The Portuguese Way to Barcelos (Day three)

June 28, 2023 My travel Journal, The Portuguese Way

The path from San Pedro de Rates to Barcelos in Portugal was beautiful. We walked among forests, farms, hills, and valleys.

Starting our Way

The previous day we spent the night in a private hostel in San Pedro de Rates, where Mrs. Anabel cared for us as a family. We communicated using signs because we did not speak Portuguese, and she didn’t speak English or Spanish. On our way out, she stamped our passports.

We started our third day in a bakery with a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice and some pastries called “Santiago”. The Portuguese are very proud of their pastry tradition, and in the bakeries, cafes, and restaurants, they always bake their bread and have more than 150 varieties of sweets.

Many restaurants and hostels preserve the tradition of serving pilgrims and stamping their passports. It became a part of our routine every day, looking for friendly places for pilgrims where we could get our stamps. Each site has a particular signature.

The Path

During the day, we used the rural paths connecting small towns with their churches and hermitages. The temperature varied greatly depending on whether we walked in the sun or the shade, and from the heat, we went to the intense cold.

The Rooster Legend

We arrived in the city of Barcelos, where we found several figures of a rooster scattered around the city, and they told us the legend that led the rooster to become the symbol of Portugal. The legend goes like this:

A pilgrim heading to Santiago was accused of stealing and killing a rooster. Even though the pilgrim pleaded not guilty, the judge ordered him to get hanged. The pilgrim called on God to wake up the dead rooster and make it crow, and indeed, when the rooster crowed, the defendant was released and continued his way to Santiago de Compostela.


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