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Camino Portuguese in July

Padre J

New Member
Am planning on doing the camino in july. This will be my first camino (and possibly only), and am very excited. But i only have 2 wks which means 11-12 walking days at most. I'd like to end up at santiago at the end, so i figured that the CP from porto was the best option.
A couple of questions that i hope you all could help me with.
Is it a good idea for a first-timer to choose the CP as one's first camino, or should one choose to do the more traditional, popular, safer and more well-travelled last part of the CF (maybe leon to santiago)? Or maybe even some other route?
I realize i'm going at the most crowded time of year (no other time i can go)-- is there a big problem w/ finding accomodations, overcrowding, racing for beds as i here happens on the CF this time of year?
Finally, i'm a catholic priest, and would like to say Mass every day on the camino-- do the chapels and churches on the camino let pilgrim priests stop in and do this kind of thing, or do i just say Mass wherever i can find a reasonable table?
Thanks and peace to all!
Santiago-- ruega por nostros!
 
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JohnnieWalker

Nunca se camina solo
Hola Padre J

You have a number of options for the time avaiable. In July most routes will be busier - of course the Camino Frances being the busiest. I'm sure other pilgrims on this forum will contribute their ideas for a perfect 11 - 12 day camino.

Your questions: Yes in my view the Camino Portuguese is very suitable for a first Camino. See the downloadable guide published by the CSJ http://www.csj.org.uk/guides-online.htm

There will be other pilgrims on this route but there are albergues and different choices of stages. There are also hostals etc.

On this route I have no doubt you will experience the fellowship of the Camino - wonderful in itself. However the route does have draw backs - road walking, industrial areas. This isn't the prettiest and most serene route around.

A less thought of option for the time you have available would be to walk the Camino Ingles from Ferrol to Santiago in 5 days - you would recieve the Compostela. Then walk out to Finisterre and Muxia - the latter with its Marian shrine claiming to be the end to the religious pilgrimage. Both of these routes combined go through some of the most picturesque parts of Galicia. Again guides to both of these routes are available from http://www.csj.org.uk/guides-online.htm

But there are other options - as you say starting further back on the Camino Frances, or the Via de la Plata - others will give their view.

As for Mass. In my experience the availability varies. I'm sure where there are churches with Mass in the evening you would be very welcome. I know the Camino Ingles more intimately and there is Mass available on each of the 5 days - listed in the Guide. But as you said you don't need a church for this and I am sure many pilgrims you meet would be pleased to share the experience with you.

Let us all know what you decide!

Buen Camino

John
 

john

New Member
I'd second Johnnie's comments on the drawbacks to the Camino Portuguese.

I can't speak of the Camino Ingles as I've not done it but from what JW says it looks an attractive option. My own preference would be to take 10 days or so on the Camino Frances as a first timer. It will be busy but you will experience a pilgrim community daily!

As for churches - when I was on the CP many were locked during the day.

Best wishes
 

Athena

Member
I realize i'm going at the most crowded time of year (no other time i can go)-- is there a big problem w/ finding accomodations, overcrowding, racing for beds as i here happens on the CF this time of year?

Granted, it's been awhile since I did the Caminho Portugues, but even in the "high" season, it was not crowded. We probably ran into 3 to 5 pilgrims on the busiest of days, but usually the road was empty. As for the albergues, should they fill up, there are pensions in most, if not every stop, on the route.

Finally, i'm a catholic priest, and would like to say Mass every day on the camino-- do the chapels and churches on the camino let pilgrim priests stop in and do this kind of thing, or do i just say Mass wherever i can find a reasonable table?

I can't speak to how the churches accommodate clergy on the route, but the ones that we did visit were welcoming (Esclavitude jumps to mind) and are happy to leave the church open a little later than usual, or keep it open to accommodate our visit. This was particularly the case in Caldas de Reis as well. I would just make sure they know you're a pilgrim versus a regular tourist.

I specifically chose the Caminho Portugues because of its close ties to the story of James. Santiagueño Monte in Iria Flavia/Padron is a pilgrimage within a pilgrimage that is well worth the trek.

Bom caminho,
Athena
 

pilgrim31

New Member
Ola peregrinos!
Five more weeks and I'm starting the portughese camino (16th of July) from Porto to Santiago, after I walked the french way in 2006.
My goal is to arrive to Santiago for the fiesta, as I missed that last time (arrived in 27th of July).

Please help me with these:
- boots or walking shoes (I did the french way all the way with boots)
- aprox. budget for 12 days
- I plan to stay in albergues but couldn't find details for them (how many beds/albergues, is it croudy etc.)

Bon camino!
pilgrim
 
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viajero

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2008
Hi,
I am not sure about the summer months. I walked in April from Porto to Santiago and there were very few pilgrims (2-12 at each albergue). Here are some of the stops that I made with costs of albergues.

Porto--3 of us in Pension 40 euros (13.30 each)
Rates--Albergue--donation
Barcelos--3 of us in Pension 40 euros (13.30 each)
Ponte de lima--youth hostel 10 euros per person
Valenca--Albergue --donation
Redondela--albergue -- 3euros
Pontevedra--albergue 3 euros
Padron--albergue 3 euros
Santiago--Pension 15 euros

I thought the meals were cheaper than in Spain.
 

pilgrim31

New Member
Thanks for your answers!!!!
I'll start the camino in Porto probably around 16th of July, planed to arrive to Santiago for the fiesta. Do you think it's possible to make in in 10 days?
Buen camino!
 
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Javier Martin

Veteran Member
pilgrim31 said:
Thanks for your answers!!!!
I'll start the camino in Porto probably around 16th of July, planed to arrive to Santiago for the fiesta. Do you think it's possible to make in in 10 days?
Buen camino!

Absolutely possible.

I walked from Barcelos in 6 days in winter 2004. Faster than normal but, from Porto is about 240 km, it shouldn't be difficult to walk it in 10 days.

Buen Camino,

Javier Martin
Madrid, Spain.
 

JohnnieWalker

Nunca se camina solo
Some suggestions:

1 Porto – Vilarinho (or Vila do Conde) 27 kms
2 Vilarinho – Barcelos 27 kms
3 Barcelos – Ponte de Lima 33.5 kms
4 Ponte de Lima – Rubiães 20.5 kms
5 Rubiães – Valença or Tui 20 kms
6 Valença or Tui – Redondela 30 kms
7 Redondela – Pontevedra 20.5 kms
8 Pontevedra – Caldas de Reis 21.1 kms
9 Caldas de Reis – Padrón 17 kms
10 Padrón – Santiago 23.9 kms

The route out of Porto is almost entirely on the road. At times these roads are busy and considerable care needs to be taken. Some pilgrims choose to arrive in Porto and then take the Metro (or a bus) to Vila do Conde to join the route at Vilarinho.

From the CSJ Guide available free of charge : http://www.csj.org.uk/guides-online.htm
 

pilgrim31

New Member
JohnnieWalker, your plan seems very good, I'll follow that. Once again thanks for your suggestions.
Also would like to say thanks to Javier too.
Buen camino!
pilgrim31
 

Priscillian

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances 1999, Aragones 2000, Desde Le Puy 2002, Portuguese 2009, hoping RDLP 2014
Dear Peregrinos All,
I am so looking forward to walking once again, this my third Camino and my 10th anniversary of the Camino Frances. A couple of things: Johnnie Walker, I received a message from you that you were going to be in the pilgrims' office on the 25th (thanks for the download am sending donation). Can't find it to save my life. In my dreams? Anyway, hoping not so that we can meet. Also, Javier, que espero que podemos caminar juntos, si solo es un rato corto! Empeza desde la catedral el primero de July ("Canada Day!"). I'll be travelling slowly since a/ I have research to do, which is an excuse for b/ I am 10 years older!
Everyone else, so hoping to meet you too.
Tracy
http://www.pilgrimagetoheresy.com
http://www.pilgrimagetoheresy.blogspot.com

Tambien, ya esta en espanol ver la pagina de web de http://www.editorialboveda.com
(Peregrinos de la Herejia)
 
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laurie

Member
We walked the Camino Portugues at the end of April and had been warned about the dangerous road out of Porto not only through the guide books but also by the tourist office. We took the metro to Vilar do Pinheiro which is not far from Mosteiro on the camino. This gave us a reasonable first day walk to Rates but the route from Mosteiro to Vilharino is not pleasant. One is confined to a busy road linking a string of villages, often with cobbles underfoot. Outside the villages this road is lined with high walls so it is difficult to see the surrounding countryside. The camino is much more attractive after Vilharino.
 

Javier Martin

Veteran Member
Priscillian said:
...Also, Javier, que espero que podemos caminar juntos, si solo es un rato corto! Empeza desde la catedral el primero de July ("Canada Day!"). I'll be travelling slowly since a/ I have research to do, which is an excuse for b/ I am 10 years older![/i]

It wil be great to walk with you!! Hopefully I will begin walking from Valenca about the 9th or 10th with my daughter, so I suppose it will take to us about 9-10 days. Why only un rato corto? El Camino de los trovadores es fantástico...

Before and after that, I will be during a few days in Fisterra.

Buen Camino,

Javier Martin
Madrid, Spain
 

pilgrim31

New Member
Ola peregrinos!
Definitly not a good sign: just got home from the ER. In the morning I realised that I have a tick (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tick) in my arm, probably got in it the woods where I do my training for the camino. Got and injection and antibiotics for 10 days.
It's my first adventure with this little creature, although have been tracking, camping all my life, specially in my scout's years. Hopefully we won't meet again very soon. The doctor said that I have all the chances to get another one any time :)

Best wishes to you all!
 

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