Crowds of shoppers filled the path and eagerly hunted for bargains. The road was lined with stalls selling various odds and ends – from old records and antiques to clothing and other used items.
We had obviously stumbled onto some kind of flea market – right on the Portuguese Camino (Camino Portugués). The crowd was so thick that most people were wearing masks even though they were outside.
I was completely taken by surprise. Prior to this, we had been walking along the banks of the Lima River and enjoying the view. It was a peaceful stroll and few other people were around.
Before that, I had spent the day wandering through vineyards in the Portuguese countryside.
This was a big – and rather sudden – change. I guess we were in the big city now! The transition happened faster than I had expected.
Good-bye Casas do Rio
That morning, I got a later start on the Camino Portuguese than I intended. The hotel served a lovely breakfast on the terrace which was impossible to hurry over.
I couldn’t help but take a few minutes and explore some of the grounds in the estate.
When I hit the road, it was almost 10:00 a.m. – And I wasn’t even on the Camino yet. I still had to walk 2.2 km before reaching the trail.
As I walk through Balugães, I kept hearing what sounded like music. So I took out my headphones and paid closer attention to the sounds around me.
Soon I crested a hill and the noise was much louder. It sounded like church.
Sure enough, a local congregation was a broadcasting mass on loudspeakers so that everyone could hear. The sound drifted across the entire valley.
Even though I was miles away, I heard the service clearly. I can only imagine how loud it must be for the church’s neighbors.
I didn’t mind though. It seemed like a fitting accompaniment to my pilgrimage on the Camino.
Vineyards and Churches
I spent most of the day walking through vineyards and visiting small churches.
The Igreja de Vitorino de Piães is one of the bigger churches I passed today. I arrived around noon and stopped at a public fountain for some water. A few people were inside having a small service.
The Capela de São Sebastião is one of the more interesting chapels I’ve visited. It’s a small historic building located between some vineyards in the middle of nowhere.
The Capela was closed when I visited so I sat on the porch and rested on a shady bench. While I was there, another pilgrim walked by and paused to get his bearings.
I pointed him in the right direction and we both chuckled as he walked away.
Hot Dog Snack-Bar Maria S’Tina
By mid-afternoon, I was feeling pretty hungry. Usually there are plenty of cafes or restaurants along the Camino to choose from, but not today.
Finally I came to a snack bar around 2:30 pm and happily plopped onto a chair in the shade. The menu was limited to hot dogs and hamburgers so I got the hot dog.
I asked for a Camino stamp was happy to discover that it’s one of the best ones I’ve gotten so far.
Natalia came by a little later and we continued walking together for the rest of the day.
Mural of Saint Theresa
As we approached outskirts of Ponte de Lima, we passed a great mural depicting St. Theresa on her pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. She supposedly passed through Correlhá in the 11th Century.
The Lima River and Flea Market
Eventually, the path joined the Lima River. We were treated to amazing views of the River as we walked along a shady lane.
It was at this point that we stumbled upon the Sunday Market. It was quite the surprise to suddenly be surrounded by so many people.
Ponte de Lima
I made my way to my lodging which was right in the middle of Old Town. It had an incredible view of the Igreja Matriz Ponte de Lima (Catholic Church) and I could even see the bridge over the river.
Portuguese Camino Stats
Date: Sunday, October 10
Starting Location: Casas do Rio in Balugães
Ending Location: Casa Cardeal Saraiva in Ponte de Lima
Camino Distance Walked: 11.68 miles/ 18.8 km
Distance to Santiago: 95 miles/ 152.9 km
AllTrails Map Recording
Click here to view my map recording for today:
Note: the distance in this recording doesn’t match my Camino distance because it includes some off-route walking.
Stamps Collected Today
- Previous journal entry: Portuguese Camino Day 5: An Unexpected Stay at Casas do Rio
- Next journal entry: Portuguese Camino Day 7: Climbing the Camino’s Tallest Mountain
For more information about my pilgrimage along the Camino Portugués, visit my Portuguese Camino web page.