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Email from the Camino Portugues

Discussion in 'Camino Portugues' started by vlogan, Oct 12, 2017.

  1. vlogan

    vlogan Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    melbourne
    Camino(s) past & future:
    CF May/June 2013
    June /July 2014
    May-June 2015
    May-June 2016
    May 2017
    ??May/June 2018
    I've just received the following email

    Hi Vincent
    This is a horrible walk
    Unusually hot 35 plus degrees every day
    No signage or arrows here
    Walking on noisy busy main roads
    No cafes or toilets
    Brierley must have done this in an American car
    His maps are inaccurate including distances
    This is a hot dusty noisy walk
    Same if you walked along our ring road then walked through heavy industrial areas
    Regret this a lot
    No such thing as a Portuguese Camino
    People have no awareness here
    Maybe not enough do this yet
    Seriously thinking of catching a train to Porto to walk
    Sorry to dump this but it was extremely dangerous walking on the road to Golega today
    No side track just an incline down to a ditch and there has been no shade yet
    Cars were gunning pass close and I was nearly hit many times
    Half the cafes in Brierley’s were closed
    Best Wishes etc

    The above person has done 4 CF. Any Comments
    Thanks
     
  2. martyseville

    martyseville Active Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Seville
    Camino(s) past & future:
    a/a
    I feel he/she will enjoy the Camino from O Porto to Santiago.

    Many do not like the walk Lisboa to O Porto.

    Agree, Portuguese drivers do drive a little nutty at times.
     
    Bob from L.A. ! and possie like this.
  3. Miroslaw

    Miroslaw New Member

    Joined:
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    Camino(s) past & future:
    3XPortuguese, 2013, 2015, 2017
    Do not give up. Guidebook you are using
    is not perfect but other guidbooks for your camino are not much better.
    Acually I decided to do something about it and I have made a map file for Camino Portuguese using Google Earth.
    It took me a while to compile it and I belive that my map contains no factual errors. It has all Google Earth functionality. You do need an Internet and some kind of device, works the best with Ipads but others will do too. I recommend you visit
    caminhomap.com and download my kmz file and use it as more less explained. Any problems let me know.
    And do not give up. All is very well worth it. Miroslaw
     
  4. amorfati1

    amorfati1 Veteran Member

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    Location:
    Swiss ~ Left California - Now living in CH
    Camino(s) past & future:
    2014_Caminho Portuguese (Lisboa to Santiago_4 weeks in May)
    Rotten experience.
    There IS a camino portuguese, there ARE arrows, and signage, and also much walking in wonderful fields and woods, etc etc etc.
    I walked from lisbon to SdC alone.
    Seemed your friend had a helping of the worst aspects all bundled together. Only heard such tales from folks who somehow missed the proper path.. and then yes...you end up on the road for trucks and cars.
    But that could happen anywhere.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017
  5. mcopeland

    mcopeland Active Member Donating Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Lockhart, Texas
    Camino(s) past & future:
    Camino Frances - April-June, 2016
    Portuguese Lisbon-Santiago - October, 2017
    Yikes!! We leave on Saturday for Lisbon and start walking the 19th.
     
  6. peregrina2000

    peregrina2000 Moderator Staff Member Donating Member Donating Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    It is true that we get bad reports from people who started from Lisbon. But we also get a lot of wonderful reports from people who start in Lisbon. Take a look through the archives and you'll find posts like these:

    https://www.caminodesantiago.me/com...erned-about-starting-in-lisbon-read-on.29795/

    https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/why-start-in-lisbon.29651/

    My first hand experience walking from Lisbon is old and out of date (2007 I think) and I did have some road walking (but surely no more than the Norte!) and I did get lost in a eucalyptus forest. And I did get messed up going into Azinhaga, but things have changed dramatically since I walked. And what has really changed are the numbers. I walked from Lisbon totally alone and never saw anyhone. There are many people now and if the "camino family" is what you're looking for, you will probably find it.

    But the reports of "no signage, no cafes, walking on ring roads" -- have not been the predominant recent experience.
     
  7. John Hamilton

    John Hamilton New Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Burlington, ON, Canada
    Camino(s) past & future:
    CF - April/May 2017
    CP - Sept./2017
    The observations of that email resonate with me. Perhaps any walk can be a nice walk under the right circumstances, but I found the Camino P to be quite different than the Camino F, and not as enjoyable as Camino F. I would caution anyone walking Camino P after walking Camino F that they should manage their expectation. Camino P just felt like a walk, and perhaps a journey after a few days, but not a pilgrimage. Waaaaaayyyyyyy too much road walking (some dangerous) relative to the total distance travelled on CP. Also, it seems there are fewer nice hostels in the countryside on the CP where you could share and enjoy the community of a really good pilgrim dinner experience (there are a few that are mentioned on other posts but there are fewer than CF and they are often reserved). From Porto to SdC, if you do not reserve a bed ahead of time, there is a good chance some nights that you are staying at a lower quality hostel and possibly on a matt on the floor. On CF I had a sense that I was walking a route that had been the path of thousands for centuries. I didn't get the same feeling on the CP - it seemed like a trail marked in recent years to capitalize on the popularity of walking in Spain. Also, it seemed to me that the local Spanish people I encountered on the CF placed a higher value on the Camino walk and were warmer and more encouraging to wish the traveller a "Buen Camino" than on the CP. After arriving in SdC, the CP route gave me a new appreciation for CF. I hope to walk CF again some day, and perhaps Camino N.
     
    natefaith, HedaP and Karl Oz like this.
  8. amorfati1

    amorfati1 Veteran Member

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    Swiss ~ Left California - Now living in CH
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    2014_Caminho Portuguese (Lisboa to Santiago_4 weeks in May)
    quite well put - it is always an excellent idea "... that they should manage their expectation"
    and ... on another note: "On CF I had a sense that I was walking a route that had been the path of thousands for centuries." -
    I had the same/similar feeling on the Portuguese ... a pilgrimage path walked by thousands for centuries, and even undertaken by the queen of portugal in her time (Isabel, if i remember correctly)
    best wishes for a future CF or CNorte camino ... it's a blessed undertaking regardless where you walk with (pilgrim) spirit.
    Bom Caminho -
     
    SabineP likes this.
  9. Helen1

    Helen1 Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    London, UK
    Camino(s) past & future:
    London to Santiago (2014)
    Narbonne to Oloron (2015)
    Camino Portugues (2016)
    Sentier Cathar (2017)
    The observations of that email resonate with me too. The stretch into Golega is brutal and comes at the end of a very long day. I remember 3 of us tagging each other walking into Golgea along the road, must have been close to 40C by then, no shade, all of us needing to rest/cool down every few 100m. When we got to Golega the locals bought us beers and told us we were crazy people. The start of the CP is nothing like the CF. The pilgrims I met from Lisbon were prepared (many had already booked Porto to Santiago accommodation) but I was really shocked that people turned up in Porto with no maps/guides/research just expecting to follow the crowd/arrows and find a cafe at every turn - it's not the CF!

    In the early stages the signage is often super confusing because there have been a lot of route changes to avoid some of the main road walking. A group got very lost coming out of Tomar when I walked. I was really grateful to have my phone to check the route on during this section. I think the industrial part is selective memory, some of the route is industrial but mostly I remember walking along the edge of a railway line or maize tunnels through fields. It gets much nicer later on.

    I thought the Brierley book/maps were ok and matched my step counter. The typical stages are really long compared to the CF, the tracks are often dry, dusty, lonely and there aren't that many places to stop so I think distances feel much longer. (I didn't mind this too much, put my headphones and listened to an audio book and had a meditative experience)
     
    natefaith, HedaP and Karl Oz like this.
  10. mcvett500

    mcvett500 New Member

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    Location:
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    Camino(s) past & future:
    Oct 1st 2014
    Funny that as I was walking from Porto this September and I was clipped by a Diesel Truck and bent one of my Leki poles....all that traffic from Lisbon had it's chance!!!!
     
    HedaP likes this.
  11. camino_rooky

    camino_rooky New Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Meath,Ireland
    Camino(s) past & future:
    Fisterra 12;Ingles 13;Littoral 14;Lisbon-Vale 15;Frances 16;Malaga-Antequera 17;Vale-Porto 17;
    Hubby and I walked from Lisbon to Vale de Figuiero in Nov 2015. We enjoyed all 5 days and will return next wed 18th to continue from Vale de Figuiero to Porto. Now I'm worried having read the OP that we won't enjoy it as much having completed the Camino France's last October. Hopefully with the beautiful scenery , great food and drink ( ! ) and each other's company we'll still have a wonderful time and make more Camino memories to tell our grandchildren about.
     
    natefaith, gerardcarey and amorfati1 like this.
  12. Karl Oz

    Karl Oz Member

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    Location:
    Melbourne
    Camino(s) past & future:
    Frances (2012/13/14)
    Portuguese (2017)
    It seems like the comment relates to leaving Lisbon. I started from Porto in mid-September but can nevertheless identify with some of the observations made. I documented my own experience in post titled 'Reflections' a week ago.

    Similarly to leaving Lisbon, there is far too much walking on hard surfaces for the first 3 days upon departing Porto. I would recommend either taking the coastal path out of Porto, or using the Metro to get as far north as possible before commencing to walk. Your feet, knees and hips will thank you.

    And there are dangerous sections where avoiding traffic is impossible, and nerve-wracking.

    Interesting comment about the distances in the Brierley book. The small (and wonderful) group of pilgrims with whom I walked also found the distances inaccurate, at least in comparison with a GPS one of us had. But at least the book provides accommodation details, including phone numbers. I am glad I had it.

    It's a different Camino to the CF, in many ways. I think you just have to force yourself to adjust your expectations, as hinted by someone above, and enjoy the many things it does have to offer.
     
    natefaith and amorfati1 like this.
  13. David from Freo

    David from Freo New Member

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    Location:
    Western Australia
    Camino(s) past & future:
    Sarria-Santiago about 2006; SJPP to Santiago (March-April 2014); Lisbon-Santiago-Muxia (April-May 2016)
    Dear Vlogan, I was sad to read your posting. What a pity that your friend found the Camino Portugues so disappointing. Their experience contrasts starkly with mine. I walked Lisbon-Santiago with my adult daughter in April-May 2016 and loved it. The weather was relatively mild -- some rain, some strong sun, but overall a nice balance-- and the terrain and scenery a varied mixture of delightful bush and rural areas to counter the (sometimes long) stretches along the sides of large roads. I remember also passing hundreds if not thousands of pilgrims walking in the opposite direction, heading to Fatima, which made my experience all the more interesting. Yes, it is very different to the Camino Frances, but with its own charm and pleasure. I remember with great fondness the warm of various hostels and the companionship of pilgrims along the way. I just hope your friend's experience improves as the kilometres pass and they find the pleasure they are seeking. May their road be welcoming!
     
  14. HedaP

    HedaP Veteran Member Donating Member

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    Camino(s) past & future:
    Frances starting SJPdP Sept/Oct 2015, April/May 2017
    :eek: Oh gosh. So glad you were not as bent as your pole was.
     
    natefaith likes this.
  15. Gordon R Rae

    Gordon R Rae New Member

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    Camino(s) past & future:
    Part of Portugese Way 2017
    I have to agree with the contributor who praised the signage on the section beyond Porto. Because this was my first 'pilgrimage' I took the section from Tui to Santiago . The marking along the route was exceptionally good . Was even met outside Oporrino by a 'representative' of The Camino who was directing walkers of a new and pleasant route around the town. The only part that was a little vague was the 'alternative' route around the industrial estate south of Oporrino. Having talked to others who went through the industrial site I was pleased with my choice to take the woodland path. It is worth noting that the final section from Padrón to Santiago can be a slog as there is a lot of uphill towards the end. As I was taking my partner's ashes with me I was very comforted by the company I met along the way. Thank you anyone who saw me on the road. As the blisters heal I am already thinking of doing more of The Way next year. Buen camino
     
    natefaith and amorfati1 like this.
  16. Jon Hebertson

    Jon Hebertson 2 feet and a heartbeat

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Oxford
    Camino(s) past & future:
    Camino Portuguese - Lisbon to SdC September 2017
    Finisterre - September/October 2017

    I really disagree with the majority of these comments.
    I've just come back from the CP (walking from Lisbon to Sdc) and absolutely loved it. There are tough sections along it and its hard work but the signage is excellent and the rewards are so worth it. I met amazing people (local and pilgrims) and visited incredible towns/cities.

    Cheers,
    Jon
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 18, 2017
    amorfati1, JCLima and peregrina2000 like this.
  17. hel&scott

    hel&scott Active Member

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    Location:
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    Camino(s) past & future:
    2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 Seville - Finestere, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
    Don't panic, (same goes for you @camino_rooky ) , yes some of it will be hard and at times unpleasant but at other times you heart will sing with joy even if your feet are screaming in pain, it's up to you to make up your mind which you listen to.

    Every Camino is different, the Portuguese Way is not the French Route, some parts of it are old, historic and literally a walk in the park. Others have been overtaken by roadways and can be dangerous. Use common sense and I recommend reflector strips on the back of your pack to help improve visibility. The weather will be mild, and likely to be wet, if you are starting now so don't be alarmed by reports of summer heat. The way will be busy from Tui onwards as this is the more popular end of this route. I actually really liked the walk along the river out of Lisbon, maybe because we were walking from Santiago to Lisbon so it meant we were nearly finished.

    There has been a lot of work improving signage and new albergues, especially on the Lisbon Porto leg and map apps, guide updates, general advice on this forum are really useful if you are concerned about getting lost. Road walking can be very tough, but it you find a section problematic there is no shame in taking public transport or taxi to ensure you safety, just try an avoid taking a bed from a pilgrim that has walked that bit and don't do it from Tui onwards if you want to get a Compestella.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2017
    natefaith likes this.

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