Stage 17 Braga - Ponte de Lima
Through the (historic) veins of Minho
The stage is long, but it's worth every step. You don't leave Braga without passing by St. James' fountain and showing reverence one last time to a saint who was (is) so venerated in the city. The next two stops are also dictated by the presence of holy bodies: St. Fructuosus of Montelius, an ascetic militant founder of monasteries in the 7th century, and St. Martin of Dume, abbot, bishop and evangeliser of the Suevi royal family in the 6th century. It is through places like these that the Torres Way runs through the historic veins of Minho like no other Jacobean way.
Facing the Cávado River, Prado bridge is the ideal passage to the next section. If it is foggy, the bridge is a silhouette between two distant riverbanks. Stopping at the Chapel of St. James of Francelos is a must, because afterwards there is a long walk to the medieval tower of Penegate, one of the most fascinating places on the way.
Half of the stage is yet to go and memory already has a lot to store. There is a hostel at Goães and there are other accommodation options along the way, but it is important to make the effort to reach the Lima River. Until then, you have to pass the slope of Monte da Madalena and go down Av. António Feijó to the historic centre of Ponte de Lima. The town breathes Jacobean identity and is worth getting to know by day and by night, walking across its Roman and medieval bridge.