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Live - Camino Portugues CP from Lisbon - Sep 2020

lindam

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, VDLP, Invierno, Portuguese, Madrid, Ingles, Fisterra, Muxia, Catalan/Aragones/Loyola Norte
Glad to hear that you have found a comfortable place to spend the night. The place looks quite interesting in your photo and your description makes it sound delightful. Too bad about all the asphalt, I recall the del Norte being the worst for that! Makes one's feet very tired.

In the meantime, I am at home in Barcelona contemplating a move to the Azores. Who knows, perhaps one day we will have the chance to meet-up in Portugal. Keep enjoying your walk!
 

AJGuillaume

Pèlerin du monde
Camino(s) past & future
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
Day 17: Albergaria-a-Velha to Albergue Moinho Garcia (~13.5km)

A few days ago we saw a sign for this albergue about 1.5km off the camino and it seemed like something not to be missed, so we rearranged our schedule to make sure we could fit it in. And we’re so glad we did!

The walk today was again a lot of asphalt (plus some eucalyptus forest) through non-descript towns, much as it has been since Coimbra. I miss the country roads and all the vineyards, olive groves and especially the fig trees that were so ubiquitous in the days leading up to Coimbra.

But now that we are at this albergue, we get to take a ‘vacation from our camino’, as Wendy described it. The lodging is in the forest at the location of two old water mills, one of which is in our room (the other one being in the dorm room). The stream with a little waterfall which you can swim under runs right through the property. It’s a great place to relax and recharge and I highly recommend it!

That's where we were going to stay this year, and had to cancel because of the virus. Nikolaus kindly refunded our booking.
We're definitely staying there next year, if we can get out of Australia...
Thank you for sharing @jungleboy !
 

LesR

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2017, 2018; Camino Portuguese 2019
I've often seen such fields of sunflowers while walking various Camino routes as I prefer to walk in the autumn. I have wondered why the plants are left like that without the seeds having been harvested. Any ideas?

Most likely waiting for the seeds to dry our sufficiently for harvesting, then waiting for the harvest contractor to arrive - I suspect that, given the size, cost and complexity of harvesting equipenmt these days, sunflower farmers are unlikely to own their own harvestors and rely on travelling contracors...
 

jungleboy

Nick
Camino(s) past & future
Francés 2017
Primitivo 2018
Madrid 2019
Kumano Kodo 2019
Português 2020
Day 18: Albergue Moinho Garcia to São João da Madeira (~21km including lunch detour)

Another day of largely asphalt / no figs but this one was more enjoyable than the previous few. The historic centre of Bemposta has some nice buildings and features, including a fonte that I quite liked.

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We also crossed two medieval bridges, although they weren’t as nice as the Marnel Bridge a couple of days ago. The main town that the walk went through today, Oliveira de Azeméis, was also quite pleasant and three people wished us ‘Bom Caminho’ there including someone who yelled it out while driving past us! We noticed that a couple of stately buildings in town, including the town hall, were in the Galician whitewash / grey stone architectural style. Seeing six horreos (Galician-style raised granaries) today after seeing only one all camino before today also gave us the feeling that we are getting closer, despite being not much more than halfway from Lisbon to Santiago and having still not even reached Porto yet.

Another thing that is starting to remind me of Galicia: the weather. It rained yesterday afternoon and is supposed to rain again tonight, but we have avoided it on the trail so far. The long-term forecast is for rain and highs in the low 20s every day for the next week, a big change from the cloudless skies and temperatures in the mid-high 30s that we had become accustomed to. Hopefully it won’t be as bad as forecast!

The albergue in São João da Madeira is closed. We are at the Residencial Solar for €39 for a nice double with private bathroom.

And now for the most important thing of the day, brought to you by @peregrina2000 ... the hat museum! It was actually very good and definitely worth a visit (especially for only €2 entrance, and they have a stamp). It’s housed in an old hat-making factory that closed in 1995 and all the old machinery is on display. It’s well presented and we enjoyed it!

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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Finally! Someone has given a first hand report about the hat museum. Makes my day! Glad you had more success than the wild goose chase to the pig park. :rolleyes:

I love these old industrial sites, turned museums. They give such interesting insights into how local economies worked in the last century or two. (BTW, @jungleboy, my favorite of all of these places is also in Portugal, on Pico in the Açores. The museu da industria Baleeira is located in an old factory where they first hauled the whales up to land and then proceeded to convert almost every single piece into something useful (for human beings, anyway, like farinha, oil, etc.) All of those processes were done in that one huge building and it is fascinating.)

So, beware, if I ever learn that you are taking a trip to the Açores, I will start to nag about the whale museum! Can you tell I am really missing Portugal?
 

Wendy Werneth

Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés from SJPdP (2017)
Camino Primitivo (2018)
Camino de Madrid (2019)
Kumano Kodo (2019)
Finally! Someone has given a first hand report about the hat museum. Makes my day! Glad you had more success than the wild goose chase to the pig park. :rolleyes:

I love these old industrial sites, turned museums. They give such interesting insights into how local economies worked in the last century or two. (BTW, @jungleboy, my favorite of all of these places is also in Portugal, on Pico in the Açores. The museu da industria Baleeira is located in an old factory where they first hauled the whales up to land and then proceeded to convert almost every single piece into something useful (for human beings, anyway, like farinha, oil, etc.) All of those processes were done in that one huge building and it is fascinating.)

So, beware, if I ever learn that you are taking a trip to the Açores, I will start to nag about the whale museum! Can you tell I am really missing Portugal?

São João da Madeira really seems to be promoting its industrial heritage as a tourism attraction (in fairness, it doesn't have much else to promote).

Right next to the hat museum is a shoe museum, as shoemaking became the next big industry here once people stopped wearing hats. In the same complex is the Oliva factory, famous for its sewing machines, but it also produced all kinds of other metallurgical products. The Oliva building is now a reception center for industrial tourism, where you can book tours of the local pencil factory, shoe factories and much more. And if you happen to pass through in July, check the dates of the annual hat festival at www.hatweekend.com.

We were actually quite amazed by the complex machinery in the hat museum. It was like something out of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, but unfortunately without the chocolate. I never knew that making hats was so complicated!
 

Trish K

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF Nov/Dec (2017)
Camino Norte (2019)
Camino Primitivo (2019)
Camino Portuguese (2020)
Albergue Moinho Garcia sounds amazing. I am planning to take 2 days to get from São João de Madeira to Porto staying overnight at the albergue in Grijó, but if the albergue there isn't open (I've emailed but had no reply), then I may have to do SJ to Porto in one long day and would be a day ahead of my schedule (hoping to link up with my brother in Porto so trying to avoid changing dates for my 2 nights there) - so long way of saying if I have to do the long day to Porto, I think I'll use the extra night for Albergue Moinho Garcia - thanks for the recommendation! NB: would you advise phoning ahead to be sure of a dorm bed?
 

jungleboy

Nick
Camino(s) past & future
Francés 2017
Primitivo 2018
Madrid 2019
Kumano Kodo 2019
Português 2020
Albergue Moinho Garcia sounds amazing. I am planning to take 2 days to get from São João de Madeira to Porto staying overnight at the albergue in Grijó, but if the albergue there isn't open (I've emailed but had no reply), then I may have to do SJ to Porto in one long day and would be a day ahead of my schedule (hoping to link up with my brother in Porto so trying to avoid changing dates for my 2 nights there) - so long way of saying if I have to do the long day to Porto, I think I'll use the extra night for Albergue Moinho Garcia - thanks for the recommendation! NB: would you advise phoning ahead to be sure of a dorm bed?

Unfortunately the albergue in Grijó is indeed closed (we are there right now). But Moinho Garcia is fantastic and a great place to refresh after a few days of road walking (and it’s only 1.5km, signed, off the camino). We were the only guests two nights ago so I don’t think booking is necessary but Nikolaus is responsive via WhatsApp so it doesn’t hurt to contact him in advance. He may ask for full or half payment in advance which we did via bank transfer, no issues but that was a POR-POR transfer. Be aware that the Casa Católico, a few kms earlier, apparently tries to intercept/coerce pilgrims on their way to Moinho Garcia! Not sure where you are planning to stay the night before SJdM (Albergaria Velha/Nova?), but another option would be a long day from Águeda to Moinho Garcia, but not as long as SJdM to Porto, which you could then still split into two. We are breaking up this leg at a place called Mar Dentro Surf Farm (!), off the camino by about 3km. It looks fun and we will report back after we arrive in a rainy hour or so!
 
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GraemeHall

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés 2017/18; Portugués 2019
Day 4: Azambuja to Quinta da Burra (past Porto de Muge, ~16.5km)

Roman roads, wild flowers, more tomato fields, our first vineyards and a scorpion (edit: apparently a less exciting crayfish) - it was all happening on the trail today! It was a much nicer walk than yesterday, with less road walking, no industry and a large part of the walk on a dyke next to the river.



I’m quite fascinated by the tomato cultivation of the past two days and especially today. I don’t think I’ve ever seen huge tomato fields like this. Today we saw probably a dozen trucks completely filled to bursting with tomatoes. There are stray tomatoes on the side of the road every few metres, some fresh and others that look like they’ve been there for a while. They’re all shrivelled up and ... hey presto, sun-dried tomatoes!

Quinta da Burra is a great place to break up the long stage to Santarém. It’s a renovated farmhouse and our room is an old horse stable. It’s going to be a fun place to spend the night! Prices are €20/p including breakfast, and donativo for dinner.

Quanta de Burra has to be one of my favourite albergues from my two caminos. It may be because that is where I met a couple of my best camino amigos- but really the whole welcome and food experience were fantastic.
 

jungleboy

Nick
Camino(s) past & future
Francés 2017
Primitivo 2018
Madrid 2019
Kumano Kodo 2019
Português 2020
Day 19: São João da Madeira to Mar Dentro Surf Farm (~25km)

With rain in the forecast throughout the day, we were happy that it held off for the most part. Leaving SJdM in the dark shortly after 6:30am, we did another mostly asphalt stage (with a short stretch of Roman road being a nice exception) under overcast skies. It rained very lightly for the last stretch into Grijó, where both the albergue and monastery are closed.

As the rain became harder we ate our pre-bought lunch under the shelter of the church entrance at Grijó, then got out our ponchos for the first time on this camino and kept going, walking in steady rain for about 45 minutes until it eased up and taking a detour off the camino to Mar Dentro Surf Farm, which is a lovely and cosy place at €46/double. There is a supermarket nearby and we have access to a kitchen here so we’re looking forward to cooking ourselves for the first time on this camino.

I didn’t take any photos on the camino today but here’s our surf-themed room at Mar Dentro.

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Porto tomorrow!
 

lindam

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, VDLP, Invierno, Portuguese, Madrid, Ingles, Fisterra, Muxia, Catalan/Aragones/Loyola Norte
Porto tomorrow!

While in Porto, will you plan to stay at this albergue: https://albergueperegrinosporto.pt? I still recall the warm welcome we received from the owner, Miguel. We were invited to help ourselves to the fresh produce grown in his garden to be included in our supper prepared in the well-equipped kitchen. We then enjoyed a wonderful evening with good company and a playful young cat out in the garden behind the albergue.
 

jungleboy

Nick
Camino(s) past & future
Francés 2017
Primitivo 2018
Madrid 2019
Kumano Kodo 2019
Português 2020
While in Porto, will you plan to stay at this albergue: https://albergueperegrinosporto.pt? I still recall the warm welcome we received from the owner, Miguel. We were invited to help ourselves to the fresh produce grown in his garden to be included in our supper prepared in the well-equipped kitchen. We then enjoyed a wonderful evening with good company and a playful young cat out in the garden behind the albergue.

Yes, we have booked to stay there tomorrow! Looking forward to the welcome and to finally meeting some pilgrims!
 

Wendy Werneth

Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés from SJPdP (2017)
Camino Primitivo (2018)
Camino de Madrid (2019)
Kumano Kodo (2019)
We are shocked and saddened to hear about the recent vicious attack on two female pilgrims walking the Caminho Português near Alpriate. If you have not yet heard about the incident, please read the thread started by one of the victims.

Even more upsetting is that the police do not seem at all interested in investigating the case. And another pilgrim has spoken up to say that she was attacked and raped in exactly the same spot four years ago.

To Trish and any other females planning to walk from Lisbon, I strongly suggest that you skip the first stage and start in Vila Franca de Xira instead. Until this criminal is caught, it's just not worth the risk.
 

Trish K

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF Nov/Dec (2017)
Camino Norte (2019)
Camino Primitivo (2019)
Camino Portuguese (2020)
We are shocked and saddened to hear about the recent vicious attack on two female pilgrims walking the Caminho Português near Alpriate. If you have not yet heard about the incident, please read the thread started by one of the victims.

Even more upsetting is that the police do not seem at all interested in investigating the case. And another pilgrim has spoken up to say that she was attacked and raped in exactly the same spot four years ago.

To Trish and any other females planning to walk from Lisbon, I strongly suggest that you skip the first stage and start in Vila Franca de Xira instead. Until this criminal is caught, it's just not worth the risk.

This is awful and very worrying. I will be walking alone and normally, I walk alone knowing there is also some risk in that, but this seems more than a small risk, given it has happened more than once in the same spot. I think your advice is good - I will skip stage one - maybe instead, on day 1 take a leisurely walk out to Parque das Nacoes and stay there o/n - then day 2 take the train to Alverca do Ribatejo and walk from there to Vila Franca de Xira and o/n there - that way I get to do a bit of a walk both days, which will gently lull me in to the longer distances once I am back on schedule..... crazy times eh? Thanks so much for the heads up on this and the many other useful hints and tips!!
 

jungleboy

Nick
Camino(s) past & future
Francés 2017
Primitivo 2018
Madrid 2019
Kumano Kodo 2019
Português 2020
I think your advice is good - I will skip stage one - maybe instead, on day 1 take a leisurely walk out to Parque das Nacoes and stay there o/n - then day 2 take the train to Alverca do Ribatejo and walk from there to Vila Franca de Xira and o/n there - that way I get to do a bit of a walk both days, which will gently lull me in to the longer distances once I am back on schedule..... crazy times eh?

That’s a very good idea. You won’t miss anything significant, won’t have to do the very long first day and most importantly, won’t risk the unmentionable.
 

jungleboy

Nick
Camino(s) past & future
Francés 2017
Primitivo 2018
Madrid 2019
Kumano Kodo 2019
Português 2020
Day 20: Mar Dentro to Porto (~14km + 8km more in Porto)

Rain had been forecast today but didn’t eventuate, and any day without rain on the camino is a good day!

Leaving Mar Dentro early this morning, we walked back to the camino and picked it up just in time to hit the Roman road, which was easily the longest, best preserved and most interesting stretch of Roman road on this camino so far. Walking on this road through the forest in the morning mist was extremely atmospheric and the most enjoyable part of the trail for quite a few days.

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We have been to Porto several times but we like it a lot and we were excited to arrive as it felt like a key milestone on this camino. If you’ve never been to Porto before, the way the previously hidden city dramatically reveals itself from on high at the Luís I bridge must rank as one of the great sights of any camino.

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We are staying at the albergue in Porto and are sharing a room for the first time on this camino. But rooms here are at half-capacity as a COVID-19 measure, and ours has only six beds to begin with, so it is just us and one other peregrina.

With more pilgrims, more infrastructure and generally a bigger camino feeling ahead of us, we’re looking forward to starting the next part of this journey tomorrow!
 

lindam

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, VDLP, Invierno, Portuguese, Madrid, Ingles, Fisterra, Muxia, Catalan/Aragones/Loyola Norte
Beautiful pictures! I love Porto but have only been there once, having walked from Lisbon. I too recall the magnificent view as we approached the city. Enjoy your time there and do be sure to have a glass or two of port to celebrate.
 

jungleboy

Nick
Camino(s) past & future
Francés 2017
Primitivo 2018
Madrid 2019
Kumano Kodo 2019
Português 2020
Day 21: Porto to Mosteiro de Vairão (~22km)

Our original plan was to exit Porto via the coastal route and rejoin the central at Rates. But we decided just to do the whole central route instead as we could save a day off our original plan (and we just realised that we need to be back in Lisbon by Oct 6th so saving a day is important), plus it just seemed the easier way to go from the albergue in Porto. We typically don’t mind city exits as much as some others so it just made more sense this way.

The exit from Porto was fine in terms of traffic/roads etc. Once we got more into the country, this was nicer scenery-wise but the cobblestones began and this was hard on Wendy’s feet (she has plantar fasciitis) and I felt a tinge of shin splints coming on. Unfortunately it looks like we’ll have to deal with the cobblestones for at least the next few days.

Staying at the monastery in Vairão was recommended to us yesterday (by the lovely Brazilian hospitalera Natalia in Porto) so we went with it and it was a great choice. It’s a beautiful complex with donativo beds or a double for €25, which we took. We have a nice room and great view overlooking the church. The hospitalera/manager Carla is very friendly and we’ve met some nice other pilgrims here including @camino.ninja and @nick1896!

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jungleboy

Nick
Camino(s) past & future
Francés 2017
Primitivo 2018
Madrid 2019
Kumano Kodo 2019
Português 2020
Day 22: Vairão to Barcelos (~30km)

Today was our second-longest day but it was worth it for the sights in the morning and to end up in Barcelos, which has probably the biggest camino ‘feel’ of any town so far on the CP.

We left the monastery before dawn and arrived at the medieval Ave bridge just as the sun was rising over the distant hills. It was pleasant country walking around this time and not long after we reached another medieval bridge, the Ponte de Arcos.

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The highlight of the day is remarkably no longer directly on the camino, as new arrows skirt the town of São Pedro de Rates and its beautiful church, described by Wise Pilgrim as ‘the most Romanesque church in Portugal’. We weren’t sure if it would be open but it was, and we spent a while inside admiring the arches and capitals and taking in the atmosphere. It was easily the most impressive church we have seen on this camino.

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The rest of the day was less interesting - the rock with a hole in it at Pedra Furada notwithstanding - and we were pretty wrecked upon arrival in Barcelos at about 4:30pm. We are staying at the donativo Albergue Cidade de Barcelos and in COVID times it’s only one pilgrim or one group of cohabitating pilgrims per room. They prefer you to reserve in advance by email.
 

Kch

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
French Camino competed (2019)
Portuguese Camino maybe (2020)
Because of the attacks near Sacavém, I’ve stopped posting on my own journey but still very much looking forward to your updates! I read them in detail as I approach the same day so thank you!
 

Trish K

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF Nov/Dec (2017)
Camino Norte (2019)
Camino Primitivo (2019)
Camino Portuguese (2020)
Nick & Wendy - quick question - are albergues, cafes, restaurants etc happy to take cash at the moment or do they prefer card payments (as in UK right now).
 

Wendy Werneth

Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés from SJPdP (2017)
Camino Primitivo (2018)
Camino de Madrid (2019)
Kumano Kodo (2019)
Nick & Wendy - quick question - are albergues, cafes, restaurants etc happy to take cash at the moment or do they prefer card payments (as in UK right now).
They are happy to take cash. No one has ever refused cash when we've tried to pay with it here. They are much more likely to refuse a card, particularly if it's not a Portuguese card.
 

Trish K

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF Nov/Dec (2017)
Camino Norte (2019)
Camino Primitivo (2019)
Camino Portuguese (2020)
Brilliant thanks - will get my euros ordered now!
 

jungleboy

Nick
Camino(s) past & future
Francés 2017
Primitivo 2018
Madrid 2019
Kumano Kodo 2019
Português 2020
Day 23: Barcelos to Casa da Fernanda (~20km)

Today was a fairly uneventful but pleasant countryside walk, and it was nice to have a short stage. Our favourite part of the day was the Tábuas bridge, not just for the bridge itself but because it was a nice area to relax at, and there were even two armchairs there!

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Even though there are more pilgrims on the trail than before Porto, there still aren’t that many. There were four others at the albergue in Barcelos last night and apart from one of them who we walked with for a bit this morning, we only saw four others (a French group) on the trail today despite stopping at the bridge for about an hour.

That said, Casa da Fernanda is full (nine pilgrims), although most are on their way back down to Porto, having walked the coastal route to the border and now the central route back down, without crossing into Spain for COVID/insurance/quarantine reasons.

Fernanda is lovely and it’s been a great and relaxing afternoon here. We’re looking forward to the communal dinner tonight!
 

jungleboy

Nick
Camino(s) past & future
Francés 2017
Primitivo 2018
Madrid 2019
Kumano Kodo 2019
Português 2020
Day 24: Casa da Fernanda to Ponte de Lima (~16km including lunch detour)

Today was a great camino day! We started later than usual after having breakfast with other pilgrims at Casa da Fernanda, and with such a short day ahead, we walked slowly and made a few stops along the way to prolong the stage a bit.

The camino was mostly country lanes and paths through vineyards and olive groves - the kind of trail I liked so much at various times between Tomar and Coimbra. The sun came and went throughout the morning and storm clouds made for a dramatic sky. We were both feeling better physically than in previous days (re: Wendy’s plantar fasciitis and my shin splints) and really enjoyed the entire walk. We didn’t see any pilgrims going our way and only two coming the other way.

A few highlights from the morning:

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Ponte de Lima is a lovely town and we’re happy to have stayed both here and at Casa da Fernanda even though that means doing a stage today that might be too short for some. We arrived at Ponte de Lima in time for lunch (at Orelha d’Elefante, a very worthwhile detour over the modern bridge for vegetarians or those who are craving some variety) although unfortunately it’s raining in the afternoon just as we were about to do some more exploring.

The albergue in Ponte de Lima is closed. We’re at Casa Cardeal Saraiva, a very nice apartment next to the main church which is good value at €39 on Booking.com.
 

jungleboy

Nick
Camino(s) past & future
Francés 2017
Primitivo 2018
Madrid 2019
Kumano Kodo 2019
Português 2020
Day 25: Ponte de Lima to Rubiães (~20km)

Today was another (mostly) great day. Leaving Ponte de Lima, the trail was similar to yesterday, on country paths through vineyards with the early morning sunlight providing some magical views. Later, we walked through forest, alongside a river and past several waterfalls. It rained lightly a couple of times and it was a bit chilly, with temperatures between 13 and 16 degrees while we were walking (making those 39-degree days in Azinhaga seem like a lifetime ago!).

Some highlights:

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We didn’t find the 400m ascent to Alto da Portelo to be very steep or difficult. The descent was trickier because logging was taking place on the path as we were walking, so we had to wait several minutes to pass the machine and then had to clamber over several tree trunks that were blocking the entire trail.

Rubiães seems like an unusual place to be so popular as an end-of-stage destination. The town is just strung along the through road and while there are quite a few albergues and other pilgrim accommodation options (more than listed in Gronze), there’s little else, so if you want to walk further, there’s nothing really keeping you here.

The municipal albergue in Rubiães is closed and we are staying at Ninho, paying €15/p for a three-bed dorm that we’ll have to ourselves. There’s only one other pilgrim here at the moment and we only saw a handful of others on the trail today.

It’s hard to believe that tomorrow will be our last day of walking in Portugal! Only 135km to Santiago now.
 

chinacat

Veteran Member


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Yet again, we see what a gifted photographer you are!!

... there could be so many more photographs listed here, too .... breathtaking!
 

jungleboy

Nick
Camino(s) past & future
Francés 2017
Primitivo 2018
Madrid 2019
Kumano Kodo 2019
Português 2020
Day 26: Rubiães to Tui (~20km)

Our last day in Portugal was pretty uneventful. The stage was easy and nice enough but it was overcast and relatively cold (11-13 degrees Celsius) during the entire walk.

It started raining lightly when we walked through Valença and crossed the border, and the drizzle continued pretty much throughout the rest of the day as a reminder that we were now in Galicia, after all. Despite the weather, reaching Galicia is always a special moment on camino and to cross from Portugal into Spain after 26 days felt like a reasonable camino achievement.

Tui is an interesting place and the impressive cathedral is perhaps the most fortified church I can ever remember seeing. I managed to take a shot of the lit-up portal at night as my only decent photo of the day.

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We are staying at Ideas Peregrinas, which is a good, central albergue. It’s €15/p and in our case that got us an appreciated two-bed room. The attached café is not doing food at the moment because of the pandemic - a shame for us because they normally have a few veg options, but Tapas e Viño nearby also has some good veg choices so we ate there instead.
 

jungleboy

Nick
Camino(s) past & future
Francés 2017
Primitivo 2018
Madrid 2019
Kumano Kodo 2019
Português 2020
Yet again, we see what a gifted photographer you are!!

... there could be so many more photographs listed here, too .... breathtaking!

Thank you, that’s very kind! ☺

I am thinking about creating a multimedia web project about the camino when I get home, and photography would be a big part of that, so hopefully I will indeed have more to share!
 
Camino(s) past & future
'03CF, '08VdlP, '12Porto, '14VdlP via Port '15CPI ‘17Levante to Toledo
Hi Nick and Wendy, great info. The pilgrims followong your footsteps this year will be so appreciative of your up-to-date notes.
BTW, did you ascertain whether the Valença albergue is open at present. I remember staying there in 2012.
Cheers, G
 

jungleboy

Nick
Camino(s) past & future
Francés 2017
Primitivo 2018
Madrid 2019
Kumano Kodo 2019
Português 2020
BTW, did you ascertain whether the Valença albergue is open at present. I remember staying there in 2012.

I don’t remember passing it so I don’t know, sorry. Gronze doesn’t list it as closed, so that’s something! The Xunta albergue in Tui is closed.
 

jkontheway

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2018)
Kumano Kodo (2019)
Portugues (2020)
Yay for making it to Spain! Btw, I asked at the tourism center in Pontevedra about the variante espiritual but the boat doesn't seem to go in bad weather (which was the case when I was there a week ago), so something to keep in mind in case you were considering that.

Oh and please add TS - A Casa to your vegan list for when you make it to SdC. Had an epic meal there. :)
 

Wendy Werneth

Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés from SJPdP (2017)
Camino Primitivo (2018)
Camino de Madrid (2019)
Kumano Kodo (2019)
Yay for making it to Spain! Btw, I asked at the tourism center in Pontevedra about the variante espiritual but the boat doesn't seem to go in bad weather (which was the case when I was there a week ago), so something to keep in mind in case you were considering that.

Oh and please add TS - A Casa to your vegan list for when you make it to SdC. Had an epic meal there. :)

TS - A Casa sounds familiar, I think we've eaten there on a previous trip. We'll be sure to check it out! The rest of the route seems to be more veg-friendly than the Portugal section. I've found several restaurants listed in HappyCow in upcoming towns, and I was pleased to see hummus and even vegan Magnum ice creams in the local supermarket in the center of Tui.
 

jungleboy

Nick
Camino(s) past & future
Francés 2017
Primitivo 2018
Madrid 2019
Kumano Kodo 2019
Português 2020
Day 27: Tui to Redondela (~33km)

A long but enjoyable day today - and in sunshine too! My previous experience of walking in Galicia has been rain basically every day, even in June and July, and it was more of the same upon arrival yesterday, so it was an unexpected pleasure to have such a nice day today.

It started out as a misty morning and the forest walking was quite atmospheric, especially when we came across bagpipe buskers on the trail!

View attachment trim.19B6BBDF-1CB1-4B1A-AB5F-11D9B7426C35.MOV

At about 9:30am the sun came out and the next hour or so of country walking in the sun was the most enjoyable part of the day for me.

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There is an alternative route going left from Orbenlle all the way to O Porriño. This was highly recommended in Wise Pilgrim as a nicer path so we followed it even though it was a little longer. We had lunch in O Porriño and continued.

After lunch there was more road walking but it was still quite pleasant (and still sunny!). Mos was the nicest village of the day and would be a good place to stay if it made sense distance-wise.

Wendy has been pain-free for a few days now and did the first 30km today without any issues but her feet started hurting during the downhill and final entry into Redondela. Hopefully this won’t have any consequences for tomorrow and beyond.

We’re staying at Casa A Herba in Redondela which seemed like the best albergue option among those listed on Gronze, although it’s a pretty standard/unexceptional place (€12/bed).

It’s supposed to be cloudy tomorrow but fingers crossed for more sunshine! :cool:
 
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jungleboy

Nick
Camino(s) past & future
Francés 2017
Primitivo 2018
Madrid 2019
Kumano Kodo 2019
Português 2020
Day 28: Redondela to Pontevedra (~21km)

Another lovely day today. It wasn’t as nice as yesterday weather-wise but it was sunny for a while in the morning and it didn’t rain, and any day without rain in Galicia is a good day!

We left Redondela at dawn and had a nice moment with the street lamps still on at one of the viaducts. The bridge at Arcade, vineyards soon after, the Roman road with chariot ruts, and the alternative route along the river into Pontevedra were the other highlights of the day.

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Pontevedra seems like a very nice town but it is expensive for pilgrim accommodation, with a standard albergue bed costing €18. We got a double room for the same price at Pension Casa Maruja overlooking one of the old town’s main squares.

We are currently debating whether to take the Variante Espiritual tomorrow. We had planned to do it and would still like to but the combination of rain in the forecast for Thursday and the low pilgrim numbers means that we’re not confident the boat will run. The alternative walk is long and on the road and sounds very unappealing. We’re probably leaning towards not doing the variant right now but will decide later on. If anyone has any inspirational thoughts, please share!

Update: the Variante Espiritual is on after all! We’ve been assured that the boat will run on Thursday and we’ve reserved our places. Exciting!
 
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jungleboy

Nick
Camino(s) past & future
Francés 2017
Primitivo 2018
Madrid 2019
Kumano Kodo 2019
Português 2020
Day 29: Pontevedra to Armenteira (Variante Espiritual, ~23km + 5km more in the afternoon)

An amazing day today - perhaps my favourite day so far in nearly a month on the Caminho Português. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky all day - in Galicia! - and the first day of the Variante Espiritual had some great attractions.

After a pre-dawn departure from Pontevedra (though that isn’t exactly hard when sunrise in northwestern Spain at the moment is 8:30am!), we walked quickly to the Poio Monastery, arriving slightly before it opened. The monastery was quite interesting, especially for the large mosaic that I just created another thread about.

Our next stop was the fishing village of Combarro and its famous hórreos. It was the first time we had seen the ocean in Galicia, having not yet been to Finisterre, and we enjoyed the town a lot, staying for nearly two hours including eating a picnic lunch and ice cream.

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After this came the forest climb up Monte Redondo where we met a group of Portuguese pilgrims and enjoyed talking with them. Finally down to Armenteira and its monastery, and I did a bit of a sneak peek of the ‘Rock and Water Route’ that will be our focus tomorrow morning, and it’s extremely beautiful.

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We are the only ones at the albergue in Armenteira (the Portuguese are at the monastery). It’s nothing special but having it to ourselves is nice!
 
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jsalt

Jill
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, LePuy, Rota Vicentina, Norte, Madrid, C2C, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés, Inglés
We are the only ones at the albergue in Armenteira

Wow! The first time I stayed there we were 16.

BUT, amazingly, we were all female. Not a group, all individuals.

We had a bunk bed each (32 beds) . . . undressed in gay abandon, and used both bathrooms.

Just as good!
 

jungleboy

Nick
Camino(s) past & future
Francés 2017
Primitivo 2018
Madrid 2019
Kumano Kodo 2019
Português 2020
Day 30: Armenteira to Vilanova de Arousa (~24km)

Another wonderful day on the Variante Espiritual, highlighted by the ‘Stone and Water Route’ (the forest trail past a gushing stream and many ruined water mills). The first 7km of the camino after Armenteira are on this route, and it took us three hours to walk it because of all the photo stops, mill explorations etc. We both agreed that in terms of the trail itself, this was the best section of the entire CP from Lisbon.

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The rest of the day was less spectacular but still quite nice, with more river walking and the eventual arrival back at the coast for some beach walking heading into Vilanova de Arousa. The weather wasn’t as beautiful as yesterday but it was still sunny in patches and if the forecast is anything to go by, we won’t have another day as nice as this until we’re back in Lisbon. We didn’t see another pilgrim all day on the trail.

We’re staying at A Salazón, a nice albergue (‘casi un hotel’ as it was explained to us when we booked over the phone), paying €18/p for a twin room with private bathroom. We’ve booked the boat for tomorrow but it doesn’t leave until 12:30pm. Unfortunately the monastery at Herbón is closed so we’ll probably stay in Padrón tomorrow night and walk to Santiago the next day unless anyone has a better idea!
 

jungleboy

Nick
Camino(s) past & future
Francés 2017
Primitivo 2018
Madrid 2019
Kumano Kodo 2019
Português 2020
Day 31: Vilanova de Arousa to Padrón (La Barca del Peregrino + 2km walk!)

It was such a strange feeling to wake up this morning and not have to get up and walk! The boat departure was at 12:30pm so we relaxed in the albergue for most of the morning and walked around Vilanova for a bit until it was time for the boat.

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The weather was OK and the boat trip was a fun way to finish off the Variante Espiritual, which we loved. There were three other pilgrims - two Italians and a Portuguese, and speaking with them and the boat captain in three different languages was a challenge!

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With the Herbón monastery being closed, we had hoped to walk to A Escravitude, but the albergue there is also closed so we ended up staying in Padrón. We’re at Albergue Rossol and thought we’d be the only ones here but a peregrina just turned up.

Santiago tomorrow! Fingers crossed for no rain but the forecast doesn’t look good.
 

Trish K

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF Nov/Dec (2017)
Camino Norte (2019)
Camino Primitivo (2019)
Camino Portuguese (2020)
I’m going to miss your updates!! Have a great final day. NB: have you had any problems getting your credentials stamped when in private hostels etc?
 

jungleboy

Nick
Camino(s) past & future
Francés 2017
Primitivo 2018
Madrid 2019
Kumano Kodo 2019
Português 2020
I’m going to miss your updates!! Have a great final day. NB: have you had any problems getting your credentials stamped when in private hostels etc?

Thank you! No problems with stamps, I think they all have them for administrative/bureaucratic purposes anyway, even if some places might not usually get many pilgrims.

You must have started today or be starting soon? Bom caminho! If you have any questions or issues along the way, feel free to send me a message.
 

Trish K

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF Nov/Dec (2017)
Camino Norte (2019)
Camino Primitivo (2019)
Camino Portuguese (2020)
Yes - started out today - although only as far as Parque das Naceos so fairly uneventful. My accom doesn’t have a stamp, hence my query - but I got it stamped at the cathedral this morning so have one for today. Your info has been invaluable for my planning - thanks so much once again. Train from Sacavem to VFX first thing, then walking on to Azumbaja - then pretty much following your footsteps!
 
Camino(s) past & future
'03CF, '08VdlP, '12Porto, '14VdlP via Port '15CPI ‘17Levante to Toledo
Nick and Wendy, I ‘second’ Trish’s appreciation for your wonderful posts filled with helpful Info.
I’ve just woken up in Lisbon after an epic 2-day journey from down under. I’ll be following a day or two behind Trish (we’re in touch) and using your notes as well. It’s because of you guys that I took the opportunity and came to Portugal to walk my beloved camino.
thanks again. Grace
 

jsalt

Jill
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, LePuy, Rota Vicentina, Norte, Madrid, C2C, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés, Inglés
only as far as Parque das Naceos so fairly uneventful. My accom doesn’t have a stamp, hence my query

Too late for you now, but may be useful to know for others, there is a post office in Oriente, which would probably be able to give you a stamp.
Bom caminho.
 

jungleboy

Nick
Camino(s) past & future
Francés 2017
Primitivo 2018
Madrid 2019
Kumano Kodo 2019
Português 2020
Day 32: Padrón to Santiago de Compostela (~25km)

A bit of everything today on our last day. It was the wackiest weather day of the camino by far, one of those poncho-on, poncho-off days where it alternated throughout the day between beautiful sunny weather and dark grey clouds with wind and rain. We saw several rainbows as part of this crazy pattern.

The first half of the walk was quite nice (during the sunny bits). We even found a fig tree and managed to get one ripe fig from it, recalling long-lost memories of our fig-hoarding days of yore (three weeks ago). We passed vineyards and walked through a forest on a Roman road which also brought back memories from earlier days on this camino.

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Once we hit Milladoiro it just became about the anticipation and the hope that the on-again, off-again rain would hold up for our arrival, which it mostly did. We walked into the Praza do Obradoiro at about 3:20pm after our second longest camino, worn out but satisfied!

Thank you to everyone who followed our camino and for encouraging us along the way! We feel very fortunate to have been able to do this during these crazy times and it has only increased our desire to keep walking caminos when and where possible.

Cheers from Santiago!

2355AD94-5F09-433D-B167-2CF4530EC975.jpeg
 

jungleboy

Nick
Camino(s) past & future
Francés 2017
Primitivo 2018
Madrid 2019
Kumano Kodo 2019
Português 2020
Nick and Wendy, I ‘second’ Trish’s appreciation for your wonderful posts filled with helpful Info.
I’ve just woken up in Lisbon after an epic 2-day journey from down under. I’ll be following a day or two behind Trish (we’re in touch) and using your notes as well. It’s because of you guys that I took the opportunity and came to Portugal to walk my beloved camino.
thanks again. Grace

Thank you! So glad we could be of help. Bom caminho and let us know if you need anything while you’re on the way.
 

Trish K

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF Nov/Dec (2017)
Camino Norte (2019)
Camino Primitivo (2019)
Camino Portuguese (2020)
A bit of everything today on our last day. It was the wackiest weather day of the camino by far, one of those poncho-on, poncho-off days where it alternated throughout the day between beautiful sunn

Same, same, back here between VFX and Azambuja - it’s like God is playing little games - first he sends rain - then watches while you extrapolate your waterproofs, get them on, sort out your pack raincover - then waits for you to take 3 steps before he sends the baking hot sun back again!! I’ve alternated between full on rain gear and vest and shorts the whole day - but to be fair - there is not a lot else to amuse on this section!! Congrats on completing another Camino - I think we will all look back on this one as being a bit special.
 

Trish K

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF Nov/Dec (2017)
Camino Norte (2019)
Camino Primitivo (2019)
Camino Portuguese (2020)
Hi Nick & Wendy! Hope you are still basking in the triumph of the Covid Camino!! I am having a great time so far. Currently in route to Sernadelo.

I have a quick question, as I am now also planning to break the stage to Porto by staying at Mar Dentro. Do you recall at what point I need to turn off from the Camino? Is it signposted? I think you said it was after Grijo?
 
Camino(s) past & future
'03CF, '08VdlP, '12Porto, '14VdlP via Port '15CPI ‘17Levante to Toledo
And I’m slowly slowly making my way towards Porto too - and enjoying this unusual caminho immensely.
It’s important to suss accommodation a couple of days in advance.
But for now, I’m enjoying 2 ‘vacation’ days in beautiful Tomar. Certainly in my top 5 favourite places in Portugal.
 

jungleboy

Nick
Camino(s) past & future
Francés 2017
Primitivo 2018
Madrid 2019
Kumano Kodo 2019
Português 2020
Hi Nick & Wendy! Hope you are still basking in the triumph of the Covid Camino!! I am having a great time so far. Currently in route to Sernadelo.

Yes we are although real life hit us pretty quickly as soon as we got back! If you're going to Águeda tomorrow, the albergue is a bit of of town. I'm not sure if it's open but we stayed at Hostel and Friends instead and can recommend it.

I have a quick question, as I am now also planning to break the stage to Porto by staying at Mar Dentro. Do you recall at what point I need to turn off from the Camino? Is it signposted? I think you said it was after Grijo?

Yes, it's after Grijó and not signed. We turned off from the camino at this point and used Google Maps the rest of the way:

You'll also need to get back to the camino the next morning. This should be somewhere around Perosinho before the Roman road starts if I recall correctly. Good luck!
 

Trish K

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF Nov/Dec (2017)
Camino Norte (2019)
Camino Primitivo (2019)
Camino Portuguese (2020)
Thanks - I’ll start googling once I’m past Grijo!
 

Calisteve

Member
Camino(s) past & future
June 16 CF
July 17 CF with my son
July 18 CP with my wife
July 19 Ingles Muxia & Finisterre
Thanks for all the intel. I'm considering jumping on a plane from London to Lisbon tomorrow and walking to Porto (having done Porto to Santiago in 2017). Even the rain forecast for the week after next isn't putting me off (too much). Personally having to isolate on my return isn't too much of an issue as I work from home so I'll just need to stay away from the wife and son for a while. Infection rates in Portugal appear to be around half what they are here. My only concerns are 1. travelling without private health insurance (I have cover but am presuming it will be void given the uk govt advice against non-essential travel) although I have an EHIC card. 2. The uncertainty about further restrictions being imposed while I'm away - although there's not much I can do about that. Having had one Camino cut short this year (I was walking the Camino de Madrid when Spain went into lockdown in March) I'd rather not repeat the experience. Will go for a walk and ponder.
 

jungleboy

Nick
Camino(s) past & future
Francés 2017
Primitivo 2018
Madrid 2019
Kumano Kodo 2019
Português 2020
Good luck with your decision. Portugal COVID-19 rates are really starting to rise though - the last two days had officially the second and third most new daily cases since the start of the pandemic (and for all intents and purposes, they were actually first and second, as the official record-holder was an outlier day back in April where I believe cases from previous days were counted in).
 

Calisteve

Member
Camino(s) past & future
June 16 CF
July 17 CF with my son
July 18 CP with my wife
July 19 Ingles Muxia & Finisterre
Good luck with your decision. Portugal COVID-19 rates are really starting to rise though - the last two days had officially the second and third most new daily cases since the start of the pandemic (and for all intents and purposes, they were actually first and second, as the official record-holder was an outlier day back in April where I believe cases from previous days were counted in).
Unfortunately that seems to be the case. When I checked yesterday the 10 day rate per 100k pop was rising in both countries, but was around double in the UK (and France and Spain) compared to Portugal.
 

Calisteve

Member
Camino(s) past & future
June 16 CF
July 17 CF with my son
July 18 CP with my wife
July 19 Ingles Muxia & Finisterre
Good luck with your decision. Portugal COVID-19 rates are really starting to rise though - the last two days had officially the second and third most new daily cases since the start of the pandemic (and for all intents and purposes, they were actually first and second, as the official record-holder was an outlier day back in April where I believe cases from previous days were counted in).
Is there any talk of local lockdowns between Lisbon and Porto?
 

jungleboy

Nick
Camino(s) past & future
Francés 2017
Primitivo 2018
Madrid 2019
Kumano Kodo 2019
Português 2020
Is there any talk of local lockdowns between Lisbon and Porto?

Not that I've seen. The majority of new cases over the last few months have been in greater Lisbon, and just looking at yesterday's numbers, the vast majority came from either greater Lisbon and the Porto + north region. So I don't expect the situation that Spain has at the moment with smaller cities going into local lockdowns to happen in Portugal based on current trends. But as always, things could change!
 

Calisteve

Member
Camino(s) past & future
June 16 CF
July 17 CF with my son
July 18 CP with my wife
July 19 Ingles Muxia & Finisterre
Not that I've seen. The majority of new cases over the last few months have been in greater Lisbon, and just looking at yesterday's numbers, the vast majority came from either greater Lisbon and the Porto + north region. So I don't expect the situation that Spain has at the moment with smaller cities going into local lockdowns to happen in Portugal based on current trends. But as always, things could change!
Absolutely - thanks. Am pondering!
 

Trish K

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF Nov/Dec (2017)
Camino Norte (2019)
Camino Primitivo (2019)
Camino Portuguese (2020)
I can only add that I had similar concerns - also coming from UK - but took a chance and so far, no regrets. Lisbon to Porto is very quiet in terms of Pilgrims, but as you can see from this thread, there is accommodation available and not too expensive. I have walked slightly different stages to Nick & Wendy but had no problems. I’ll do a little summary of where I’ve stayed if it helps? I feel safer here than in the UK right now!
 

Calisteve

Member
Camino(s) past & future
June 16 CF
July 17 CF with my son
July 18 CP with my wife
July 19 Ingles Muxia & Finisterre
I can only add that I had similar concerns - also coming from UK - but took a chance and so far, no regrets. Lisbon to Porto is very quiet in terms of Pilgrims, but as you can see from this thread, there is accommodation available and not too expensive. I have walked slightly different stages to Nick & Wendy but had no problems. I’ll do a little summary of where I’ve stayed if it helps? I feel safer here than in the UK right now!
Thanks. I decided to wait a few days and see what happens (both there and here). My bag is packed and ready to go. I've been looking on gronze, wise pilgrim and booking.com and as you say there seems to be sufficient accommodation options. Stay safe.
 

jkontheway

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2018)
Kumano Kodo (2019)
Portugues (2020)
Just caught up on your latest - so happy you did the spiritual route! When I was in Pontevedra I was also contemplating but decided not to, as they told me in the tourism office there was a chance the boat wouldn't be going due to the bad weather.
 

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