Just realized that I’ve been remiss in blogging, but it’s been a whirlwind first few days with the arrival of my friend, Kara. The two of us will be walking together, for the remainder of the Camino Santiago de Compostela.
Before Kara arrived, I had a rest day in Porto. I played the part of tourist well and made a simple walk about of the City, enjoyed a one hour river cruise, took a short tram ride, then a recon to the Cathedral in prep for the next day’s Camino (specifically, where to get the Carimbo). If you’ve never been to Porto but are thinking of visiting one day, prepare for steep stairs, narrow alleys and lots of ups and downs. Was great for stretching out my leg muscles.
Kara’s flight arrived late, so we met at her Hotel the next morning. We had decided to only walk 10km, as it was her first day after flying. The walk out of Porto, along the Rio Duoro was spectacular – fishing boats, old port ships and then km after km of beach clubs galore, all up the coast. We stayed in Matosinhos that first night.
Our second day we continued to walk up the coast to Labruge, and found our first Albergue with eight beds – “S. Tiago Albergue”, which that night housed; four Canadians, one Spainaird, one German and two Danish. We donated 10 Euros each and learned that it had only been open for a year and had already had close to 600 pilgrims. They supplied plastic mattresses, pillows and blankets. That night I made a veggie salad in the communal kitchen for the two of us. The others went into town for dinner.
We continued up the coast in full sun through various small towns and some very tiny fishing villages, mixed in with larger populated areas. Lucked out at the Albergue in Povoa Varzim and had a room to ourselves. We heard the church choir practise through the adjoining wall – lovely!
Into Apulia at a slow pace so we booked a hotel, as we felt we couldn’t make the next 6kms where another Albergue awaited. I sat on the beach and put my feet in the sand – wonderful. After our first few days, we recalculated the journey and due to Kara’s continued jet lag and miscalculations in distance by your truly, we have adjusted our itinerary to only have one rest day instead of three. Will be more continuous days of walking, but less kms per day.