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A Zig-zag Walk through Portugal

2021 Camino Guides
Most all Camino authors have decided to use 2020 guides for 2021, with free PDF files with updates coming in the spring. Get yours today.
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A collection of Camino Fridge Magnets

Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
I feel exactly that way about Portugal… but I think I can only afford the north east and the damp would lead to my early expiration….
Past OR future Camino
CF- Finisterre-Muxia 03/17; Camino SK 10/17; Norte 03/18; Ingles 11/18; Augusta 03/19
My upcoming slow and relaxed Camino Portuguese is exactly for the purpose of feeling Portugal and potentially finding a place to unpack my suitcase. By walking in October well into November I’ll judge the weather. I’ve spent xmas in Carcavelos before so know what winter wet is like.

Yes the Algarve is expensive to buy (rent not so high) despite low cost of living otherwise but after spending November 2019 to early March 2020 in a less touristy town on the Algarve coast (Alporchinos), it’s a pretty lonely place in winter. My CP plan includes walking the Variant Espiritual but my planned arrival at Armenteira monastery Nov 8th needs to get pushed back 2 days……so it allows me to walk a bit of the central route from Pontevedra to Caldas de Reis and Padron then take a bus back to Pontevedra to walk the VE. I’ll stay 3 nights with the Sisters. Santiago isn’t going anywhere. I’ll get there a couple if days later.
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Past OR future Camino
Portugues '15, '16, & '19
Via Francigena '17
Frances '18
Muxia & Finisterre '18
Tahoe Rim Trail '19
A long zig-zag walk described in this account persuaded Stephen Powell, a former Reuters correspondent to write a book and settle in Portugal.

Said Powell. “It is, I think, a country that appeals to both head and heart.
Thanks for sharing the article. I just ordered the book so I can remotely zig-zag for the time being


Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Past OR future Camino
I will begin my zig-zag route from Porto to SdC, but with detours to the Camino Torres (my wife’s name) and the tiny hamlet of Freitas (MY last name!!!). Drinks on me if you join us there! 😎. I am reminded of the quote, “Not all who wander are lost”
2021 Camino Guides
Most all Camino authors have decided to use 2020 guides for 2021, with free PDF files with updates coming in the spring. Get yours today.
Camino Way Markers
Original Camino Way markers made in bronze. Two models, one from Castilla & Leon and the other from Galicia.


Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Past OR future Camino
A few in the past; more in the future!
Thanks for posting this. Quoting the reporter in the article:

“The demographics of Portugal are so striking, with nine million people in the western half and just one million in the east. There are areas in eastern Portugal with a lower population density than the Highlands of Scotland.”

This is an amazing statistic in and of itself because Portugal is never really thought of in terms of east and west, at least not in my experience. Culturally, if there's a divide it's more north-south, while administratively, regions are not split in a way that differentiates east from west. This map shows how four of the five greater regions of Portugal traverse the territory from the (west) coast to the (east) Spanish border. There are smaller regions within these larger ones but at least in the case of the Beiras and the Alentejo, they are still divided more on a north-south ('upper' and 'lower') axis than an east-west one.


More importantly, that statistic helps contextualise things I thought about while walking in the east of Portugal this year on the Caminho Nascente. What we came across was a far more rural, far more depopulated part of Portugal than on the CP from Lisbon last year. In general, the camino can be referred to as a village-to-village walk, but not all 'villages' are created equal and we found a significant difference in the size of the villages on each camino (i.e. that villages on the Nascente might have a population of as few as two people, no services at all, and a greater distance to the next village). We put all of this down to spending a lot of time walking in the Alentejo, which is depopulated in general, but now I see that this dramatic east-west population divide helps explain this a lot more.

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