Wednesday, 4th October, 2017 Santiago – Caldas de Reis 40 km (Total 2109 km)
Started queing outside the Camino office in Santiago at 0745 hrs. Two hours later received my Peregrino certificates.Unable to secure another nights accommodation in the same hotel in Santiago, we checked out and headed south.
Thursday, 5th October, 2017 Caldas de Reis – O Porriño 66 km (Total 2175 km)
Oh, did I forget to mention that Judy had joined me in Santiago and we’d picked up another bike!
Friday, 6th October, 2017 O Porriño – Caminha (Portugal) 72 km (Total 2247 km)
We crossed from A Guarda to Caminha on the car ferry and in doing so crossed the border from Spain into Portugal.
Saturday, 7th October, 2017 Camintha – Viana do Castelo 44 km (Total 2290 km)
We’ve enjoyed some coastal paths and it’s beautiful but, not to be done on road bikes as we have. What you need to do, if you like cycling, is to hire a mountain bike from a Santiago based company and, arrange to pick the bike up at say Porto, in Portugal, and cycle it back to Santiago. Cycle north, not south as we have done.
There is not a well defined cycle path following the coast but we are seeing plenty of Pilgrims so I guess you could follow them and their yellow arrows but cycles are prohibited on the decking style beach pedestrian paths.
Sunday, 8th September, 2017 Viana do Castelo – Povoa de Varzim 35 km (Total 2335 km)
Very slow going following the shoreline but the N13 was exceptionally busy today. A little like the Skegness road on a Bank Holiday weekend!
Monday, 9th October, 2017 Povoa de Varzim – Porto 44 km (Total 2380 km)
I’ve bailed out I’m afraid at 2380 km – sorry but the cycling blog finishes here with 2380 km, start date 4th September, end date 9th October. A bit disappointing, I know, that I’ve not made Malaga on this occasion. My son James will be pleased because our joint record to Malaga last year (2016), 2900 km in 30 days, has not been broken! I was hoping that my sole attempt via a different route could steal the show! Bugger! I’m afraid the youth has it! But, Dieppe to Porto, Portugals second largest city, on a pushbike – not a bad cycle ride!
As we approach Porto, I find it interesting to read about this Lanc from 619 Squadron, Coningsby, not very many miles from where I live in the UK!
Lunch in Matosinhos.
Finding our way on pushbikes to the old town of Porto proved to be, once again, a real trial. All cities seem to market their biker friendliness but, in my opinion, they all fall short by a long margin when it comes to providing a well marked bike route from the outskirts to the centre. It was a nightmare trying to cycle into the heart of the city!
THE END OF THE CYCLE TOUR – 2380 km
Tuesday, 10th October, 2017 – Wednesday, 11th October 2017 Porto – Just north of Malaga (the finish point) 960 km by car
We ask, in Portugal, if the Portuguese dislike the Spanish. No, no, of course not, they remonstrate! We’ve heard the same response when we’ve turned the question around and asked the Spanish the same thing. But, trying to get any sort of connection for two folks and two bikes to Spain, from Portugal, seems to be a bit of a no no! So, is there some truth that Portugal and Spain simply don’t want to connect?
Flying with two bikes from Porto to Malaga was not an easy nor low cost option. Ditto the Rail and Bus networks which are not bike friendly.
We hired a car. No, don’t be silly! We didn’t tell the car hire company that we were going to cross the border into SPAIN (that would’ve been frowned upon!) and drive to our destination overnight with our two bikes in the boot.
As I travel in Europe, I am frequently told by non-British Europeans how stupid the Brits were to vote Brexit. Hold this thought a moment. In Spain, as I understand it, there are presently elections on-going similar to the Scotland/England referendum and I overhear a barman being asked if he’s Spanish. “NO I AM NOT!” he shouts. “I AM GALICIAN!”
This vehement display of identity, coupled with the Portuguese – Spanish relationship vibes I get in Portugal, makes me think about the Brits and Brexit.
Thursday, 12th October, 2017 Malaga – Porto 400 km
The hire car, hired in Porto, is taken to its return destination, Faro, over 400 km away. I secure a return ride back to Malaga using blablacar.com, the whole of which I was just so lucky with. I arrived in Malaga just in time to pick up a local hire car for us to use, from our base here, until we return to the UK in a week or so. Now, I’m going to have a well earned rest!