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Day 13: Caminha to Tui. Adeus Portugal, Hola Espana

Looking north to Spain

The Caminho Portuguese has several variants and we have been on the coastal route since leaving Porto. Our plan was to switch to the central route when we reached Caminha, on the northern border of Portugal, across a river from Spain. Friends told us that the best way to make that change was a pilgrim ferry that would take you an hour upriver from Caminha to Tui, Spain. It is said to be quite picturesque and we’ve been looking forward to it.

But they require a minimum of five pilgrims to make the journey and we were the only ones to show up. The backup option, the train, was at least warm, fast and dry.

It left us off in Valenca, Portugal, a city with two conjoined forts that now contain a small city filled with restaurants, shops, hotels, and other pilgrims. It made for a unique last afternoon in Portugal. We crossed into Spain after lunch and said adeus (goodbye) to Portugal. It has been a great three-and-a-half weeks in the land of Fado, Port Wine, and many other Portuguese specialties.

Tonight we are staying in the exact opposite of a pilgrim Albergue, or dormitory. Spain has a series of luxury hotels called Paradores that were developed during the Franco era to boost tourism. Many of them are in history buildings ranging from fortresses to monasteries. If you’ve seen the movie The Way, the group stays at the Parador in Leon. We highly recommend it. The Parador we’re in tonight is a recreation of a Galician estate. Less history, more modern plumbing.

Click on the following link for Laurie’s Relive video:

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