In part one of my Camino Portuguese pilgrimage documentary, we covered the first two stages of the trip from Porto to Barcelos. Part two picks up right where we left off in Barcelos, passing through beautiful farms and vineyards before reaching the medieval bridge at the heart of Ponte de Lima. From Ponte de Lima, we climbed the highest incline of the entire Camino Portuguese to get ourselves up and over Alto de Portela Grande. This was also the point in the Camino that my son became a little Camino celebrity. Word was spreading along The Way of the little boy pilgrim!
Back in 2012, I completed the Camino Frances and put together a documentary called “A Journey of the Mind“. The popularity of that video is a large part of what encouraged me to launch Trail to Peak. Six years after walking 500 miles from St. Jean Pied de Port to Santiago de Compostela, I returned to the Iberian Peninsula to walk the 150-mile Camino Portuguese. This time around, I was joined by my wife and son.
The fifth stage of the Camino Portuguese takes pilgrims from Rubiãs to Tui. This is a very special day, as it includes the border crossing from Portugal into Spain over the Río Miño. Leaving Rubiãs, the first half of this stage is on natural pathways and dirt roads surrounded by woodlands and farms. The second half covers sidewalks and asphalt as pilgrims approach the large cities of Valença and Tui.
The fourth stage on the Camino Portuguese takes pilgrims from Ponte de Lima to Rubiães on 13 miles of mixed asphalt and natural paths. This stage brings pilgrims to the highest point on the entire route, the 1338ft Alto da Portela Grande. The trail to and from Alto da Portela includes some of the harshest terrain on the Camino Portuguese, with ruts and rocks adorning a beautiful path of single track through the woods.
The third stage of the Camino Portuguese takes pilgrims on a 22-mile stretch from Barcelos to Ponte de Lima. This is one of the longest stages on the Camino Portuguese, but is also one of the most beautiful. The majority of this stage takes place on natural pathways and dirt roads that pass by bridges, farms, vineyards, and churches. After arriving in Ponte de Lima, pilgrims are treated to an abundance of historical buildings and monuments. The most popular historical site is Ponte Medieval, a medieval bridge that spans the nearby Rio Lima.
Stage two of the Camino Portuguese Central Route takes pilgrims on an 18 mile stretch from Vilarinho to Barcelos. This section of The Way incorporates natural pathways and mostly avoids the busy roads and highways, unlike the first stage out of Porto. The major highlight of this stage is the arrival in Barcelos, where pilgrims cross a bridge and then approach Paço dos Condes, the old palace of the Dukes of Bragança.
This summer, I set out to hike the 150-mile Camino Portuguese from Porto to Santiago de Compostela. Unlike my solo hike of the 500-mile Camino Frances in 2012, I would be accompanied this time around by my wife and 2 year old son. In this post, I’ll cover our day of sightseeing in Porto and our visit to the Porto Cathedral to get our pilgrim’s passports.