Labruja to Valença

I had another good night sleep with only three to the room. The wind direction had changed and pushed that smoke cloud in our direction, so this morning we smelt like a BBQ.

Today is the last day in Portugal and it is meant to be the hardest on the route, with having to climb over a mountain and into the adjacent valley.

As soon as the sun peaked into the valley, I could tell it was going to be another hot day, luckily it was forest paths over the mountain.

This was the first real climb of the route and I was in my element. The cool shaded air, no more roads or cobblestones and a gradient to get the heart thumping. It wasn’t that difficult, nothing compared to the Camino Frances.

On the way up we passed a stone cross monument in dedication of those who died in the Napoleonic Wars.

At about 5km I was on the summit and making my way down the other side. I stopped at a bar with my fellow pilgrims.

It was mostly flat from this point, following more farm tracks and forest footpaths. There is very little amenities from Labruja to Valença.

At the villages that had restaurants, they were closed on Mondays. So it was hungry walking into Valença. We managed to find a bar that sold snacks as we entered Valença; I had a slice of pizza.

We booked into a guesthouse as word on the Camino grapevine, is to best avoid the municipal albergue.

We found another little gem, small swimming pool, garden with hammocks and a well stocked fridge. The host again is very friendly and accommodating. Another slice of paradise; he also promised to bring some 1906 beer later! (This was a personal favourite from the Camino Frances).

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