Hi, I walked the Camino Portugues from Porto to Santiago de Compostela during August and September 2008. I had a fantastic time and met many wonderful people along the way. I kept an online account of each days walk here http://www.caminoportugal.blogspot.com
Hi Margaret, Yes we are a rare breed here as well as on the Camino. On the Portugues route there had been only one other Kiwi who stayed in one of the refugios during 2008! When I arrived in Santiago I was in a cafe and in walked this guy with a T shirt that said "Kia ora Bro". He was from Auckland and had just completed the Camino Frances. He had met only a couple of other New Zealanders in about a month.
I see from the official stats that 195 Kiwis got a Compostela in 1997, so that is less than one a day. I met a handful of Kiwis in my first ten days out of Le Puy, then no more after Conques until I reached Spain. The people who ran the gites in France often got very excited to have a Kiwi as we were a rare breed for them. The bishop in Le Puy, when he gave his morning pilgrim blessing, spoke to each pilgrim asking where they were from. He switched to English for me, and told me he had noticed increasing numbers of NZers starting from Le Puy....
Along the Camino Frances I met up, at different times, with about eight Kiwis. Most had walked all the way from near Roncesvalles or SJPP. Right near the end of the Camino I heard there was a group of 'ten' Kiwis staying in a casa rural not far from our albergue. I met one of them walking the next day near Arzua: they were on a commercial walking tour using more upmarket accommodation, and had walked a few days on the Camino Norte before coming south to do the end of the Camino Frances.
Funnily enough, as often happens with Kiwis, I found that I had 'connections' with one young man I met: I had been to school with his aunty, and it turned out my sister was friends with his parents!
In 2005 I walked with a couple from the just out of Aukland (I think it was the Bombay Hills) and in 2007 another couple from the North Island when in southern France. Later, in Spain, I frequently met a young man from Wellington, and another woman from Aukland. Like you Margaret - we found we had a connection - it turned out that Sue had gone to school in a very exclusive girls boarding school (which will remain nameless - I am sure anyone from there could figure it out) in Christchurch - where some years later I was a very young house mistress in one of the boarding houses. It also turned out that the Bombay Hills couple lived not far from my brother in law! 'Tho I am an Aussie I have strong ties with NZ and immediately recognized the twang when I heard it and enjoyed reminicsing with these people - it is good to meet others who are on the same wave length without having to explain little idiosyncrasies! Janet
I NEED INFO RE CAMINO PORTUGUES TO BE WALKED IN 6 DAYS FROM TUI -SANTIAGO IN ORDER TO RECEICE COMPOSTELANA
CAN YOU GIVE ME GOOD STOPPING PLACES, FOOD, LODGING AND TRANSPORTATION INFO
ALONG THE ROUTE
WE WANT TO WALK ABOUT 20KM APPROX PER DAY AND STAY IN 3-4 DIFFERENT CASAS RURALES, PENSIONES, HOTELS ETC
WE PREFER NOT TO STAY IN THE ALBERGUES WE ARE A GROUP OF 12
THANK YOU FOR YOUR ASSISTANCE. MUY AGRADECIDA TRINI
Hi Kiwi, how have I missed you before? Just saw your blog on the Camino Portugues. I am looking at walking from Strasbourg to Pamplona, then taking the narrow gauge train along the coast from Bilbao and then either walking from Muxia or Porto into Santiago. Not sure which. Have walked the Queen Charlotte a couple of years ago and the Otago Railtrail. Loved both. Regards, Gitti/ Auckland.
I'm arriving in Lisbon February 18th and plan to walk north to Porto and beyond. What kind of rain gear should I bring and how cold is the weather walking? I walked the northern route from Leon to Santiago in April and it was very cold with rain and snow. What's this route and how much warm clothing/rain gear should I bring? I'm walking until late March so the weather will get warmer - right?
We walked from Porto to Santiago April/May last year with liners rather than sleeping bags as we had expected to find blankets in the albergues. They have always been available in the past (in our experience). Blankets were available in Portugal but in Tui the hospitaliero said that for health reasons they were not provided and in other Spanish albergues we found only one or two blankets and some odd covers. We certainly needed the extra warmth even at that time of year.