Well rested and having enjoyed a delicious breakfast we will lace up our hiking shoes and head to the small town of Vitorino. This town of less than 1,500 inhabitants will serve as the perfect place to get our first stamp in our Pilgrim Passports. We will continue walking to find the perfect spot for our Fresco Tours gourmet picnic lunch, by the river in the market town of Ponte de Lima.
After lunch, we’ll burn off dessert by walking a few more lies to the village of Arcozelo where we will meet our bus and shuttle to our hotel. It’s been an exhilarating first day on the Camino and already we feel like seasoned pilgrims!
Ponte de Lima is a historic town located in the northern part of Portugal, specifically in the Viana do Castelo District. It is known for its rich history, charming architecture, and picture perfect Roman bridge. The town is situated on the banks of the Lima River.
The highlight of the town is the Ponte Romana (Roman Bridge), dating back to Roman times. If you look carefully, you’ll see a Roman centurion on the far side of the river and several legionaries on the opposite bank. These figures commemorate a wonder story that is associated with the river and town. The historic quarter is also worth a visit, with narrow streets, medieval buildings, and traditional Portuguese architecture.
The story of the cowardly legionaries in Ponte de Lima
Standing by an original Roman milestone, a group of legionaries refuse to cross the Lima River. In the 2nd century BC, the conquering Roman army came to halt here as the legionaries believed that they were facing the River Lethe, which if crossed would erase all their memories. On the other side of the river there is a statue of an equestrian Centurion ordering his soldiers to cross – he clearly had not lost his memory!