Portuguese Coastal Route.

Day 6 of the Portuguese Coastal Route saw us crossing from Caminha, Portugal, into Baiona, Spain.

The day was meaningful on multiple levels. It’s always exciting to enter a new country. My aunt was thrilled to be able to air her high school Spanish. The day was also significant in that, by the end of it, we completed the half-way mark of the pilgrimage. Six days down, six to go.

But the MOST noteworthy metric for us was that we logged over 21 miles of hard-core walking. My aunt shattered her previous personal best record. Our unplanned achievement came from the fact that we had to add the uncompleted miles from our forced stop in Caminha (2.4) to the day’s 19 planned miles.

We were in pain by the end.

Crossing the Minho River

We reported to the pier to await the water taxi. A long gentleman in a boat the size of a small truck pulled up promptly at 8:00 a.m. Although six pilgrims had made reservations and paid the fare online, my aunt, a lady from Chicago, and I were the only ones there.

The gentleman surmised that the other three had either overslept, or inadvertently gotten into a competing water taxi, in which case they’d have the misfortune of being charged twice.

He assisted us onto his boat and into life vests. We were across the calm Minho River and into Spain within five minutes. No passports or border inspections were required after he docked in A Pasaxe. We simply got off the boat and started walking.

Ola!

For the first two hours, we hiked as a trio. The coastal route wove through some forests that featured some art concepts I had never seen before. Several of the trees bore white paint markings that, when someone stood in a particular location, magically revealed a picture.

After arriving in A Guarda, we stopped for a quick breakfast of cafe con leche and tostada with potatoes. Fabulous!

It wasn’t until I cast a look at my phone and was alarmed to see the time that I realized that Portugal and Spain operated on different times. Spain was an hour later than Portugal.

Follow the Yellow Road

Although the first few miles took us near the coast, there came a point where the yellow Camino markers directed us onto a main road. We were overjoyed by the sheer brilliance of Spanish authorities – pilgrims were afforded a MASSIVE yellow-marked part of the road.

Navigation could not have been more simple. The cars stayed in their lanes, we stayed in ours. And while the route occasionally veered into smaller streets that roughly paralleled the main road, these too were exquisitely marked.

I was in awe over just how pretty and tidy everything was.

A Spectacular Sunset & Sprint into Baiona

Despite the beauty, there comes a point in every pilgrim’s travels when they hit a wall. I hit mine around Mile 15. The final six miles were rough.

The Spanish sun set around 7:16 p.m., and neither of us enjoys walking in the dark. We logged our fastest miles of the day the closer the sun came to dipping under the Atlantic. We made it to our lodging in Baiona right at dusk.

After dropping our packs, we asked a trio of locals where to grab a meal. The mother directed her husband and son to escort us to a popular area in the historic center.

The son informed us that in Spain, most restaurant diners began their meals at 10 p.m. After catching sight of our horrified expressions – we were hungry! – he quickly added that since it was a Friday night, perhaps some restaurants would have opened at 8 p.m.

We found one such place, and dined on calamari, asparagus with Parmesan and Iberico ham shavings, and Spanish wine. It was a tiring but satisfying day.

Portuguese Coastal Route

Wherever 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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