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    • Day 2

      Day 2 - La. Bruge to Sao Pedro de Rates!

      June 28, 2022 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 61 °F

      So, we walked today! Just walked, observed, talked and were silent. Just curious, is there anything else going on in the world? Nevermind. Please don’t answer that. I’m enjoying my world with Claudia too much.

      We spent the first part of the day walking the Coastal Route from La Bruge to Vila de Conde. The Portuguese coastline is really beautiful. A little treacherous looking but beautiful. Most of it was along the boardwalk allowing us to see up close all the rock formations and huge, incredible beaches and the wonderful artwork along the way. Apparently stacking and painting rocks is an art form. Enjoyed that.

      As we arrived in Vila de Conde and left the coast for the Central route we realized we would have to go it on our own. No way points. No yellow arrows. Just us and Apple Maps. Critically, we did not want to end up on a highway. So we chose a route avoiding it. Ultimately, we were successful. There were some doubts, but the scenery was well worth it. Endless fields of corn with the traditional granite white houses with red tile roofs surrounded us. Many of the crops were surrounded by tall stone fences making us feel like we were in a tunnel. And we had to watch for cars screaming by on barely a one lane road.

      After some tense moments, we finally arrived in Arcos San Miguel for a thirty minute break and lunch at Cafe Barbosa for a small sandwich, chips, banana and Super Bock beer. What else is there? A bathroom! Thank God! Amen! The Camino always provides.

      2.2 km later we ended up at the oldest albergue in Portugal, met some nice young Peregrinos, had a chance to visit with them, dinner and now to bed.

      Not sure how far tomorrow. I have some blisters that have developed. Hopefully, we will be fine. The road less traveled is behind us and the path to Santiago is clear.

      15.8 miles and 36,000+ steps.

      Bom Camino!
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    • Day 6


      June 24, 2023 in Portugal ⋅ 🌙 68 °F

      Today was a longer walk than I thought! 16 miles! So hot! So many cornfields! I kept wetting my buff to help with my neck sunburn from the day before and the general heat with no shade. I’m proud of us for finding our way from the coastal to the central, when the way was not always clear. We never got lost! So thankful that beds have been fairly easy to come by! Albergues have not been as full as I expected. Another 10 euros for bed, shower and a place to wash and hang my clothes! We share our room with 4 French people who can not speak ANY English. We mostly play charades to understand each other. This evening we sat at an outdoor picnic table enjoying the cold air and visited with, Alex… another French man, while bats flew overhead!Read more

    • Day 6

      Our first day Caminoing

      September 18, 2022 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 77 °F

      Today was meant to ease us into our Camino journey, the shortest leg of the trip. We started out fine although neither of us got much sleep last night. We got ourselves sorted and out the door of the hostel by mid morning, got our pilgrim’s credential stamped at Se Cathedral then jumped on a train headed for the coastal town of Vila do Conde. From there we followed the old aqueduct (built in the early 1700’s, now just remnants) inland to the town of Sao Pedro de Rates to follow the Central path of the Caminho Portugues.

      The route we took today was a shortcut of sorts between the Coastal and the Central routes of the Camino. Even though it isn’t really part of any Camino route, just a link between the two, the way was well marked with yellow arrows. A couple times the path we took didn’t quite match the proscribed route but we made it to Rates by late afternoon.

      Mostly we walked at the edge of narrow cobblestone roads: We walked through some upscale neighborhoods as we left the coast, winding through fields of feed corn as we got further inland.. At one point, I kid you not, there was a large baseball stadium with bleachers and everything , surrounded by corn fields. I did not see Shoeless Joe Jackson but he was probably nearby.

      Since it’s Sunday there wasn’t much traffic. We did have to press ourselves up against a stone wall at one point to accommodate a very big, very speedy piece of farm equipment but otherwise it was fairly peaceful. A few stretches ran through shady stands of eucalyptus trees along dirt roads which was a welcome relief from the sun baked cobbles. It was hot.

      We walked for a couple hours, made a pit stop at a little cafe, walked some more, took a break at a bus stop to tend our sore feet, walked some more. But just like your mom in the pool when you were learning to swim, the finish line kept moving farther away.

      Eventually we made it to our destination, Casa Mattos, about 6 hours after we left Vila do Conde, taking about 50% longer than I had expected. But you know the best part? Since our lovely hospitaliero doesn’t speak English, my boiled brain had to translate his oh so rapid Portuguese on the fly. I kept speaking French and Ellen was throwing her Spanish around. It wasn’t pretty. The good news is he thinks we’re German. Not sure why but I’m fine being an embarrassment to Germany. They can handle it.

      But the house, rooms, and surrounding gardens and vineyard are gorgeous. There are other pilgrims staying here but we were in no shape to make new friends. We took showers, washed our clothes, and passed out. I have no idea how we’re going to do this again tomorrow. More of it.

      We did manage to haul ourselves out of bed long enough to go out hunting for dinner. There are a few restaurants in town but the first was closed, and the second had run out of food. We ran into a group of 3 German women, peregrinos who all lived in the same town but had only just met on the Camino. They joined us in our search for food and we all ended up sharing a table at a the only open restaurant in town. We sat outdoors on the main square as the setting sun lit up the whitewashed buildings. They were a fun group.
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    • Day 2–3

      Day 2 - Labruge to Rates

      April 10 in Portugal ⋅ ☁️ 59 °F

      Today, we left Labruge and walked along the coast for about 10km. More lovely boardwalk. Then we turned inland and walked to Arcos and north to Rates. About 15 miles total. I would say that the road walking was kind of terrible, long stretches with no curb or space to walk safely. It was a long day, but all is well once we reach the albergue. 🙂 Tomorrow will be a shorter day.Read more

    • Day 2

      Vila Cha >Sao Pedro de Rates

      August 27, 2023 in Portugal ⋅ 🌬 73 °F

      Holly Molly - if I never see another cobblestone I’ll live a happy live.
      Last night at cafe Sandra they had a Rock concert starting at 10 PM - somehow we managed to get some sleep - eventually.

      This morning we crossed over from the camino Costa to the camino central for what was supposed to be a 13 mile walk to São Pedro de Rates. 15 miles later, after miles and miles of cobblestones, we finally got to Casa Anabela. According to many blogs, there are 3 ways to do that, but 2 of the ways are somewhat defunct, but either way the markings are almost non existent.
      So when they tell you the cobblestones are awful believe them and when they say the markers are almost non existent believe that too. We walked for the first 9 miles out of Vila de Conde with maybe 2 markers. Somehow we made it and in the last 3 miles we may have seen 4 dozen markers. Whatever - I’m in my hotel room resting up a bit with a beer in my hand 😀
      The scenery was just ok - looking forward to tomorrow - only a 10 mile day - supposedly….

      Also, don’t plan to eat much walking on a Sunday in Portugal. Other than a couple of small grocery stores, everything was closed. Managed to get some fruit and a mandatory pastel de nata - so all is well.

      We ended the day with a very nice pilgrims dinner of soup, vegetable curry with rice, Santiago torte and vino tinto. Then an after dinner walk through the historic town of Rates - now all is even better ❤️
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    • Day 5–6

      Etappe 2, Labruge - Rates, 26 km

      September 13, 2023 in Portugal ⋅ 🌙 22 °C

      Mal sehen, was es auf dieser Etappe Neues zu erleben gibt.
      Bin gespannt, denn heute wechsel ich vom Küstenweg auf den zentralen Weg. Diesen erreiche ich kurz vor Arcos.
      Verzichte auf das Frühstück, da ich sonst zu spät loskomme.
      Bisher säumte nicht nur die A 28, sondern viel Eukalyptuswald meinen Weg. Der Duft von den Eukalyptusbäumen war betörend.
      Nach knapp zwei Stunden sitze ich bei einem kleinen Frühstück.
      Ca. 14.00 Uhr in Rates angekommen,
      in der ältesten und ersten Alberque Portugals gut untergekommen.
      Die schweizerische Herbergsmutter ist super nett. Zehnbettzimmer für heute bezogen. Mal sehen wer noch alles kommt.
      Die Herberge war eine gute Empfehlung von Susanne und Matthias, danke.
      Zum Tagesausklang gab es das Pilgermenü: Kartoffelsuppe, Chili con carne, ein kleiner Nachtisch, Espresso und ein großes Bier.
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    • Day 3

      Rates to Barcelos

      August 28, 2023 in Portugal ⋅ ☀️ 63 °F

      Cobblestones cobblestones cobblestones…..Trail, Asphalt, Cobble cobble cobble ……asphalt asphalt

      But at least it was only 11 miles, and now we are in beautiful Barcelos across the bridge from Barcelinos, at the “In Barcelos” guest house with a beautiful room by the main plaza. We fist checked into Guest house Ana until we figured out that my reservation is for 2024 - lol

      We’ve met a few pilgrims from the US in Rates yesterday, and a few pilgrims today in Barcelos, from Brazil, Austria and Ukraine.
      Everyone says that the numbers will increase drastically in September.

      Ended the day with 14.5 miles - you just always walk more than expected.
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    • Day 3

      Self control

      June 30, 2022 in Portugal ⋅ 🌙 16 °C

      Heute wollte ich einmal den Tag nicht so anfangen, wie ich ihn anfange, sondern anhängig von anderen starten. Da ich noch gestern zum Weiterlaufen verabredet hatte, sollte das leichtfallen. Trotz der Erschöpfung am Vortag und trotz des wenigen Schlafs in der letzten Nacht war ich schon um 5:50 Uhr wach. Ich ließ mir viel Zeit und lief um ca. 8 Uhr mit Carlotta und Paula, die ich kennengelernt hatte, los. Mittags verließen wir die Küste in Richtung Inland und weil ich gerne etwas zügiger gehe, trennten wir uns kurz darauf. Ich lief weiter, macht wenig Pausen und konnte sogar den Schirm zum Schutz vor der glühenden Stunde gebrauchen. Um 15 Uhr kam ich nach ca. 24 km in der Albergue an. Abends hab es noch ein Pilgermenü im örtlichen Restaurant, dazu interessante Gespräche mit einem Brasilianer und zum Abschluss nach dem Duschen einen wundervollen Sonnenuntergang.

      Den Tag musste ich mit einer langsamen Internetverbindung aushalten, weil mein Datenvolumen aufgebraucht war. Sehr ärgerlich, damit muss ich in den nächsten Tagen mehr sparen.

      Sorry, today no English version.
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    • Day 13

      Lavra - Rates 7.9.2017

      September 7, 2017 in Portugal ⋅ ☀️ 24 °C

      Alter Schwede. 24 KM. An sich keine Herkulesaufgabe. Blöd war nur, dass kein Kilometer Feld- oder Waldweg darunter war. 24 Kilometer Asphalt. Es gibt unterwegs immer wieder mal diese Momente, in denen man sich ernsthaft fragt, wieso man sich all das antut. Der Moment dauerte heute etwas länger als sonst.

      Aber alles kein Beinbruch, irgendwann war es geschafft und meine Füße standen in Flammen. Nach der Dusche wusste ich allerdings schnell nicht mehr, was denn nun so schlimm war. Das ist das Schöne am Wandern, man streicht die etwas unangenehmeren Teile schneller, als sie kamen. Und den anderen geht es ja nicht besser :) das haben mir eben Desiree, Verena und Silvie bestätigt, mit denen ich eben hier im Innenhof der Herberge bischen geblubbert habe. Wobei alle drei recht sportlich sind, Silvie ist letztes Jahr den Camino del Norte gegangen. Als ihren ersten Camino :o der zählt zu den härteren, sie fand es aber nicht sooo anspruchsvoll. Ich werde wohl echt nicht jünger :)

      Jetzt bin ich aber wieder voll im Pilgerbusiness drin - losmarschieren, unterwegs rechtzeitig essen und trinken, ankommen, anmelden, Stempel krallen, duschen, Wäsche waschen und aufhängen, Rucksack durchsortieren, Bett beziehen, Einkäufe für den nächsten Tag erledigen, das kleine Pilger-Einmaleins - es sitzt wieder. Und natürlich das Bloggen nicht zu vergessen.

      Das Wetter war heute einfach nur Bombe, wieder. Seit ich in Portugal bin, habe ich bis auf den Morgendunst noch keine Wolke gesichtet, und das bei nicht mehr als gut verträglichen 25 Grad. Was will man mehr. Froh stimmt mich auch, dass sich diese Asphaltorgie von heute auf dem weiteren Weg nicht wiederholen wird. Sehr.

      So, jetzt werde ich mal zu dem Shop nebenan traben und meine Vorräte für morgen auffüllen. Dann gibt's wieder mehr vom Camino.

      Wie cool, habe eben mit Jan aus Holland gequatscht, er ist zwar schon Mitte 60, war aber 1974 beim Endspiel in München :D wir hatten uns viiiel über Fussball zu erzählen, nicht nur über den Fussball von früher :) und setzen das gleich um 19.30 Uhr beim Abendessen fort, zu dem wir uns verabredet haben. Er ist schon jede Menge Fernwanderwege gegangen, in Frankreich, Italien und klar, auch in Spanien. Schon interessant, was er so zu erzählen hat. Und das Restaurant ist genau auf der anderen Straßenseite :)
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    • Day 8

      Auf dem Weg nach Barcelos ♧

      May 11, 2016 in Portugal ⋅ ☀️ 11 °C

      Nach der Nacht in der Herberge. .. mit einigen Schnarchnasen ;-) .
      Geht's heute morgen sehr früh weiter auf dem Caminho Richtung Barcelos.
      Heute Abend gönne ich mir eine ruhigere Unterkunft. Ich freue mich auf den Weg und was er heute bringt ♡♡♡Read more

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