Currently traveling

Camino Portuguese

Starting from Lisbon
Currently traveling
  • Day17

    Bend ze knees!

    November 1, 2018 in Portugal ⋅ 🌧 13 °C

    Decided today that walking on the flat boardwalks beside the sea was nice but would not get me fit. So opted for the route that runs a couple of kilometres inland. Lots of ups and downs. A few too many hard stone and cobbled streets for my poor feet. Portuguese asset management must run on very long cycles because every road and track, except the major motorways, is cobbled or laid with granite stone sets. There were a couple of kilometres of nice walking in eucalyptus forests, and lots of pretty streams, stone bridges, and a couple of little waterfalls. Every now and then a lovely view would emerge, with the sea and pounding waves in the distance. Magic.
    A lot of the time I was walking and talking with the charming Maria from Denmark - a great fan of our Mary - and the km slipped by.
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  • Day16

    Azul tiles, gold, and a funicular

    October 31, 2018 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 10 °C

    A lovely walk to start the day, a bridge crossing a wide river, then the fabulous fishing port of Viana do Castelo. Took the fun funicular ride to the top of the mountain to see the church perched high over the town - spectacular views - then down to the old town where I visited the local museum - with a great exhibition dedicated to local peasant costumes. Good collection. Also explanations and exhibits about cloth making and embroidery (mainly on wool and linen - flax was grown locally) and the very pretty gold heart jewellery worn in Northern Portugal. Unfortunately photography was strictly prohibited. Then to see a church I’d been told was a “do not miss” and indeed it was a glory of blue tiles and gold. Walked out of town through the port area (I do love a serious working port!) and a few kilometres along the way until I discovered a problem with my phone. Which resulted in me backtracking to find a Vodaphone shop - and I won’t bore you with telling what followed!
    The end result is that I walked 17km from last nights accommodation - but have progressed only 7km. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll do better!
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  • Day15

    Finding the way

    October 30, 2018 in Portugal ⋅ 🌧 9 °C

    The albergue last night was excellent, although freezing cold. I’m so glad I packed some extra clothes!
    For most of today I had a lovely walk and talk with Regina from Munich, nice girl. The way was beautiful - rural and through the forest, beside a small river, and small villages. We were so engrossed in conversation that somehow I got onto the wrong path and had to do some route finding across country. Regina was turned onto the beach route but I’d booked into a Casa Rural further inland.
    To get to it it I took a pathway that led me through an encampment of people (Romany?) obviously surprised to see me, as were their dogs. But they were very kind and helpful in pointing me the right way and wishing me Bom Caminho.
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  • Day14

    The boats are in

    October 29, 2018 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

    I was happily waylaid today, eating a late breakfast in the sun, watching the fishing boats come in, wandering down to watch them being dragged up the sand by tractors, and then the fish - so fresh - being sold. The tractor driver told me that after pulling the boats up in the morning, he was driving inland a couple of km to help with the vegetable harvest of cauliflowers.

    Later, as I was walking I met up with someone who walked with me earlier in this Camino, and he persuaded me to stop early and try this albergue. Fingers crossed against the bedbugs!

    My one achievement is that I did conquer my fears and walk over a bridge I was dreading.
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  • Day13

    Bracing wind, pumping legs

    October 28, 2018 in Portugal ⋅ 🌬 11 °C

    Another great day of walking, mainly on boardwalk beside a white capped Atlantic, but with a few detours inland beside greenhouses and commercial vegetable plots. Wind still blowing strongly from the north, but sun shining again. Wonderful stuff!

  • Day12

    Senda literal

    October 27, 2018 in Portugal ⋅ 🌬 12 °C

    A day walking by the sea - glorious sunshine but a cold wind blowing hard from the North. Just my kind of walking weather! In fact so good I surprised myself, and comfortably walked far more km than intended. Which had something also to do with missing the good albergue and being determined to get to this great little hotel.Read more

  • Day11

    And suddenly, delights

    October 26, 2018 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    Porto is the most beautiful small city - with lively friendly people, charming narrow steep streets, a bustling riverfront with cafes, bars and myriad stalls to beguile the most reluctant shopper, and perched high above the river the cathedral, the castle remains and old walls, all looking over the river.Read more

  • Day11

    Hats off

    October 26, 2018 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    My guide book said I’d be mad to miss the hat museum, and indeed it was terrific. A great personally guided tour. Once the largest producer of hats in the Iberian peninsular (in the days when everyone wore a hat) São João de Madeira still has a few craftsmen making fully handmade velvet felt hats. I want one!Read more

  • Day11

    Luxury hotel

    October 26, 2018 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

    A good 20km walk today. Almost all on hard asphalt with a very short section through eucalyptus forest - so still not great walking. Lots of short stops on the way in village bars for a refreshing mineral water. With the hard surfaces my feet really start to whinge at the 20km mark so I was glad to stop then. The only reasonable accommodation (unless I walked another 10km) just happens to be a four star hotel. Lovely! Big bath, air conditioning / and no bedbugs.Read more

  • Day9

    Its hot Mama!

    October 24, 2018 in Portugal ⋅ ☀️ 19 °C

    A short 16km walk today after a delicious hotel buffet breakfast. I was planning to walk another 10km but by the time I got going it was quite late, and the heat pulsating waves. Everyone is commenting on how unseasonably warm it is. The forecast for next week is an average of 10degrees lower, a much better temperature for walking.

    Again, a not very exciting walk - lots on road surface, a suburban linear sprawl, one long road bridge over a ravine and a rather insignificant river, a pleasant coffee stop in a nondescript village, and an easy walk through another eucalyptus forest (they are everywhere). Other than a closed ethnographic museum, and a couple of grand houses, one of which had a magnificent fig tree, on which I feasted, there was nothing very much to show.

    I am assured the walk gets better after Porto. Let’s hope so!
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