Camino Portuguese – Days 19 to 21, Viana do Castelo, Portugal to Baiona, Spain

Holy shitballs! I just calculated my distance and I’ve walked 416 kms! The ~30kms I didn’t walk on day two is in this total, and I’m keeping them in to make up for all the times I’ve been lost. I’m in Baiona, Spain right now after a two hill day – the feet are barking. And just when I thought my blisters were but a few itchy spots, a few new ones made an appearance. I tend to get the blisters when wearing the thicker socks. I think my feet are walking too hot. So back to my thinner socks for the rest of my Camino. Continue reading

Camino Portuguese – Day 18, Apulia to Viana do Castelo

A different day on the Camino as the path took us away from the coast, and through forests and small towns. Since Porto, Kara and I have walked on the flat – mostly boardwalk to absorb our gait, so road walking and elevation was a new sensation compared to the last few days. It brought back memories of the earlier few weeks of solo Camino and some of those hills! Continue reading

My Daily Routine on the Camino Portuguese

My daily routine goes something like this: wake up around 6 or 7am, hit the bathroom (just for basics, as I’ve showered the night before), slather on sunscreen, get dressed, fill the water bladder and bottles (I’ve been using tap water and have purification tablets although I must admit I’ve only used them once) – includes a smaller .5L with electrolyte powder for a total of 3L of water, eat breaky (I’m staying in

Continue reading

Camino Portuguese – Days 8 to 11, Coimbra to Sao Joao da Madeira

I heard an interesting Camino story today. There is a German woman who walks the Spanish route every year and she walks only to empty her mind. She leaves her family and buys a one-way ticket for France where she starts walking to Santiago de Compostela, and she walks until her head is clear. The nugget of her story is that she has never been to Santiago – she finishes what she needs to do before she gets there, and then she goes home. Talk about the journey and not the destination, right? Continue reading

Camino Portuguese – Day 7, Coimbra

My planned day of rest was well enjoyed with a leisurely morning, after which I strolled the cobblestone streets of Coimbra, with a population of about 160,000 that sits next to the Mondego River. The Capital of Portugal from 1145 to 1255, Coimbra has been a major University city since 1290 and it was fascinating to see the campus sit right next to old town. Lots of up and down walking with various cafes and shops tumbling on top of each other as the vertical streets seem to capture the essence of a stacked village. Continue reading

Camino Portuguese – Days 5 and 6, Ansiao to Coimbra

Spoke to my first pilgrim today. A French man, whose demeanour was quiet and sad. I saw him at the last two B&Bs, as we were the only two there, but didn’t speak with him til he came upon me, at a designated pilgrim stop, just north of Rabacal. We exchanged a bit of conversation, then wished each other a Bom Caminho, and he zoomed past. This small exchange helped me not feel so alone. Continue reading

Camino Portuguese – Days 3 and 4, Tomar to Ansiao

Imagine yourself on a fairytale walk. For almost three hours all you see are dragonflies, lizards, and butterflies in over eight different colours. You’re walking on ochre coloured earth that is soft enough to give your step bounce, but not gooey to mudden your boots. All around you are100ft+ tall Eucalyptus trees keeping you well shaded, but allowing sun to stream in along the way.

Continue reading

Camino Portuguese – Day 2 in Tomar

As mentioned in a previous post, I dealt with some health issues on my first day. Yesterday evening I made the tough decision to not walk today. I didn’t want to risk getting more ill, and since it was another 30km+ distance, I hopped a ride to Tomar. After making my decision, itĀ felt like a small failure, but it allowed me to have a good sleep and leisurely day.

I arrived into Tomar to 39 degrees and dropped my bags at the pensione. My room wasn’t ready, which I thought may be the case so I had prepared a day bag with (you guessed it) water, hat and sunscreen. I climbed way up to spend the afternoon at the Knights Templar Castle and Convent of Christ. Continue reading