July 24, 2015
We have been having much too much fun to blog. When you have a husband like Gord, humour tends to stick, even to the serious moments. As he explains, “trolls are funny when they are not being creepy.”

The view from our bedroom in Ponte de Lima. 

For the last few days we have been zigzagging between the coastal and interior Camino routes, hitting all the jewels of the Minho area. We have the time now as we slow down to miss the crowds in Santiago on Saint James’ Day (July 25).  Unlike the south, the Minho is green and lush like Galicia, and for the first time this trip we woke up to rain. This gives us time to relax in this lovely pension while we wait for the forecast end of the rain.  It will be sunny and 31 degrees again tomorrow.
After Villa do Conde we headed inland, on a reclaimed rail bed for much of the distance, to the medieval town of Guimarães. Here the very powerful Dukes of Bragança had their palace, which still towers over the tight streets of the city’s ancient core. From there we cycled to Ponte de Lima, an important ancient halt on the Camino. It is named after the long medieval bridge constructed on earlier Roman foundations. Despite the warning from our host that the river was not clean, we joined the throngs of tourist and pilgrims taking a dip. It will be our science experiment to see what maladies we develop.  It was the clearest dirty river I have seen. 

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