We were picked up at 8.30 am to be driven to our starting point just outside Porto on the coast. It was a flurry getting down to the van and we managed to fit the bike in. Once we arrived at our stating point we were like the keystone cops. Everyone felt dishevelled and needed to sort themselves out. It was9.30 before we really got going and we only walked for about 40 minutes before we stopped for coffee and loo break! The walk was really easy in terrain, flat and on boardwalk most of the way with the surging waves on the beach to our left. We were blessed with a sunny day and news that Anne’s Sophie had been transferred to Monash hospital from Sydney by air ambulance. Now she can see her three month old son at last and her family able to be more supportive now she isn’t interstate.
We stopped for a lunch of soup, toasted sandwiches and juice or beer. All along the way there have been rather nice cafes overlooking the sea. The beaches are long and sandy but the surf looks treacherous. There are many little fishing villages and also lots of apartments. It reminds me a little of the Gold Coast about 15 years ago.
The coast was notorious for pirates and luring ships to shipwreck in the 17th and 18th Centuries. we saw a few pirates along the way!
Bill was riding and he was a little like the hare and we were the tortoises. He would ride ahead and wait. We would walk up and he would wait a bit then set off again, overtaking us. He complained of a sore bottom but we didn’t have a lot of sympathy because we were slogging away for 20 kms and he only walked about 5. He still had a sore foot at the end of the day but was pretty chipper, while we were all a bit tired.
Vila Do Conde is a pretty town, with an aqueduct, a 12 th C Church and a history of shipbuilding. We stumbled on a great Italian restaurant for dinner. The town seemed quite lively and had several bars and restaurants from which to choose.
Our first day accomplished, we mostly followed or found the yellow arrows and with the sea on our left it was hard to go wrong. It took us about 6 hours. We are not at our peak but it was comfortable.