Ponte da Barca – Portugal

We are still in the Minho region of Portugal, in the far north, as it is the warmest part at the moment and the scenery is varied: hills, mountains, interesting towns, villages with small-holdings, rivers, and the Atlantic beaches which we will visit in the next few days.

Ponte da Barca is the next town upriver, on the Rio Lima, from Ponte de Lima where we started our Portuguese adventure six days ago.

It’s Sunday so we had the pleasure of seeing some Portuguese village entertainment this afternoon. There was an event for young dancers, mostly ballet, which was held on a platform on the side of the road. There was a semi circle of proud mums and dads gathered around them. The dancers were very good, but unfortunately the guy doing the music kept playing the wrong piece, to the annoyance of the Prima Donna, (and to our amusement).

The other entertainment was mostly for our age group. Under a marquee on the corner of a street there was a group of accordion players and guitarists who were surrounded by dancing couples. The men had castanets and kept the beat as they danced round with their partners. It reminded us of a Scottish ceilidh.

The cycle routes along the banks of the Rio Lima were great, some flat surfaces amidst tree roots and sandy patches to keep you on your toes, literally! There were hardly any other cyclists so we enjoyed the serenity of the very green clear water racing downstream to the Atlantic. Occasionally there were small waterfalls and rapids, some white water rafting would have been nice.

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