Day 19 – Barcelos to Ponte de Lima

Day 19 – Barcelos to Ponte de Lima – 37km – Observations and Photos

Did I say yesterday was long and gruelingly hot? This was worse. It was supposed to be a full 10 degrees hotter than yesterday so we got moving at 530am. Yuck. We hiked in relative comfort for a few hours but around 9am we could feel the heat upon us. We had one lovely lunch stop at a fine dining restaurant whose back garden was converted into a little shaded pilgrim cafe, and we came across a magnificently tall and old eucalyptus tree, but that’s about the extent of the day’s highlights. We were definitely deep in it.

There was almost no shade, so the sun’s full glare hit us with little relief. A lot of road walking today meant that heat radiated back upon us from the asphalt. Caminos frequently go through towns and villages with cafes along the path, so at the very least we had opportunities to stop, get a snack, and refill our water.

11.5 grueling hours after we started we arrived at the 60-bed(!!!) pilgrim albergue in Ponte de Lima, a picturesque riverside town that we spent far too little time exploring because of how unbelievably exhausted we were. We looked forward to a cold shower at the end of this hot day and instead we encountered absolutely BOILING shower water. It was enough to give you minor and major burns, so you had to clean yourself with a (very hot) cloth. Our top-floor room had 20 tired people in it, no air movement, and a large number of loud snorers. We did not sleep or rest well today. But at least it had a nice view.

Wow that was a long grueling and hot day.

David’s Observations

Would not recommend July for this walk. Or maybe my heat tolerance is just low.

The weather has taken a turn for the warmer so we woke up at 5:30 knowing we had a long day ahead.

It was indeed a long day which spanned 11 and a half hours, 37km and sweltering heat. This might have been one of the hardest days I’ve done.

A wet towel on your head can help you feel so much cooler for about an hour, then the sun wins.

Walking on cobblestone after a long day for 8km should be considered for a form of punishment.

It always seems like you can go a bit farther and tolerate more discomfort than you think you can.

We decided to cook massive omelettes for dinner and they were delicious. But the waiting game of using the kitchen and the chaos inside it is definitely better use on shorter days.

This was a long but classic Camino day with highs and lows and too many things to remember.