Portugal
Pedras Rubras

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    • Day25

      On the road again!

      May 28 in Portugal ⋅ ☀️ 22 °C

      Finally I'm back on the Camino, following the yellow arrows to Santiago. I've got three short days to start, and the first two are along the coast. Today I walked about 12 km from where I left off on my little jaunt yesterday in Matosinhos to Praia de Angeiras where I'm staying at a camping place. They have a special pilgrim rate - I'm staying in a "bungalow" for only 16€. There are common toilets and showers down the path. I hope that I don't have to go in the middle of the night!

      The walk today was beautiful on boardwalks by the sea. I passed by Capela da Boa Nova - a little chapel on a site where there has been a church since the 14th century.

      This campground is massive. There are dozens of these little bungalows, larger units and probably hundreds of spaces for RVs and tents.
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      Traveler

      cute

      5/28/22Reply

      Yay! Those are really cute [Shirley]

      5/28/22Reply

      Oh wow! Welcome back to the Road. Asifa and I have been traveling since the 20th, so I totally missed the story of your Covid and recovery. Told with good humor and grace. It's good to hear you're back in the saddle. We are in Saigon at present -- 90 degrees and 197% humidity -- and take the 20 hour train to Da Nang tomorrow. Through the miracle of modern technology, managed to send the Mailchimp reminder for the June 4 hike from our hotel room here. Stay safe! [David]

      5/28/22Reply
      2 more comments
       
    • Day2

      Albergue Sao Tiago Labruge

      June 27 in Portugal ⋅ ☀️ 64 °F

      After walking 25 kilometers (15.9 miles), we arrived at this albergue or “hostel.” We chose a room with 8 bunk beds (16 mattresses), empty when we arrived, but now mostly full. There are plugs next to each bed-yea! My shower was lukewarm/cold, so it was refreshing and quick. We settled in-plugging in all devices, changing to fresh clothes, and putting on sandels.
      Dinner at Novo Rumo by the sea was delicious! Pasta Carbonara, mixed salad, hamburger (Charles) and ice cream. My mojito and Charles’ Macallen whisky hit the spot. Now it’s 9:00 pm, we have pre-packed our backpacks, and we are in bed after 41,445 steps! Tomorrow, we plan to do it all again!
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      Kathie Lassos the Moon

      Wow! A full day and ready to bring on tomorrow! Good for you both!❤️

      6/28/22Reply
       
    • Day1

      Day 1 - Porto to La Bruge

      June 27 in Portugal ⋅ ☀️ 63 °F

      Beautiful day! Beautiful weather! The sun was out, but the wind, a steady breeze into your face, kept it comfortable if not cool. A little bit of a late start, but we needed the sleep.

      As mentioned, we worked our way back to the Cathedral and then wound our way to the coast going down, down, down, hundreds of steps and narrow streets.

      It was really very interesting seeing the city wake-up as we walked north. About two hours in we came across a nice cafe overlooking the Rio Douro and had coffee and breakfast. We missed our breakfast at the hotel because we left too early. I didn’t feel so much like a tourist as I did an observer. It’s easier to do when your only goal is to walk all day. I see a lot more.

      As we left the city we started walking on an incredible boardwalk that goes along the coast for miles and miles. It really made for a great walk on wood all day long. Better than sand or rocks. The Portugal coast is beautiful in many areas and the people take advantage of it by how they have structured their life around it.

      We stopped for a late lunch - beer and a salmon wrap at a restaurant on the beach. We have begun to meet our fellow Pilgrims and trade the traditional hello of “Bom Camino” each time we see them.

      The day finished at La Bruge at my first albergue. We are in an old school house with a room of about a dozen bunk beds. Dinner was on the coast, of course.

      Finished the day with over 41,000 steps and 15.9 miles.

      Tomorrow an early start for sure!

      Bom Camino!
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    • Day12

      Angeiras to Vila do Conde

      September 23 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

      After coffee, I was back to the boardwalk. Most of the trail today was on this boardwalk, and the rest on cobblestone. Plus a short (thankfully) area where the sand had drifted over the trail. That was tough.

      I chatted with some people from Malaysia, Columbia, Germany, and New Zealand. And the people in my room are from Germany and Italy. The Camino is very international.

      Once I got to Vila do Conde, I had to find a bridge to cross the large river. Once that was done, I had a fabulous lunch. Salada do Frango, or chicken salad. Very nice.
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      Traveler

      Wonderful scenery.

      Traveler

      I agree.

      Traveler

      Did you visit the Bobbin Lace Museum? Beautiful.

       
    • Day2

      Die erste Etappe Porto - Lavra

      May 10 in Portugal ⋅ ☀️ 18 °C

      Heute morgen um 8 Uhr ging es los. Es war neblig und die Temperaturen zum laufen ideal. Haben festgestellt das auf Grund von Corona sehr viele p Pilger unterwegs sind. Nach knapp 24km sind wir dann auf einen Campingplatz untergekommen. Der Weg war echt spitze direkt am Meer entlang. Morgen geht es noch ein Stück am Meer weiter dann gegen wir in das Landesinnere weiter. Der Grund sind eben viele Pilger. Jetzt wird geduscht und dann essen und ab ins Bett.Read more

      Traveler

      Gustl es sieht gut aus , viel Spaß weiterhin und passt auf euch auf

      5/10/22Reply
      Traveler

      Wie heißt dieser Campingplatz?

      5/20/22Reply
       
    • Day6

      The Encapsulated Storm

      September 19 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

      It's been a little while!

      Since I last posted, I rescheduled my flight, canceled it altogether, and booked it again. I am considering rescheduling it.

      My Camino this far has truly been a test of my patience, emotional and physical strength.

      Long story ahead, and earning: the timeline may be screwy because I barely know what day it is.

      Saturday, the first day I started, I wrenched my knee pretty solidly. I took a break, hoping it was just a small thing. It swelled and hurt.

      After hours of internal reflection, I made the very difficult decision to go home. Changes in flight booking cost me (and J) $1700. I booked a hotel close to the airport because my flight left at 8:30 Monday morning.

      As I was packing up everything, I was listening to music and thinking. And I realized I HAD persevered. All that training I did. All the money. Everything. It was all perseverance.

      And there was no way I was going to throw that away. So I swore to myself I would see the Cathedral in Santiago. I was determined. I booked an uber to the local Decathlon (Portugal's answer to REI) and bought walking poles, new sunglasses (mine broke), electrolytes and a few other things. Then I took an uber to the hotel. I'd already booked and paid, so I wasn't going to waste a night of rest.

      I got into my room and did everything that needed to be done; unpack, shower and laundry. Then I hobbled around looking for somewhere to eat. I got 3 km in and my knee swelled again. I went back to the hotel.

      I took some ibuprofen and slathered my knee in arnica. I called the front desk for ice (ice isn't really a thing here!! There's no ice!!!) I set up pillows, elevated my knee and cried. I was heartbroken. So much internal strife. How was this happening?! How?!? I didn't want to go home. I couldn't. I'd done too much to get here. And I'd already canceled my flight. I was an ocean away from everything I knew. I had no return trip planned or booked. And yet... My knee says no, thank you.

      So I called Jason, had a long and intense conversation. I talked to several friends. I searched my soul, I meditated, I tried to sleep.

      And I knew I had to go home. So the flight was re-booked and I was scheduled. I wished with every fiber of my being that I would wake up tomorrow and all would be well, but my spirit was shattered and I knew better. This is soft tissue damage, which can take weeks to heal, and I don't have that time. I was leaving Tuesday.

      *********

      2:30 AM Monday morning, I finally fell asleep. My heart was heavy for a number of reasons and it was a toss-and-turn, can't-hit-REM sleep, not restful at all.

      Still, my reservations cane with breakfast. So I knew I had to be up early. I tested as best I could.

      *********

      This morning. Monday. I think. My flight is scheduled for tomorrow...but the swelling in my knee has gone down SIGNIFICANTLY. It still hurts, don't get me wrong. But I was able to make my plate at breakfast and move around with less difficulty than yesterday.

      I have a tiny spark of hope left.

      I finished breakfast and came back to my room to reassess the situation. Trip insurance would cover my flight if I have to come home for medical reasons. This means I will get the $1700 back, which I would then use to book another trip to Portugal in Spring of next year, after I healed. I just had to test and continue training until then.

      But I've come too far. I want to keep going. Part of this journey is about pushing myself. I don't want to cause any more damage to my knee, but if a couple more day's rest will get me back on track then I will do it.

      There is A LOT that happened between all this, but that's the gist of it.

      Current situation: Flight home is booked for tomorrow at 8:20 AM. My knee feels significatly better this morning, but definitely not 100%.

      So right now, I have three goals: get to a doctor for an actual diagnosis (not just a poke and prod), decide whether or not to push on from there, and look at the details of my trip insurance. I can further test my knee by walking to the doctor, which is about a mile away. A very short walk. If it swells during that, pretty sure I'm going home. If it doesn't, I get a dx and decide once again from there whether to cancel my trip home and keep going.

      So that's where I'm at right now. I didn't have the strength to write during all of this, so this is a short version and doesn't come CLOSE to the maelstrom of emotions I've whirled through in the past 24 hours.
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      Traveler

      I'm glad you're going to a doctor. I hope that some ibuprofen and a modified schedule will get you back on your feet.

      Traveler

      Do they have anything for your face?

      Traveler

      Just remember life is a Tornado 🌪 and we are the cows being spun around in the storm for cinematic effect. 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂😂 😂

       
    • Day5

      Surrender? Or Perseverance?

      September 18 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

      Last night I made the hardest decision I've had to make since I let Gracie go.

      For a year, I've felt the Camino calling. I've trained in all kinds of weather in preparation, from rain to snow to extreme heat. I've burned through three pairs of walking shoes. Spent innumerable hours doing research, and hundreds of dollars on gear. Made an emotional investment that was, honestly, more than I could afford.

      And yesterday, 10 miles into my 300-mile walk, I was taken down by a cobblestone. Wrenched my knee hard enough to make it swell and hurt like a mother fucker (sorry, Mom). I didn't have walking sticks to lean on because when I'd checked where the local sporting goods store was, I found it was the exact opposite direction from where I needed to start. So I started without them, hoping a pilgrim would find theirs too cumbersome and leave them at an albergue (yes, that happens).

      And I didn't have them when I tripped.

      I made my way to the closest town and called a taxi to take me to a hotel. I checked in and hobbled to my room, cursing whoever snuck the extra rocks in my bag.

      I threw my pack on the chair and lowered myself gingerly onto the bed, being very careful with my knee. I lay there for a while, tears streaming into my ears.

      I tried to think but my heart seemed to have fallen into my knee; they throbbed to the same beat. I couldn't bear weight on it anymore, and I was pretty sure that wouldn't change in the next few days, or possibly the next few weeks. I was a crying starfish on an island of hotel bed, literally an ocean away from anything familiar.

      I rallied for a bit, talking to my travel buddy Lu. What am I supposed to be learning from this? Was it a lesson in perseverance or in surrender? It could go either way.

      I talked to a couple of friends, my sister, and Jason.

      Was it pain? Or was it damage?

      After a lot of time thinking about whether I even had the chutzpah to walk away from this, I made the second hardest phone call I've had to make since losing Gracie.

      I called the airline. I explained the situation and after juggling my flight, the soonest they could get me out was Monday and that would be an extra $1700, plus whatever the fee was to get a rapid covid test at the airport. I would also go through 4 different airports so it wasn't going to be easy travel.

      I tried to think through the disappointment and the haze of fear creeping in. There was no space in my "fancy" hotel for yoga. So I meditated. And I breathed. And breathed. And then I breathed some more.

      I felt the hot flush in my face, the grains of sand that had crept between my eyelids and my eyeballs while I was crying. I felt the fatigue of the day blanketing me. I felt the blood rushing through my veins.

      And I booked the flight.

      I felt pain. Emotional and physical; I preferred the latter. It could at least be iced, taped up and I could medicate to help it.

      But there was no salve for my heart. I sat with my new itinerary, hastily scribbled in the pages of the journal that was supposed to be the record of my thoughts and reflections for the next two weeks. Fat tear drops splattered the page, smearing ink I hoped I wouldn't have to read later. The picture of a broken heart and a broken spirit.

      My Camino, supposed to take at least 16 days, lasted for 10 miles.

      ****
      I slept. Dozed, rather, starting about 2 AM after an intense conversation with Jason. I got up at 6:30 and slowly began gathering my things.

      I listened to music while I cleaned up for the day. And while I did, I felt that familiar rush I get when I'm about to do something big. I sat for a second.

      Why was I doing this? Any of it? The training, the flying, the walking, the emotionally taxing thoughts that continued to drain my swiftly dwindling reserve? The definitive step out of familiarity and into the unknown? Why was I walking the Camino?

      Because Gracie led me here. Because the Camino called. Because I couldn't find peace in the monotonous familiarity of every day life.
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      Traveler

      Stop. Think. See a doctor there. And take a few days. You don't have to make a decision right now.

      Traveler

      Baby, please don't make any rash decision.... I agree with what Jennifer said.. I believe in you, YOU ARE a fighter.

      Traveler

      I just want you to know that whatever you do decide, I am very proud of you. I love you

      Traveler

      Hugs, sorry you are hurt.

       
    • Day2

      Walking by the Atlantic Ocean

      June 27 in Portugal ⋅ ☀️ 59 °F

      We walked by the sea all day today, on boardwalk and stone. We met pilgrims, many of whom are staying in the Albergue Municipal LaBruge with us. Many Portuguese people wished us “Bom Caminho.” It was windy, but the temperature was perfect. By the end, we were using our poles to give our knees and backs a rest. The sea, rocks, and beaches were gorgeous!Read more

      Traveler

      So different from the Great Glen Way!

      6/27/22Reply
      Kathie Lassos the Moon

      Awesome!!

      6/27/22Reply
       
    • Day42

      And suddenly I became a grandfather!

      May 14, 2021 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

      What absolute joy! ❤
      Last night Nora gave birth to a little boy, and all are healthy! 🌞
      This is an absolute blessing after the tragic death of her first child.
      This beautiful bush witnessed my joy when the news arrived. May its many beautiful flowers accompany Gregor through his Life and may I become a wonderful grandfather ❤ 🌟
      God bless you ❤

      Throughout this Camino I've been asking why I am walking this Camino,
      Now I know.
      It is for Gregor, all this pain, frustration but above all, joy.
      And the Song that accompanied me through the Camino in 2018 resurfaces:

      May the road rise up to meet you
      May the Wind be at your back
      May the sun shine warm upon your face
      May the rain fall softly on your feet
      And until we meet again
      Will you keep safe in the gentle loving arms of god

      Last week I was listening to a podcast about death.
      We move from this plain into another when we die,
      and Gregor moves from the other plain into this.
      Both die, and both are born!
      That is the miracle of the universe

      I carry you in my heart. ❤

      Here is the song:
      https://open.spotify.com/track/0iokixH3MiP5Xv9l…
      Read more

      Traveler

      Freue mich für Dich!

      5/14/21Reply
      Traveler

      So toll, Gratulation und viel Glück !!

      5/14/21Reply
      Traveler

      Alles alles Gute für Deinen Weg mit Gregor! So we grandparents should catch up one day!! Ich freue mich sehr für Dich! Thank you for sharing ! 🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈viel Segen auf all seinen Wegen!🌺🌺🌺🪴🪴🍀🌱🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈

      5/22/21Reply
       
    • Day2

      Porto - Labruge (ca. 24,5 km)

      September 7 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

      - Don’t look back to often. -

      Der Blick zurück versperrt den Blick für das was noch vor dir liegt. Du siehst das, was du bisher (noch nicht) geschafft hast und verlierst den Blick für das, was der Weg für dich bereit hält.

      Lektion 1: Der Weg ist geebnet, er lehrt dich und du musst “nur” folgen! Ähnlich, wie wenn du dich dafür entscheidest, deinen Weg mit Gott zu gehen, der dir zeigt, welche Bahn du einschlagen sollst. Du musst deinen Blick auf ihn richten, sonst übersiehst du seine Wegweiser.

      „Liebe den HERRN, deinen Gott, hör auf
      seine Stimme und halte dich an ihm fest;
      denn er ist dein Leben.“ (Dt 30, 20)

      - Take a look on all the signs to find your way, the way Jesus planned for you! -

      Zur Route:
      Porto - Matosinhos - Lavra - Labruge

      Hinaus aus der Stadt Porto an einer wenig schönen Straße ging es über Holzstege durch Dünen und vorbei am Strand von Ort zu Ort. Während ich die ersten 5 km alleine lief, traf ich für die weiteren 10 km eine Niederländerin, mit der ich die Begeisterung für die Küste teilte. Nach wenigen Kilometern alleine traf ich einen Deutschen, mit dem die letzten 10 km wie im Flug vergingen. Zu guter Letzt trafen wir auf eine weitere Deutsche, mit der wir gemeinsam unsere schöne und schlichte Pilgerunterkunft (S. Tiago De Labruge - eine alte, umgebaute Schule) suchten. Nach dem wir uns ausruhten gingen wir zur Stärkung in einem Fischrestaurant essen.
      Read more

      Traveler

      Da kann man ja neidisch werden, bei diesen Eindrücken! Ich bewundere dich. Hast du schon Blasen? Eine gute Nacht und Erholung und alles Gute für Morgen!

      Traveler

      Ich glaube spätestens morgen werde ich die haben. Danke dir! 😊

       

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    Pedras Rubras

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