My experience on the Camiño Portugués on bike (Day 1)
Day 1. Rubiães (Portugal) - Tui (Spain) (20.8 km / 2h52m)
This stage of the camino was super easy for bikes. Some of you may think: “Just 20 km? I do that everyday” but the truth is that I am not in the best shape and after spending the two previous days sick of the stomach in bed it wasn’t that bad at all!
We left Rubiães (Portugal) around 12 am (try to leave earlier, please. The best time should be before the sun rises, 6.30 or 7.00 am). The first part of the ride was mostly uphill. Luckily, the hills weren't that steep but they had a lot of big rocks. About half an hour later we hit downhill. There where so many rocks that it was impossible to ride the bikes. We had to hike with the bike and push them over the huge rocks because I didn’t want to fall and bruise my vagina like last time. Later, the trail became easier. We were riding through old authentic Roman roads that made us go super slow and were uncomfortable to pedal on. We also passed near “@frutasnocaminho” (“fruitontheway”), a pleasant lady who offered lemonade for free to pilgrims and sold fruit for 1 euro.
Eventually, we made it to Valença do Minho. Usually, the trail passes through the fortress of the town, a really impressive and worth seeing protective wall built during the XVII and XVII centuries. However, the trail through the wall into the town was temporarily cut for pilgrims so we were sent through a shortcut bordering the fortress. We didn’t care that much because we had already visited it before. I would highly recommend to take some time to appreciate the thick walls of the fortress as well as walk through the old part of the town.
As I was saying, we were sent along the walls of the fortress that eventually lead us downstairs. At the end of the stairs, on the right corner, you can find the restaurant “Fronteira gastrobar”, which is the last Portuguese restaurant you will find in the Camiño. It is worth it to stop here for lunch because the pilgrim menu costs only 7€ and it is your last chance to enjoy Portuguese food. Everything was absolutely delicious.
After lunch, we crossed the bridge over the river Miño - frontier between Portugal and Spain - where you can appreciate wonderful views of Tui and its amazing cathedral. The truth is that the cathedral is very different to the ones you can find in Spain. It is very charming and it reminded me of a castle.
That’s it for the day!
For more articles about our following stages of the Camiño, please keep updated :)
Go to Day 2.