A fond farewell to Porto as we headed out along the Rio Douro towards the Atlantic coast. On the way down the hill we passed a marionette shop, a female mechanic working on a Porsche, some cool graffiti and a bunch of chairs on a wall of a bar. All before breakfast. The walk along the river was filled with runners, walkers and seagulls.
The Atlantic announced itself with strong surf, fishing and container ships, and a couple of lighthouses. We walked through the fish market in Matosinhos, then crossed a bridge and found the boardwalk and the arrows pointing us on the costal route of the Caminho. We covered more than thirty kilometers, a bit more than twenty miles. We passed through small fishing villages and stopped to watch some net repair, question how the fishermen navigate their boats through the rocky shore and appreciate the laundry hanging.The boardwalk was mostly empty on our walk. We crossed paths with, or should I say, we were passed by about six pilgrims.We arrived tired yet happy in Vila do Conde. The town is rich with history dating back to the Bronze Age. The Roman salt trade helped put this place on the map, and the aqueduct and its 999 arches is a beautiful backdrop which led us past the Convent of Santa Clara and to our guest house. Upon our arrival, we realized our enthusiasm masked a severe foot injury. Unfortunately, our Caminho will be postponed. We will spend the next few days doing little walking while trying to attempt a little touring. The Caminho will not defeat us (pun intended); Portugal and the Caminho are in our hearts and we will return. Bom Caminho and Ultria to all.