For a true camino experience, call Dona Joana in advance on +351 961 687 306 and arrange to stay with her in São Miguel de Machede. Joana has set up what can only be described as a remarkable pilgrim annex in her backyard as a donativo. The room has a double bed and two bunk beds with an attached bathroom. Pilgrims can also cook meals in her basic outdoor kitchen, a handy option as there aren’t many places for eating out.
During the first part of the next stage between São Miguel de Machede and Azaruja, there is a gate that is often closed. Joana will make a big deal of it and try to arrange for the gate to be opened, but if you have to climb it, it’s not that hard.