Compeed, Fisiogen and Spain in sight

273 kilometers later, it’s not the end (yet)

T4: E12 – Rubiães – Valença

Three of them got together for dinner: an American, a New Zealander and a Portuguese. Everyone spoke English, but each one had their own kind of English, each one had their own accent. Even so, we were able to extend ourselves. The New Zealander was a farmer, had done the French Way and was now going to Lisbon. The American had been in the army and was going to Santiago.

The conversation revolved around the world but one thing is certain: China has always been present and the way in which it is imposing itself is being decisive. I tried to bring up the subject in Portugal and the admiration for our people is very great.

The American likes to choose his routes, avoiding rough terrain to save his legs, but sometimes it was impossible for him, because when he wanted to go a different way, someone would come shouting and say that it was the other way, where the route was. arrow.

We went to dinner at half past six and the restaurant was practically full with more than a score of people; When we finished, around eight, there was almost no one there – pilgrim times, you have to go to bed early…

Today's path, in the initial part, was spectacular, following the ancient “Via Romana XIX”. In one of the sections, quite narrow, going downhill, and with high walls on both sides, I heard shouting “pilgrim!!!”, I stopped, and eight cyclists passed me, close by and at high speed. Each one of them wished me “good luck” and at first I started saying “thank you” but in the end I said “be careful!” such is their speed.

The Path is well marked, with yellow arrows. If in doubt, just head in the opposite direction to the blue arrows, pointing to Fátima. And everyone greets us. From the small nod of the head, to the enthusiastic goodbye, to the discreet greeting with the arm, everyone greets us with a “good morning” or “good luck”.




Forgetting the roads of the 20th century, much of this season was spent on Roman and medieval roads, and on two streets, Rua da Estrada Real and Rua dos Caminhos de Santiago. This is why we can see the weight that history has in these parts.

Today I crossed paths with the American three or four times. Each time we made a little small talk, I ended up asking what his name was, Rick, and I told him that I thought he was “a quiet American”, a phrase stolen from the title of a book by Graham Greene.

He smiled and said it was probably because he had spent a lot of time abroad, from Vietnam to Saudi Arabia.

This season I noticed that there are several types of pilgrims: those who go in groups, sometimes with the same shirts and everything, those who meet along the way and those who are solitary. The American clearly belonged to the species that likes to walk alone and politely and quickly dismissed me.

The last time we crossed paths was at the Valença fortress, where we shook hands and said goodbye forever.
273kms was the total covered in this stage.

Pass the advertising, but I carried it with three companions every day, the Compeed for the sprays, the Fisiogen to hydrate and relax the legs and the Traumeel for the pain in the back and shoulders, which a ten kilo backpack makes a dent in.

But essentially I always had a guardian angel, M., who accompanied me virtually, taking care of the logistics and making sure I drank water and ate decent food.

I took a photo next to the international bridge over the River Minho, with Spain in sight, thinking that I ended up crossing Portugal on foot, from Cabo de São Vicente to Valença, from the Algarve to Minho.