Day three of our pilgrimage on the Portuguese Coastal Route of the Camino de Santiago took us from Aguçadoura to Amorosa.

Funnily, that wasn’t the plan. Our intended destination had been Castelo do Nieva. The route lies further inland, up the hills, and it so happens that all three albergues we passed were closed for the season.

An Easy Start, Followed by a Terrifying Bridge

Since the albergue we had stayed at was directly on the beach, the day’s walk began on a boardwalk that traversed a lovely beachside golf course. We eventually departed the boardwalk, passing through quiet coastal towns and along rich farmland and woods filled with the scent of pine and eucalyptus. Many of the buildings in town gave the appearance of being summer residences. As such, they were boarded up for the winter.

Departing Fao, we crossed a bridge over the Casado River. In fairness, the bridge is clearly undergoing reconstruction. However, as a pilgrim hiker, it was terrifying walking across. The wooden boards lifted and made protesting sounds with every step…in the seams between boards we caught glimpses of the river underneath. My aunt and I both had pounding hearts and blood-drained faces by the time we crossed.

A shout-out goes to the town across the river. A street bears the largest yellow arrow and Buon Camino sign we had yet seen.

Portuguese Coastal Route.

A Parade

Passing near the town of Marinhas, we were surprised to see a number of decorated floats. There appeared to be no designated parade route, no cops, and no barriers. The floats simply intermingled with regular vehicular traffic.

Those aboard the floats waved cheerfully and honked. I’m still scratching my head as to what the impromptu parade was for. The only thing I can think of was that it was related to Mardi Gras – by the Catholic Church calendar, it was “Fat Tuesday”.

A Four-Legged Pilgrim Guide

The yellow arrows we had been occasionally following took us uphill, near several churches. Although my aunt and I had seen no other WALKING pilgrims, there appeared to be several pilgrims traveling from Porto to Santiago de Compostela by tour bus. They wore lime green group shirts and cast curious glances at us whenever we saw each other at the same church.

Outside, a collared dog ventured up in the friendliest fashion, and decided to keep walking with us. Although we had expected the dog would grow tired and return home, the miles kept passing, and the dog stayed firmly alongside.

It seems Portugal has a high number of stray dogs, and although our mysterious canine escort had a collar, he belonged to no one.

We grew concerned as the sun started to set, and the dog ignored our repeated pleas for it to go back. Every albergue on the way to Castelo do Nieva, further up the hills, was closed for the season. A wonderful man who worked at an agricultural shop came to our rescue, and 10 minutes later a taxi pulled up and drove us 4.2 miles, to the seaside town of Amorosa.

I’m still distraught that we left that sweet dog behind.

Arrival Amorosa

A room for the evening came to €45. Thoroughly exhausted, we tucked into generous portions of steak, chicken, potatoes, and red wine at the on-site restaurant. The plan for tomorrow is to take a taxi back to our stopping point, and continue walking from there.

No matter where your journey takes you, Buen Camino!

By Katie Cerezo

Thank you so much for visiting. 😊 I have always loved traveling, and my legs are my primary means of transportation. It's a beautiful world, and I'm eager to explore it…one step at a time.

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