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Camino Portuguese is very nice, but...

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Year of past OR future Camino
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
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(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
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jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés 2017
Primitivo 2018
Madrid 2019
Kumano Kodo 2019
Português 2020
I must say I came to hate the many long stretches of cobblestones. They really took their toll on the feet... I didn't get blisters, but as the days went by (from Porto), it became painful to walk on them:

Come and join us on the Caminho Nascente! You still get everything that’s great about Portugal and there are no cobblestones (except in towns) and hardly any road walking.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I believe I saw the term used here before walking the CP... I thought of/refer to them as hobblestones. A name well earned.
As much as I loved Portugal I was pretty happy to cross that bridge into Spain and leave the cobblestones behind!
 
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JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
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I've walked on far worse cobblestones than that in France ; those are genuinely a pain, no matter what footwear you have.

Stones like the ones in your photo bother me far less than any stretches of concrete.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
Come and join us on the Caminho Nascente! You still get everything that’s great about Portugal and there are no cobblestones (except in towns) and hardly any road walking.
One of the things that makes this route sound very attractive. I loved everything about Portugal except the cobblestones.
 

Albert_Hadacek

Young Pilgrim
Year of past OR future Camino
Portugues - 2015
Norte - 2016, 2020
Frances - 2018
Are those roads appearing a lot just on the official one, or also on the coastal one. Or both 😁
 
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I walked both the Portuguese Central and Interior routes, and found that footwear made a huge difference on the cobblestones. Hoka One Ones highly recommended for those routes!
Good to hear, I’m planning the Portuguese late 2021/early 2022.....I’m a winter walker and wear Hokas (now Bondi 7) already 3 years.
 
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lt56ny

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?

Felice

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
SJPP to Santiago Sept 2014
Thanks for clarifying what you mean by cobblestones. To me, these are granite setts. For me, cobblestones are rounded river boulders and are far far worse to walk on. Almost guaranteed to turn your ankle over the course of an afternoon....
 

Elle Bieling

Elle Bieling, PilgrimageTraveler
Year of past OR future Camino
2014
Thanks for clarifying what you mean by cobblestones. To me, these are granite setts. For me, cobblestones are rounded river boulders and are far far worse to walk on. Almost guaranteed to turn your ankle over the course of an afternoon....
Yes, indeed, they are granite setts. This has been clarified many times on this very forum by experts. Old habits die hard. There are a few places in Portugal and Spain where I have encountered true cobblestone on the Camino, but it is rare. The granite setts are more difficult than paths, for sure. The beauty of crossing into Spain was leaving the granite setts behind and the travesty was also leaving the pastel de nata behind! 😄
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Year of past OR future Camino
C. Frances SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia (May 2016)
C. Frances (Sept 2017)
Camino Portugues (June 2019)
I must say I came to hate the many long stretches of cobblestones. They really took their toll on the feet... I didn't get blisters, but as the days went by (from Porto), it became painful to walk on them:

I read a lot here about the cobblestones on the CP before I went, and worried a bit about that, as my feet tend to get sore on long distances, regardless of the surface. I ended up walking from Porto to Santiago in my Chaco sandals and didn't notice any problems with the cobblestones.
 
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jmcarp

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, 2013
Camino del Norte a Chimayó (USA), 2015
Camino Portugues, 2017
I must say I came to hate the many long stretches of cobblestones. They really took their toll on the feet... I didn't get blisters, but as the days went by (from Porto), it became painful to walk on them:

The best thing that can be said for those cobblestones is that it's hard for a car to sneak up behind you on those sections that are walled in or have hedgerows on both sides of the road.
 

Ivan_Prada

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés-(septiembre 2018)
Portugués-(en planes 2021)??
On several posts and writings about the Camino Portugués, have read about the famous cobblestones.

Our (wife and myself) next planned Camino would be the Portugués. We are original from the Caribbean, and cobblestones were used to pave the streets in many of the original settlements. These stones were used as ballasts on the ships that came from the “Old World”. They were unloaded and the ships loaded with cargo from the “New World”.

We grew used to walk on these cobblestones, taking precaution when wet as they become slippery (specially on inclines).

Attached is a photo of the cobblestones that can be found in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. I have seen them in Habana, Cuba and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Does the cobblestones in the attached picture compares to the ones in Portugal.

Thanks,

Iván
 

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alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Year of past OR future Camino
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
Does the cobblestones in the attached picture compares to the ones in Portugal.

Thanks,

Iván
No, they are more like squared (See the link to a picture in my starting post of this thread).
 

Ivan_Prada

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés-(septiembre 2018)
Portugués-(en planes 2021)??
No, they are more like squared (See the link to a picture in my starting post of this thread).
Thanks, alexwalker for the information.
They don’t look as shiny, maybe different type of rock. Guess we’ll see if it the same experience walking on them as the ones we know. Iván
 
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alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Year of past OR future Camino
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
Thanks, alexwalker for the information.
They don’t look as shiny, maybe different type of rock. Guess we’ll see if it the same experience walking on them as the ones we know. Iván
What I can say, @Ivan_Prada , is that I am used to offroad walking in different terrain, and even the stoney way down from Cruz de Ferro to El Acebo on the CF was taken well, but after a week or more on the CP, I started to hate it when I saw another stretch of cobblestones in front of me. It became really hard on the base of my feet...
 

David61

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2019
Frances (2020)
I have not done CP but found more than enough cobblestones and crazy paving ( as well as God's own versions) on the CF. Example being the walk to Portomarin, the stairs and then the cobbles uphill toward the nights lodgings. Many, many more and having PF found them an absolute joy!!
 

Walton

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2016 Sjpp to Sdc. 2018 Lisbon to Sdc to Finisterre. Next up hopefully VDP or Del Norte.
I must say I came to hate the many long stretches of cobblestones. They really took their toll on the feet... I didn't get blisters, but as the days went by (from Porto), it became painful to walk on them:
And you walked from Porto Alex! ... try walking all the way from Lisbon. :)

They have real cobblestones there and by the time one arrives in Porto, cobblestones become, ah, so passe.

The Portugeuse love their cobblestones - make no mistake about that!

However, your words suggest that the careful selection of suitable footwear pre-camino is an essential activity to ensure that one's feet and the millions of cobblestones co-exist peacefully and in a pain free way.

Cheers
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Year of past OR future Camino
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
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(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
And you walked from Porto Alex! ... try walking all the way from Lisbon. :)
But I did start in Lisbon! After 4 days on asphalt, heavily truck trafficed roads and bad markings, I took a train to Porto and restarted from there. A relief. The walk from Lisbon is not, IMHO, suited for walking.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
@Ivan_Prada definitely like yours, in that they are very slippery when wet, especially on an incline! I had a very spectacular fall in Coimbra, when my feet slid out from under me.
 
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Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
We spent a few days in Lisbon before walking the Rota Vicentina, arriving in Lisbon on a rainy day and oh my gosh! The granite setts in the city are very smooth and when wet they are slick as black ice, making it quite difficult to stay in an upright position! A typical sample in Lisbon.
Screenshot_20210519-195112~2.png Screenshot_20210519-195800~2.png
 

Friend from Barquinha

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
None yet; perhaps the Portugese (2021?)
Thanks for clarifying what you mean by cobblestones. To me, these are granite setts. For me, cobblestones are rounded river boulders and are far far worse to walk on. Almost guaranteed to turn your ankle over the course of an afternoon....
Not typically granite in Portugal, except perhaps in the northeast. As I thought I'd remembered, they're limestone and basalt--those without designs, typically limestone.



Bom caminho however/wherever you plan to walk!
 

Roland49

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
We spent a few days in Lisbon before walking the Rota Vicentina, arriving in Lisbon on a rainy day and oh my gosh! The granite setts in the city are very smooth and when wet they are slick as black ice, making it quite difficult to stay in an upright position! A typical sample in Lisbon.
View attachment 100593 View attachment 100594
Looks like the typical street in any medieval town in Germany.
No pain, no gain ;-)

BC
Roland
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
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The other annoyance with cobblestone streets are at night, on a busy vehicle way, with bedroom window open. Just try to sleep through the clatter.
Oh yes, it is quite a loud rumble and I only experienced it during the day as I tried to keep out of the way.😬
 
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Walking Lover

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CdS from Leon to Santiago, June 16, 2016 to June 30, 2016.

Walton

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2016 Sjpp to Sdc. 2018 Lisbon to Sdc to Finisterre. Next up hopefully VDP or Del Norte.
But I did start in Lisbon! After 4 days on asphalt, heavily truck trafficed roads and bad markings, I took a train to Porto and restarted from there. A relief. The walk from Lisbon is not, IMHO, suited for walking.

Ah - Agreed, the first few days out of Lisbon are mostly just as you say - but for us, never having been to Portugal before (or even Europe, except for Paris and the Francis Camino, for that matter) (we live in the antipodes as they say - Australia) we were all eyes agog and enjoying the very different European change.

From Santarem, there are interesting places such as Tomar, Coimbra, Mealhada and so on so if you wanted to avoid some of the concrete / trucks / roads one could always catch a train from Lisbon to Santarem and begin a Camino from there.

The old adage "It's your Camino" is very true though, and yes - anyone doing the Portugeuse Camino should prepare for those cobblestones well in advance.

In saying that though, the cobblestones and tiled buildings that abound in Portugal make Portugal really attractive to visit. It's a reason to go and possibly a reason to woe!

Cheers

Graham
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
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I’m more intrigued by the amount of labor required to lay all of those tiles/setts/cobbles.

it’s kind of extraordinary when you consider the sheer volume of them.
I have thought the very same thing when in Portugal.
 
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dick bird

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Plata, Ingles, Madrid, Norte, Primitivo, Invierno, Aragones, Olvidado, Chemin D'Arles
Oh yes, it is quite a loud rumble and I only experienced it during the day as I tried to keep out of the way.😬
You should try driving over them! Obviously not, as we are all pilgrims who walk, but the first time I drove over these things I kept jumping out to check I didn't have a flat tyre. When I actually did get a flat tyre, I drove about 10 kilometres until I noticed it. Still have saudades for the place though.
 

Walton

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2016 Sjpp to Sdc. 2018 Lisbon to Sdc to Finisterre. Next up hopefully VDP or Del Norte.
I suspect pilgrims who have tripped and fell on them, are given a wheelbarrow load of cobblestones, a shovel, sand, a rubber hammer and are required by law, to lay a square metre in order to repair the alleged damage caused by the fall.

Either that, or they multiply at night while everyone is asleep.

Surely, there is no other explanation! 😂
 

Friend from Barquinha

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
None yet; perhaps the Portugese (2021?)
I’m more intrigued by the amount of labor required to lay all of those tiles/setts/cobbles.

it’s kind of extraordinary when you consider the sheer volume of them.
It's actually kind of a clever technology. When they have to break into a sidewalk or cobbled road to work on the sewers, or water line, or install a gas line, they just dig them up and stack them to the side of the hole, do the work, then put down a bed of coarse sand and lay them again, and then brush more sand around them!

It's way less trouble than breaking up asphalt or concrete, and then repaving later. It also keeps the roadways draining rather than running with water in heavy rain. The only downside--and I have seen this in Lisboa after heavy rain--is that the sand can wash out on sloped walkways, and start washing out the calçadas.

The problem now is that they're running out of workers who can do the stone-setting. Specialized trade!
 
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Roland49

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
I’m more intrigued by the amount of labor required to lay all of those tiles/setts/cobbles.

it’s kind of extraordinary when you consider the sheer volume of them.
Oh, it's not that bad. A good pair of craftsman (yes, in Germany you have to have a vocational training to do the paving) can lay 3-5m per day of 5m wide street. I've seen it several times now.

BC
Roland
 

Friend from Barquinha

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
None yet; perhaps the Portugese (2021?)
Oh, it's not that bad. A good pair of craftsman (yes, in Germany you have to have a vocational training to do the paving) can lay 3-5m per day of 5m wide street. I've seen it several times now.

BC
Rolandç
I know! I've watched the Portuguese guys do it. Because the calçadas are limestone, which is not that hard a rock, skilled craftsman can chip them to fit very very quickly. And then they have someone less skilled who comes along and does the backfill of coarse sand.
 

koknesis

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances June/July 2014
Camino Aragones August 2015
Camino Sanabres (Ourense-SdC) August 2015
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I have grown up on the street paved with cobblestones...they were granite cubes of different shades and structures, and it was great to catch a rare moment when embedded grains of mica reflected sunlight... One of the most sad memories still is the day when they got dismantled and stinking asphalt was laid instead.. 😢
 

Felicia V

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Camino Portuguese 2017 Porto to SdC
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Jennifer1959

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF SJPP-SdC Oct/Nov (2013)
Kumano Kodo Japan (2016)
Portuguese Coastal Mar(2019)
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I walked both the Portuguese Central and Interior routes, and found that footwear made a huge difference on the cobblestones. Hoka One Ones highly recommended for those routes!
Agree. Love my Keens boots - I didn't notice cobblestones or even the hobble stones at all!
 

marilyn van graan

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2012) VDLP (2014) Portuguese (2015)

LynneR

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF '16, '18
I must say I came to hate the many long stretches of cobblestones. They really took their toll on the feet... I didn't get blisters, but as the days went by (from Porto), it became painful to walk on them:

Hello,
Did you stay on the coastal path?

Interested in your post because I might walk the CP this summer...beginning in Porto.

I am wondering if these cobblestones are throughout the whole CP. Are they avoidable on portions of the coastal path?
Now that you've suffered through it, would you do it again or would you advise someone to go back to a shorter version of the CF to avoid them? Trying a new path is exciting, but I'm worried about the new obstacles!

Thanks for your further input!
Lynne
 

LynneR

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF '16, '18
Try the Coastal route from Porto I don't remember any coblestones on that route. I do remember them from the central route.
Hello,
You answered one of my questions....is the coastal path more comfortable on the feet?
How long did you stay on the coast? Did you cross over to the central path? If so, at what point?
Thanks for your input!
Lynne
 

auburnfive

Active Member
There are plenty of cobblestones on the Coastal route, but probably less than the inland route. There are several points you can crossover, after Vila do Conde, Caminha or Vigo. The loveliest stops ( IMHO) were Oia and Baiona, we headed inland at Vigo.
 
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