#1MillionStepsHike Camiño de Santiago – 12 – Instagram journal days 16,17,18

Day 16 (2021-Nov-04) – Labrujes ->> Apúlia [34 Km, 45 617 steps]


#1milhaodepassos #onemillionstepshike day 16 – Labruge -》Apúlia. The day started at 7AM with a nice breakfast in a coffee shop close to the guest house where I crashed last night. It was freezing and soon I understood the advantage of a warm drink to get the day started. It gives you that extra warmth and comfort! The route for the day was simply amazing. Most of it was on wood walkways or single tracks by the sea. The original path pulls you a lot of times to the interior of the villages, which can be a good thing on those stormy days, but I’ve opted for the scenic option. I have crossed several places I have never been before like Vila do Conde, Póvoa de Varzim and others. Definitely I want to come back with less time pressure. Up ahead at A Ver o Mar, I decided to take a break sheltered from the wind by a small wall. How good I felt, with the sun hitting my face, hearing the roaring ocean a few steps away. It was hell to get back on my feet. Here and there, I’ve captured a few snapshots for posterity (and help tell the story later). A few minutes after 3PM I arrived at Apúlia. Another fantastic room and setting for the night, put together by my parents to whom I thank once again. What a TOP logistics team! After the routine that includes stretching, shower, voltarene, unpacking, indulge the magnificent por-do-sol to walk around for a bit, re-stock and a simple dinner. Catch up with a video call home, 5 min of TV watching and … ZzZzZz. According to my watch, I was off before 9PM. #tchauaíócatano

Day 17 (2021-Nov-05) – Apúlia ->> Viana do Castelo [36 Km, 50 428 steps]


#1milhaodepassos #onemillionstepshike day 17 – Apúlia -》Viana do Castelo. A day of adventures. It was 7AM sharp when I went up to the rooftop of the guest house, where the common area is located. It has a fabulous window and balcony facing the ocean. Sunrise was upon me and with it the magnificent degradé of purple, pink and orange spread through the sky. If I had nothing better to do, I could spend the whole day there in pure contemplation.Anyway, the 10° C were comfy enough when compared with the previous days, so it was with pleasure and satisfaction that I’ve put myself on motion to my version of the path. I still don’t get why, but the original version of the path constantly pulls us away from the magnificent presence of the sea view, in favor of sidewalks and roads. I have decided to continue close to the sea line, crossing the original path every once in a while. It’s further away, frequently harder than the original, but remarkably more beautiful. The only hiccup was a twisted ankle, when tripped on a raised tree root, that brought back a previous lesion. Hoping for the best, but quite concerned. 4PM on the dot when I got to Viana do Castelo. The charismatic hotel was once again organized by my parents, an incredible logistics team. Thank you once again! Time to deal with the usual procedures: take care of the washing and drying, eat, call home and prep for the day after. It is not a long distance, but I want to make sure I arrive at Caminha as early as possible in order to try the crossing to A Guarda, Spain. Still not sure how I will achieve this. Ideally I’ll sleep already on the other side of the border. It’s going to be a quick-step day, if my ankle allows… #tchauaíócatano

Day 18 (2021-Nov-06) – Viana do Castelo ->> La Guarda, Spain [41 Km, 51 010 steps]


#1milhaodepassos #onemillionstepshike day 18 – Viana do Castelo -》A Guarda, Spain. To cut it short, this has been the best day so far. 7°C when I left the hotel, with breakfast already taken: a sandwich made with a piece of the ham I’ve been consuming these past days. There is nothing like a robust breakfast to get you started. Still in Viana, I got my usual two coffees in one of the few coffee shops open at that hour and got myself started on the rhythm for the day – fast paced. A few minutes after this, I found myself getting into the “ciclovia do litoral norte”, following the coastline like in previous days and once again, stayed away from the original path when it pulled me inland. I was then able to enjoy the view, the Sun that was warming up and the sea air full of the iodized aroma of the low tide. I kept the fast pace until I reached Vila Praia de Âncora, looking forward to one of the delicacies of Café Paraíso, the stewed  chicken gizzards, but once again, they were out. Had a humongous hot dog and took any prospects of savoring the gizzards out of my mind. They are long gone, a thing from the past. From there to Caminha, it was a breeze. Lots of photo opportunities, hiking through woods, and within a couple of hours I was standing at the ferry dock. Problem is… the ferry is out of order due to some ongoing constructions on the Spanish side. Not everything is lost, though. Pelegrin taxi, a water taxi that carries pilgrims across Caminha river, was coming for the rescue. It basically saved my day and avoided either a very long stretch or a very expensive one to get me to the other side through the nearest bridge. Hopped into the small boat together with a couple more hikers and in a few minutes, I was walking again on a sandy Spanish beach. On the Spanish side a wooden walkway took me around the mountain from the western side, a jump away from the sea side, until the city of A Guarda, where I would stop for the night. Another excellent pick from my logistics team! I opted to visit the nearest supermarket and get food both for dinner and hike snacks, and having a relaxed meal in the hotel room. Sun rises 1 hour earlier on this side of the border, so I need to get started earlier as well. Next stop – Baiona! #tchauaíócatano 

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