The track is bounded by moss covered stone walls and I notice a beautiful cross built into a high wall, dated 1776 – what stories these stones could tell – such history constantly surrounding us.

We have passed through many small villages today and witnessed locals attending church, a señora attending her immaculate garden in her dressing gown, a never-ending procession of two wheeled motorised vehicles heading off for a scramble through the woods, countless dogs barking at the end of horribly short chains. Smart new stone buildings, beautiful old stone ruins, impressive churches and many fountains. Gardens of all descriptions, full of neatly clipped hedges and topiary, overflowing with roses of many colours, allotments with neat rows of onions, beans, cabbage, peas, and always potatoes. The Portuguese obviously love their potatoes!

The track takes us directly into the large town of Moimenta da Beira. A town of two halves with beautiful and impressive ancient civic buildings but also with a modern quarter, which is where we are staying, at the Residencial Pico de Meio Dia. Nice room with reasonable bathroom. There is a restaurant and bar below but both are closed on a Sunday as are all shops. 17.5 € for room only, 20 € with breakfast.  When we go down to pay, our host offers us home-made cake (which I am told was delicious) and a hot drink on the house.

Marilyn, Eli and I have been out for dinner at a restaurant just down the road. A place with a simple menu of meat and fish options. We explain our diet and are offered a salad, but don’t hold high hopes of a great meal. But how wrong we were! The best salad of the camino was served, with lots of fruit and delicious green beans – really tasty, followed by a few potato fries, accompanied by a half carafe of vinho verde and topped off by a small glass of port dispensed from an interesting container.

Tomorrow will be a sad day for me, as I am losing my great camino buddy Marilyn who has run out of time on this adventure and makes her way back to Cape Town tomorrow morning. Although we have been in communication for a couple of years, I met Marilyn for the first time last year when we walked from Madrid together. The woman is a walking machine. I am full of awe for her strength and tenacity, for her generosity of spirit and her wise words. I will miss her dearly – but only until the next time. THANK YOU Marilyn for being you, the best walking partner I could wish for.

About magwood

Trepidatious Traveller - camino blog is about preparing for and walking the Camino de Santiago. Many future pilgrims have found the blog useful and inspiring, and many who have no plans to walk the camino have simply enjoyed the dialogue http://www.magwood.me
This entry was posted in Camino de Santiago de Compostela, Camino Mozarabe, Camino Mozárabe from Almeria, Camino Mozárabe variante Trujillo, Camino Torres and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Camino Torres, stage 9, Ponte do Abade to Moimenta da Beira 22 km

  1. Katherine Paterson says:

    Goodbye Marilyn, we’ll all miss you. Watch out for stray bulls!

    Like

  2. Paul says:

    So sorry I wont be catching up with Marilyn, give her my love hope there is a next time. Paul.

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  3. gracethepilgrim says:

    Oooh cherries. Some of them look a bit green. I hope you girls didn’t over-indulge

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  4. Bye Marilyn! Have a good trip home!

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  5. ina Sinclair says:

    I’ll join the others, good bye Marilyn!

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  6. Jeannette Burgos-Rigó says:

    Bye Marilyn, I can understand how Maggi feels, you are really the best Camino partners, I hope we’ll see you walking together in the future. We’re going to miss you!
    Maggi we’re behind you, hugs and buen camino!

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  7. David Wolfe says:

    Good Bye Marilyn I enjoyed meeting you in Almeria if only for an hour or so. Have a safe trip home and enjoy Madrid. By the way I think that you must be the most photographed pilgrim on the canino. A sad day for you Maggie.

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  8. Dave says:

    Well done Marilyn. Have a great trip home. See you next time.

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  9. Aurélio Simões says:

    The devil land is finish. Now you enter on the sky.
    I am on the bus to Lamego. Arrived 13:00 And I give a Kiss to Marylin on Viseu at 11:30.

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  10. I continue to enjoy and value your posts so much. Thank you for the time and effort that goes into writing such informative posts.

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  11. Stewpot says:

    Bye Marilyn. We will miss you. Have a safe journey home.

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  12. Stewpot says:

    The Portuguese do love their veggies and are very generous with them too!

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  13. Marilyn van Graan says:

    Oh Mags it has been a sad day for me too – you are really such a great Camino partner but more you are a special gracious lady who I have so much respect for. Your dedication in writing your blog goes beyond admirable – days when I knew you were dog tired never stopped you putting pen to paper – well not quite that but you know what I mean – I do so hope that I am privileged enough to do another Camino with you. Will miss you but we will meet again and I hope it will be on my turf before it’s on yours- soon soon 🚶‍♀️😘😘❤️

    Like

  14. Alan says:

    Adios Marilyn. The Camino teaches us to say goodbye. Good read and pics Maggie.x

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  15. lynharrison4wind says:

    I’ve fallen in love with that curly horned goat with the uppity demeanour! Salad looked great but bet you didn’t eat the raw onions, Maggie. Marilyn, should you ever make your way to visiting Maggie at home, I would be honoured to offer you our guest room with a view to Maggie and David a good stone’s throw across the hillsude. David has been heard to say he could turn their former stable into a guest lodge, but until that day you might be better off here. Safe travels back to your oh so beautiful country.

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  16. TALI says:

    Did you notice at the bottom of the stone cross in the stone wall the Hebrew letters?

    Like

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