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Portugal Spain Border on the Camino

Portugal

Day 5: May 14th  – Ponte de Lima to Tui

Today we leave Portugal and it is expected to be another hot day. It is a short 18.6 KM walk to Rubias. Our plan was to leave by 7 am. But this isn’t a conventional Camino so we slept in a bit because we were going to talk the bus again. This would be our last bus ride to get ahead a bit.

Today would have been a tough day for climbing. A very steep part comes at the end up to Alto da Portela Grande Labruja. 315 meters over 4 kilometers. It is the largest climb on the Camino Portugues but it is not overly difficult. But for us, we thought it may be a tough day so we are skipping it.

Getting a bus ticket in Portugal

As you read previously, we took the bus and it was super easy so we thought it would be the same. I looked online to see if I could purchase tickets, you cannot. So we arrived at the bus station at about noon. The ticket windows were all closed up and not expected to open until 3:30 pm. Our bus was at 2:30 pm, what to do.

We waited to hope that we could buy our tickets with the bus driver as we did previously. When the bus finally arrived, we asked and NO, you cannot buy the tickets with him you must buy at the window. This was insane to us as it was closed. So out come the 6 women with tears in their eyes begging for them to find a way to let us catch the bus to Valenca. We had been there all day and by now the day almost went we could not walk to the next town.

The wonderful driver took pity on us and said he would take us if we promised to pay for the tickets when we got to Valenca, which I swore we would. The driver made sure we did by accompanying me to the ticket window and explaining the situation.

 

Crossing the Portugal / Spain border

 Once we got to Valenca our plan was to walk to Tui and stay the night there. We had no reservations and it was getting late in the afternoon.

After doing the mandatory pictures leaving Portugal and crossing the border into Spain, we were on the hunt for accommodations.

To cross the border into Spain you must go across a very large bridge. I am afraid of heights and not a fan of bridges so Sarita was my rock helping across, even held my hand most of the way. You can imagine how great that was for me.

Wandering into Tui and wondering where we were going to stay when out of the blue a nice young man named Mehta showed up on a scooter asking if we needed a hostel for the night…YES! He said he was the owner of a new one called Jacobs Hostel right on the Camino. So, with the faith of the Camino, we followed him into town right to the hostel.

Jacobs Hostel

This hostel was nice, clean, and had good amenities, it also included a light breakfast (muffin and coffee). It is small with only one washroom and shower but it had a washer and dryer for clothes.

It was located right next door to a restaurant which was great for our meal. Mehta also took the time to show us around and take us to the cathedral.

Spain
Our first hostel in Spain
Jacobs Hotel Info

Original Plan

Our original walking plan was to go to Rubias. I left the link to the Albergue in the post so that those who are looking have some info.

Albergue Escola Municipal (€6)

There is a 9-kilometer-long stretch between Codeçal and Rubiães where there are no facilities.

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