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COVID Camping on the Camino Portugués

bluesrurale

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Hey everyone, this is my first post in this forum so please have mercy :)
I'm planning to hike the Camino Portugués Central (Lisboa-Santiago de Compostela) in September and sleeping in my tent (solo). The reason why I'm doing this with the tent is primarily because of Covid:
  • I don't want to have the pressure of booking hostels days in advance or find myself wandering in towns looking for a place to sleep because the hostels are all already full (considering the limited capacity). And also to avoid the risk of spreading the infection.
  • Secondly, I do it for money reasons and to feel free to walk as much as I want without the constraint of stopping in the cities.
I'm planning to spend 2-3 nights camping (setting the tent after the sunset and leaving before sunrise very silent and discreet) I'm willing to always ask permission to the residents or to the owners of the land before setting my tent on private properties. I'm also thinking of spending some nights in hostels so I can shower or ask if they let me set the tent in their garden (if they have one).

What I would like to know is if anyone knows if there are actually suitable campspots along the Camino. My concern is especially about the first part of the Camino leaving from Lisboa. And how are the pilgrims who camp out considered by the residents? I have read lots of threads about this topic but none regarding specifically the Camino Portogués.

If anyone has camped alongside this Camino and have any advice to give I'm all ears ;)
Thank you in advance!!
 
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alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
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
Use the search function in the upper right corner and type in "Camping" or more specific terms for what you are looking for. There have been many detailed threads on the subject.

Buen Camino!
 

Calisteve

Member
Past OR future Camino
June 16 CF
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July 19 Ingles Muxia & Finisterre
Carrying my bag (without a tent etc) is enough for me, but funnily enough I was watching this video a few days ago by a Swedish guy walking the Portugues:
. The bits I watched included him camping, although I haven't watched his follow up videos. Might be a useful source of info re camping on the Portugues.
 

bluesrurale

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Carrying my bag (without a tent etc) is enough for me, but funnily enough I was watching this video a few days ago by a Swedish guy walking the Portugues:
. The bits I watched included him camping, although I haven't watched his follow up videos. Might be a useful source of info re camping on the Portugues.
Thank you! I will definitely look into it!
 
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bluesrurale

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Use the search function in the upper right corner and type in "Camping" or more specific terms for what you are looking for. There have been many detailed threads on the subject.

Buen Camino!
Yeah thank you. I have seen a bunch but I'm struggling to find details about the camp spots
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
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
Yeah thank you. I have seen a bunch but I'm struggling to find details about the camp spots
Maybe because there aren't many. In Spain it is mostly forbidden to tent in the wild. I do not know the rules in Portugal.
 

Friend from Barquinha

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
None yet; perhaps the Portugese (2021?)
Question 1: Do you speak any Portuguese?

Question 2, if the answer is "no," are you a good mime to communicate what you want to do, and (forgive me if I'm not politically correct enough in how I phrase this), do you present as friendly and somewhat "clean cut"?

If "no/no", I think you'll have a difficult time of it because rural people can be a bit suspicious.

Inside the towns along that stretch of the camino, newer areas of houses with yards tend to be fairly upscale, and not likely to welcome campers. Less affluent areas may be more simpatico, but homes in these areas are often row-houses with very little backyard; thus nowhere to camp.

If you hope to camp in the rural areas in between the towns, face the fact that almost no-one will speak any English. If you have some French, that can help, because many of the older residents know a bit of French. If you can mime asking for camping room, and they find you non-threatening, they may say "yes."

When in Portugal, we live in one of these small towns, and I'm commenting based on what I know of our neighbours in Vila Nova da Barquinha, north of Golega. Lovely people, but mainly retired, and friendly but cautious.

As far as "public property" goes, I don't think there is much, in the area. Anything fenced belongs to someone, though they may not live right next door.

And as others have mentioned, watch out for farm dogs. Often people will leave dogs tied up on a farm property for security, visiting them once a day to put out food and water. In these cases, the dogs will raise a ruckus as you come onto "their" property.
 
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bluesrurale

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Maybe because there aren't many. In Spain it is mostly forbidden to tent in the wild. I do not know the rules in

Question 1: Do you speak any Portuguese?

Question 2, if the answer is "no," are you a good mime to communicate what you want to do, and (forgive me if I'm not politically correct enough in how I phrase this), do you present as friendly and somewhat "clean cut"?

If "no/no", I think you'll have a difficult time of it because rural people can be a bit suspicious.

Inside the towns along that stretch of the camino, most of the houses are either fairly upscale, and not likely to welcome campers, or more simpatico, but often row-houses with very little backyard; thus nowhere to camp.

So if you hope to camp in the rural areas in between the towns, face the fact that almost no-one will speak any English. If you have some French, that can help, because many of the older residents know a bit of French. If you can mime asking for camping room, and they find you non-threatening, they may say "yes."

When in Portugal, we live in one of these small towns, and I'm commenting based on what I know of our neighbours in Vila Nova da Barquinha, north of Golega. Lovely people, but mainly retired, and friendly but cautious.

As far as "public property" goes, I don't think there is much, in the area. Anything fenced belongs to someone, though they may not live right next door.
I'm fluent in Spanish and I do know a few words in Portuguese. Eventually I will learn a bit more before leaving if that can be helpful to interact with locals. And yes I'm an easy-going person (young female) and I try to be respectful as much as I can when I wild camp. So I guess the answer to your questions would be kindayes/yes. I really hope I can find my way around it otherwise I guess I'll have to rely on albergues gardens or at least exclude wildcamping for that first part.
Thank you for your precious contribution!
 

Friend from Barquinha

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
None yet; perhaps the Portugese (2021?)
I'm fluent in Spanish and I do know a few words in Portuguese. Eventually I will learn a bit more before leaving if that can be helpful to interact with locals. And yes I'm an easy-going person (young female) and I try to be respectful as much as I can when I wild camp. So I guess the answer to your questions would be kindayes/yes.
De nada!

The fact that you're a young woman on your own makes it much more likely they will be okay with you camping on their property. In fact, don't be surprised if people invite you to stay in their spare room. (Many of the houses are bigger than their current residents would need; a lot of younger family members in small towns have migrated to the cities.)

People are very generous with what they have, though they may not have much.

I didn't catch whether you were from North America. If you are, and you're fluent in Spanish as a second language, please keep in mind that there's not a whole lot of love lost, between the Spanish and the Portuguese (this being mostly on the Portuguese side, since their history includes a century or two being ruled by the Spanish). Many Portuguese are not terribly open to being spoken to in Spanish, particularly the less cosmopolitan (read "small-town/rural") ones. That's why I suggested French; more older Portuguese know French than know (or will admit knowing) Spanish.

So you may want to spend your spare time between now and September working on your Portuguese. I'm studying it now; the grammar isn't difficult as it's similar to Spanish--but the pronunciation is entirely different and needs some work.

I recommend the Youtube videos "Portuguese with Leo" for practice. You can slow them down, and watch them with either English or Portuguese subtitles, and the topics are timely and interesting. And Leo is a lot of fun! https://www.youtube.com/c/PortugueseWithLeo/videos?view=0&sort=p&flow=grid

Bom caminho!
 
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bluesrurale

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
De nada!

The fact that you're a young woman on your own makes it much more likely they will be okay with you camping on their property. In fact, don't be surprised if people invite you to stay in their spare room. (Many of the houses are bigger than their current residents would need; a lot of younger family members in small towns have migrated to the cities.)

People are very generous with what they have, though they may not have much.

I didn't catch whether you were from North America. If you are, and you're fluent in Spanish as a second language, please keep in mind that there's not a whole lot of love lost, between the Spanish and the Portuguese (this being mostly on the Portuguese side, since their history includes a century or two being ruled by the Spanish). Many Portuguese are not terribly open to being spoken to in Spanish, particularly the less cosmopolitan (read "small-town/rural") ones. That's why I suggested French; more older Portuguese know French than know (or will admit knowing) Spanish.

So you may want to spend your spare time between now and September working on your Portuguese. I'm studying it now; the grammar isn't difficult as it's similar to Spanish--but the pronunciation is entirely different and needs some work.

I recommend the Youtube videos "Portuguese with Leo" for practice. You can slow them down, and watch them with either English or Portuguese subtitles, and the topics are timely and interesting. And Leo is a lot of fun! https://www.youtube.com/c/PortugueseWithLeo/videos?view=0&sort=p&flow=grid

Bom caminho!
I'm Italian (didn't say it before bc I struggle to believe Portuguese people would actually speak it) but unfortunately, I know nothing in French. Anyway, I got the geopolitics and history between the two countries I would then use Spanish only in extreme cases as you suggest!
Muito obrigado ;)
 

Friend from Barquinha

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
None yet; perhaps the Portugese (2021?)
I'm Italian (didn't say it before bc I struggle to believe Portuguese people would actually speak it) but unfortunately, I know nothing in French. Anyway, I got the geopolitics and history between the two countries I would then use Spanish only in extreme cases as you suggest!
Muito obrigado ;)
I don't know any Italian, but I suspect your Italian grammar will help you out with the Portuguese as well. But you'll find the speech hard to decipher. Videos and movies will help. Probably almost no rural Portuguese will speak any Italian. So...you're one step ahead of us English-speakers, but only one small step!

Take good care...
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
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
I'm Italian (didn't say it before bc I struggle to believe Portuguese people would actually speak it) but unfortunately, I know nothing in French. Anyway, I got the geopolitics and history between the two countries I would then use Spanish only in extreme cases as you suggest!
Muito obrigado ;)
Why not just have a photo of your erected tent on your phone?

When in Spain, show them the photo and ask: ¿Acampar permitido?

When in Portugal, show them the photo and ask: É permitido acampar?

(All from Google translate, sorry... :cool: )
 

Friend from Barquinha

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
None yet; perhaps the Portugese (2021?)
I just thought of one other thing, if you're looking for a place to ask for permission to camp.

You will often see small houses with this tile picture, or similar, on the front wall:

1622062702939.png
This indicates the family inside are devout, and dedicated to Nuestra Señora de Fátima. They are particularly likely to be supportive of peregrinos/peregrinas (pilgrims) because many of them have done the pilgrimage to Fátima, or know people who have.

Bom caminho!
 
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hecate105

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
'09 Portuguese Estellas '14 Aurelia '16 St Davids '17 Via Augusta/V dl P. '18/'19 Michael Mary Way
We camped all along the Portuguese, but took the coastal route from Sintra (where we started) to Porto - then the inland route. It was always pretty easy to find a spot. One night we had trouble finding anywhere and tried asking but no-one knew who owned the fields there.... so we carried on and camped in a wood. We spoke very little portuguese but mime and polite ps&qs always help. It is such a rural route - not hard to find secluded spots!
Have a great Camino!
 

bluesrurale

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
We camped all along the Portuguese, but took the coastal route from Sintra (where we started) to Porto - then the inland route. It was always pretty easy to find a spot. One night we had trouble finding anywhere and tried asking but no-one knew who owned the fields there.... so we carried on and camped in a wood. We spoke very little portuguese but mime and polite ps&qs always help. It is such a rural route - not hard to find secluded spots!
Have a great Camino!
Thank you really helpful!
 

hecate105

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
'09 Portuguese Estellas '14 Aurelia '16 St Davids '17 Via Augusta/V dl P. '18/'19 Michael Mary Way
Also - when we did occasionally stay in albergues - there was usually a garden suitable to camp in. At one (near Santiago) we offered to camp as there was loads of pilgrims - but in the end we all got a bed. But everyone seemed keen to help everyone else - so i don't think it will be a problem
 

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