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The Off Road Bridgestone/First Stop Caminho de Santiago adventure has come to an end

As a result of a partnership between Bridgestone and First Stop, the 3rd edition of Off-Road Bridgestone/First Stop Camino de Santiago ended on October 4th, after a 5-day trip organized by Clube Escape Livre.

Almost 50 vehicles left Trancoso to Santiago de Compostela, to travel the Off-Road Bridgestone / First Stop Camino de Santiago, marking the third edition of this adventure that had more than 100 participants.

The 5-day trip began on Friday, September 30th, with the arrival of all-terrain pilgrims to Trancoso. At the starting point of the expedition, the participants arrived to taste the gastronomic delicacies of Beira Interior, before a conference on the history of the Camino de Santiago with the historian Joel Cleto.

The cold but sunny Saturday morning set the tone for the first day of the expedition. Following tradition, the caravan headed towards Sernancelhe, the Capital of Chestnut, first passing by Nossa Senhora at Pé da Cruz. At Espaço da Castanha, time to taste the delicious delicacies that are now made here, such as Pastel and Chestnut Liqueur.

This was followed by the ascent to Senhora da Lapa and a visit to the Monastery of São João de Tarouca. After passing through Ponte and Torre de Ucanha, it was time for a panoramic lunch over the Douro and Régua, in Lamego.

With 4×4 adventurers wishing to continue their journey in off-road terrain, the crossing of Serra do Marão followed, before arriving at Ribeira de Pena, where the caravan had dinner and stayed overnight.

The sun continued to blow the Off-Road Bridgestone / First Stop Camino de Santiago pilgrimage on Sunday. A perfect light to enjoy the beautiful landscapes of the route. The morning was marked by visits to the panoramic Nossa Senhora do Viso and a (second) breakfast in Agra, Aldeia de Portugal. Time later to continue to São Bento da Porta Aberta, point for a well-deserved lunch break.

On the way to Viana do Castelo, there was a short stop at Nossa Senhora da Abadia before the biggest stop of the day, with a guided tour of the incredible Monastery of Tibães, on the outskirts of Braga.

At dinner, animated by live music, time to say a few special thanks and present the SPAL Trophies and the Bridgestone and First Stop offer to all participants. Nádia Duarte, Marketing Manager at Bridgestone Portugal, took the opportunity to talk to everyone and make some special offers.

Bridgestone has joined, with great pleasure, once again, to one of the most emblematic and symbolic routes of Clube Escape Livre, as is the Camino de Santiago. A course that put the performance of participants, vehicles and, of course, off-road tires to the test. I can say that we were successful and arrived safely and with the excellent organization of Escape Livre”, he highlighted.

Mário Mendes, responsible for First Stop in Portugal, stated that: “Being present in this adventure in partnership with Clube Escape Livre is a source of pride. An adventure of discovery, enchantment, people and knowledge. An adventure that we made a point of being a part of, where we provide all the technical assistance necessary for the safety of the participants, with a follow-up service throughout the tour. Ensuring everyone’s mobility, one of the fundamental principles of the First Stop Network, was present here in this adventure, which was filled with companionship, many stories, roads, silences and above all FAITH.

The last day of the trip started with the ascent to Monte de Santa Luzia and a challenging firebreak so that the 4x4s continued to show their attributes on these trails. Afterwards, a short visit to the Monastery of São João de Arga and lunch in Vila Nova de Cerveira.

Time to cross the border into Spain where, this time, due to filming that prohibited entry, we could only pass next to the singular Monastery of Oia, planted by the sea. At the end of the day, the long-awaited final stage to Santiago de Compostela.

After dinner, which was attended by the Grand Master of the Order of Santiago, Miguel Poppin, who greeted all the participants and encouraged them to continue walking the Camino, and with all the participants armed with their pilgrim staffs, the night walks to the Cathedral of Santiago. Accompanying the participants were the Bishop of Viseu, D. António Luciano and the priest of Guarda, Francisco Barbeira, who, the following day, would participate in the Pilgrim’s Mass with the participants of the Escape Livre Club.

The following morning, and before returning home, a place for an extensive guided tour of the historic centre of Santiago de Compostela and the traditional pilgrim mass in the Cathedral, with the emblematic ceremony of Botafumeiro, the largest censer in Europe.

At the mass, Luís Celínio, president of Clube Escape Livre, had the opportunity to commemorate the Apostle Santiago on behalf of all pilgrims on the Off-Road Bridgestone / First Stop Way to Santiago. “It is always a great honor to make this expedition to Santiago de Compostela and count on the support of our partners to provide 5 days of off-road adventure combined with history, gastronomy, religion and heritage” he concluded.

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