Today’s distance 20 km
Elevation gain 255 m
Elevation loss 384 m
Total distance from Almería 1,227 km
Firstly, thank you for the plant information – much appreciated.
The day started as it had finished yesterday, with light drizzle
We exit the city directly onto quiet country roads and soon find yellow arrows that coincide with the maps.me track.
My only gripe about Portugal is the way people drive. Gone is the courtesy of the spanish drivers who gave us plenty of clearance, and instead we are being buzzed by drivers who seem to be totally unaware of our presence, even though we make ourselves as obvious as possible.
My second issue of the day is that my delicious muesli breakfast in Amarante split a dental crown, and after a day of feeling the crack widen, it finally broke off this morning. But it is my own fault as the crown was meant to be temporary two years ago. Luckily I have no pain, I just need to remember not to eat on that side.
We pass two monasteries on this stage one beautifully maintained but probably not used for its original purpose. The second one was in considerable disrepair and likely soon to be in a ruinous state.
I enjoy today more than yesterday the surroundings are prettier and there are more interesting things is to look at.
There are ridiculously tall grapevines hereabouts – up to 5 m, and I see lots more Kiwi orchards.
Yesterday had been the feast day of Corpus Christi and along the way were many shows of petals strewn on the ground and displays of flowers on lamp posts and on walls. Very charming.
We had walked 9 km before we came to our first soft track through a eucalyptus plantation, steeply uphill, but sadly only for a couple of hundred metres. Then the rest of the walk was along an old railway line, asphalted and marked as a cycleway, which leads all the way to Guimarães. So virtually the whole stage was on hard surface.
The sun came out as I arrived in this beautiful world heritage city. The architecture is stunning, the squares and narrow streets delightful. I walked directly to my accommodation, dumped my pack and headed out to explore. First stop Largo do Oliveira plaza for a welcome to Guimaraes drink. Just as I paid the (tourist price) bill, I spotted Aurelio and Eli walking past. We arranged to meet at 19:00 for supper, by which time I will have joined forces with two new/old Camino buddies. Paul from the UK with whom I walked in 2015 and 2017 and Danish Nina who was one of the famous five who started this camino in Almeria.
I check my ‘happy cow’ vegan restaurant app and find there’s one place listed, which is situated opposite the castle. The ‘Cor de Tangerina’ has a vegetarian/vegan menu and my food was delicious – seitan (wheat gluten meat substitute), crushed roast potatoes and spinach, finished off with a vegan ice cream. Oh so yummy.
When I finished lunch it was time to meet with Paul. While we were catching up a huge thunder storm erupted, causing an absolute downpour…which was s bit of an issue because I was wearing shorts and t-shirt and my crocs which are like an ice rink when wet. Luckily Paul had some hefty elastic bands about his person so as soon as the rain died down a bit I strapped my shoes to my feet and scooted back to my accommodation at ‘Hi Hostal Guimaraes Pousada de Juventude’ youth hostel. I’m in a six-bed female dorm alone until Nina arrives. The hostel is situated in a huge granite building in the old leather manufacturing area. Bed linen is supplied and I was given a towel without charge when I asked, there are great washroom facilities opposite our door, a kitchen we can use and lots of outdoor space. 14 euros including a rather scrappy breakfast, but they did buy some soya milk especially for me, which was very kind.
It’s great to see Nina again, and after catching up, we set off to meet with the others. Aurelio’s wife Rita had travelled from Lisbon for a couple of nights and it was lovely to meet up with her again. We had a good supper (I had caldo verde – potato and cabbage soup, and mijas – fried garlicky breadcrumbs with turnip tops)
All in all, a very nice day, an enchanting town and fab companions.
This is one of my favourite photos of this camino…