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Pilgrim Highway of Death

May 11, 2018

This does not look scary- that is because there was a few seconds reprieve for me to get the photo. This is just the runner-up to the true Pilgrim Highway of Death, which is EN-3 leading north into Azambuja, Portugal. I have no photos- you can’t take your eyes off the oncoming traffic for a second. The shoulder is at most two feet wide, and most of the steady stream of vehicles pass us at less than 5 feet away,


80 ton trucks at 60 mph with drivers talking on cell phones. There isn’t anywhere to go if you had time to jump out of the way. Try this for two solid hours at the end of a 20 km day and at 28 degrees C – it’s like a painting by Hieronymous Bosch at the Prado. Sometimes trucks were pulled over along the side, and the only way past was in the traffic lane, edging along the side of the truck. The emotional toll is as significant as the physical.

Today the Camino took us along EN-365 from Azinhaga to Golega (pictured) – cobblestone, no striping, cars at 60 mph a few feet away as we edged down the side. Maps.me came to the rescue, showing us an alternative which was delightful. We spent several hours on this paved road through farmland- busy with tractors plowing and planting crops, but little traffic. (video shows properly)

Now we are in a little paradise of a town called Golega. Great lunch at a restaurant,and a beautiful church. All is forgiven, Portugal.

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From → Writing Fiction

One Comment
  1. Wow – nerve-wracking for sure – glad you survived- loving your postings, Robert!

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