Arcos to Barcelos
Today’s walk of about 18 kilometres was another straightforward day with no dramas. Apart from the afternoon heat walking conditions were again ideal and again we didn’t get lost.
We saw more pilgrims along the route and swapped stories over coffee in the bars along the way or under the shade of a tree.
Today’s route went through several small villages before arriving at the larger town of Barcelos. Lots of beautiful flowers especially roses, sounds of birds and roosters all the way and an ever present wholesome smell of manure.We walked alongside many rural scenes of farmers and their families preparing fields for planting or preparing hay.
A surprise awaited us in Barcelos. We discovered that today Wednesday is a public holiday for this area and the biggest celebration for this Festival of Crosses is happening on the doorstep of our centrally located hotel. Open air concerts, sideshows, a procession to start at 5.30pm, a series of open air concerts and fireworks at midnight. I have not yet decided if this is a nice surprise or not!
Festival of Crosses in Barcelos
The procession left from one church in Barcelos and arrived at the main church about one kilometre away. We could not get near the crowds at the end of the procession so we mainly looked at the start of the procession. How amazing to seee so many people involved, particularly young people playing in bands and dressed in historical costumes. One has to admire this community spirit in celebrating old traditions. We were lucky to be observers of such a spectacle.