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Is there any end to the concrete?

Camino(s) past & future
Frances*3, Ingles, Primitive, Finisterre and now Portuguese
#1
Hi,

I'm now in Porto after walking from Lisbon and my feet are really killing me like on no other Camino I've done. While seeing thousands of lovely gardens with their flowers in full bloom and lots of amazing garden statues, I'm not sure I can take much more asphalt. The towns of Santarem, Tomar, Coimbra and Golega are stunning in themselves. The section from Tomar to Coimbra was lovely.

Today I was even thinking how wonderful the section from Leon to Hospital de Orbigo was (the section I used to think was awful), on a comfortable pilgrim soft path.

I don't know how much more road and car dodging I can take, as well as saying Bon Dia to friendly villager after villager. I really think that if the Portuguese want to create a great Caminho route that will attract lots of people, they are going to have to find a much greater proportion of tracks and paths not made of asphalt. So far, the other pilgrims I have met, who have all been at least second timers on a Camino, have all said the same.

So, I have decided I have 2 options for the rest of my time this year. 1. Continue. 2. Get to Astorga and get on the Frances.

So I have a rest day tomorrow and will decide? Does it get easier on the feet and nerves? Is the section from Porto more of the same or are there more non asphalt paths that allow for introspection rather than foot pain and car dodging?

Thanks for any advice.
 

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Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
#2
Hi,

I'm now in Porto after walking from Lisbon and my feet are really killing me like on no other Camino I've done. While seeing thousands of lovely gardens with their flowers in full bloom and lots of amazing garden statues, I'm not sure I can take much more asphalt. The towns of Santarem, Tomar, Coimbra and Golega are stunning in themselves. The section from Tomar to Coimbra was lovely.

Today I was even thinking how wonderful the section from Leon to Hospital de Orbigo was (the section I used to think was awful), on a comfortable pilgrim soft path.

I don't know how much more road and car dodging I can take, as well as saying Bon Dia to friendly villager after villager. I really think that if the Portuguese want to create a great Caminho route that will attract lots of people, they are going to have to find a much greater proportion of tracks and paths not made of asphalt. So far, the other pilgrims I have met, who have all been at least second timers on a Camino, have all said the same.

So, I have decided I have 2 options for the rest of my time this year. 1. Continue. 2. Get to Astorga and get on the Frances.

So I have a rest day tomorrow and will decide? Does it get easier on the feet and nerves? Is the section from Porto more of the same or are there more non asphalt paths that allow for introspection rather than foot pain and car dodging?

Thanks for any advice.
So sorry to read about your dilemma. I can’t remember the surfaces in terms of the ratio of hard to soft, but I do remember loving the walk we did, from
Porto. We did hear it was pretty scary alright, from Lisbon. Hopefully you will get some opinions to help you decide. Meantime, take advantage of the rest day and treat yourself to a foot massage...
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances*3, Ingles, Primitive, Finisterre and now Portuguese
#4
Thank you Kiekie. I am in lots of pain in both heels after following the Brierley stages since early on. This Camino is totally different from the Frances and Primitive and not in a positive way in terms of terrain.
I have 1 day more in this lovely city to decide what to do.
 

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Anamya

Keeping it simple
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015)
Camino Portugues (2017)
Lebaniego (Planning)
#6
I loved my walk from Porto (haven't done the Lisbon-Porto section).
If you take the metro out of Porto, towards Vilar Pinheiro, I believe you avoid the last bit of asphalt until you approach Santiago, where there will be road walk again on the last day.

While you wont find much asphalt ahead, there will be LOTS of cobblestones. It is a different kind of impact, but for some it is quite challenging. I felt nothing walking on cobblestones, but my husband got his feet really sore.

That said, I would stop really often to rest and stretch, and I also had very cushioned trail rnners, which helped a lot.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
#8
Thank you Kiekie. I am in lots of pain in both heels after following the Brierley stages since early on. This Camino is totally different from the Frances and Primitive and not in a positive way in terms of terrain.
I have 1 day more in this lovely city to decide what to do.
Maybe the best thing you can do, if you can afford the time and the money, is walk your stages at your pace. Whether you stay on the Portugués or move to another, don’t push your feet. Also, what weight is on your back? Now I am on a roll! Would you think of looking for a pair of sturdy walking sandals while in Porto? I found the following info on a quick search, from the forum, and I copied and pasted relevant sections. Forgive me if I am barking up a wrong tree, but perhaps it could help to be suspicious about other elements and not just the hard road surfaces? Whatever, go gently, mind your heels.

http://www.decathlon.pt/

I found a small The North Face shop, just behind the Porto city hall, on
Rua dos Heróis e Mártires d'Angola. I was able to buy a new rain jacket there although the choice is not big. Hope this helps someone else too

There is a shopping center in Rua Santa Catarina in central Porto called Via Catarina. (Rua de Santa Catarina 312 a 350, Porto 4000-443, Portugal, 5 min walking from Sao Bento). There is a sporting goods store in the lower level. In August I bought an excellent pair of trecking poles for my Camino Portuguese for about 22 Euros. Brought them home to Colorado, love 'em.

There is a small outdoor store called Laventura at Rua Trindade Coelho 40, a half block north of Rua Das Flores, which is about a ten-minute walk from the Cathedral. I bought a Swiss army knife there in May of this year, and they had a selection of trekking poles.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, Le Puy, Rota Vicentina, De Soulac, Norte, Madrid-Salv-Primitivo
#9
I am in lots of pain in both heels after following the Brierley stages since early on.
Gosh, sorry to hear this – I mean about the pain in both heels AND following the Brierley stages. That’s over 30kms every day for the first 7 days.

It does get better after Porto, but there are lots of cobblestones still to come. However, it does improve.

I love Lisbon to Santiago, because I love the wonderful Portuguese people, and their food, and their coastal boardwalks after Porto, and everything else that makes it the Portugués and not the Francés. But then I don’t walk Brierley stages.

I suggest staying on the Portugués and experience the whole route instead of giving up on it at this stage.

Good luck and Bom Caminho.

Jill
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016)
Future (God-willing): Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo (2018)
#11
For three-ish days out of Porto you’ll find cobblestones/setts.....and those crazy drivers.....but then it changes. It’s not like that all the way to Santiago. Some shorter days might help your feet, which will in turn help your general outlook.
All the best
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP - Finisterre (2005) ; LePuy - Muxia (2007) ; Porto - SC. (2009) planning Lourdes- SC (2018)
#12
From a pilgrim's perspective, I don't think I would leave a Camino path because there was something I didn't like about it, or because of its difficulties, - however, i might be prepared to reconsider my plans, if I was genuinely drawn into another option. What I mean is: it would depend on whether you're running away from something, or moving towards something. Remember, all the walking on the Camino is designed to lead us to one place only... Ourselves. So, will the grass be greener on the other side? Or can you embrace the gifts that are with you now? Whatever your decision, I wish you a buen Camino, and a happy homecoming at the end.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances*3, Ingles, Primitive, Finisterre and now Portuguese
#13
Thank you for all the advice.

Kirkie, thank you for your shopping tips. I'll see if those two Central shops are open, though the shoes I am wearing are exactly the same brand that served me well on previous Camino's. Still, I'll check out their sandals.

Anamya, that's amazing. I had a francesinha last night but didn't know the name till now. What a sandwich indeed!

Jsalt, agreed that the Brierley stages are too long, especialy the first few days.

Shaunkevin, it's really flat between Vilafranca and Goletga but quite undulating after that. There is a lovely 2 day stretch after Tomar, but then it's almost all asphalt and cobbles after Coimbra as well as very village like urban with a lot of industrial zones.

Kiwi-family, that's positive to hear. Thank you.

I'll take today to make a decision.
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#15
The Spanish part is very nice and much less road walking. It's worth sticking with the CP as you've probably done the worst bit in terms of comfort
I have done only the Tui-Santiago section, and thought it had the most road and cobblestone of any camino I have walked. The last day into Santiago is far less pleasant than the last day on the Camino Frances. My suggestion is to focus more on your overall purpose of a pilgrimage, and less on the pathway and the scenery.:)
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#16
...
So, I have decided I have 2 options for the rest of my time this year. 1. Continue. 2. Get to Astorga and get on the Frances.
...
If you indeed choose the second option why not get to Ponferrada and walk Camino de Invierno instead?
I see you already walked Primitivo so it wouldn't surprise you with some uphills. But it's less walked Camino, very beautiful, with good infrastructure and markings and very welcoming people. A guidebook (by @peregrina2000 ) available in Resources section.

Ultreia!


PS(https://www.gronze.com/camino-invierno
http://www.mundicamino.com/los-caminos/66/camino-de-invierno/
http://www.caminodeinvierno.com/
http://www.caminodeinvierno.es/)
 

Skonnos

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 French Way (Portuguese 2018)
#17
Hi, like you I didn''t like the cobblestones from Lisbon to Porto and it killed my feet as well. Endless cobblestones and large trucks detracted from the Caminho. But it does improve from Porto (Porto was a highlight). I walked the Coastal route and it got better and better as you got closer to Spain. Wouldn't walk it again thought. The French Way was stunning, the Portuguese average (the authorities not really care as Fatima is more important to them). Bom Caminho what ever you decide. Grace and Peace, Tony
 

Kedney

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portuguese
#18
Ignorance must be bliss about which Camino is best. In May my wife and I walked from Porto to Santiago as our first Camino and it was beautiful. Yes the cobblestones were a factor, but the scenery was spectacular, especially days three, four, and five out of Porto. We had heard that leaving from Lisbon required a lot of road walking. I think you have the toughest part done. Each of the days ahead will be wonderful.
944FF032-FF5D-4988-8EF4-F4E4614EE8FB.jpeg
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2015
VDLP 2016
Portuguese March 2017
Sanabres September 2017
#20
Last year I got as far as Coimbra before giving up because of feeling so vulnerable on the roads and footsore. I took the train to Porto and rested for a couple of days before starting the Porto to Santiago route. It was fine. I didn't even mind the dreaded cobblestones. I think having a rest really helped. And Porto is pretty wonderful. So if you can, keep going....
 
Camino(s) past & future
2013-Frances SJP-Finisterre, 2015 Camino Le Puy-Santiago, 2017 Portugues Lisbon-Santiago 2018 Norte
#21
I walked the whole route from Lisbon and yes it does get a little better after Porto. As someone said there is a lot of cobblestones and still there will be road walking. There are beautiful stretches and towns but I can telll you I had lots of knee issues because of the hard pavement and then having to pay attention to the cobblestones. I have been on 4 different caminos and though I met great people and the Portugues people are amazing. I think the consensus among experienced pilgrims that I met is they we were glad we did it but will not ever walk it again. I would follow the advice of others get some really good and cushioned trail runners. Go to the doctor and get a prescription for Voltaren 2.3% (the lower dose does not need a prescription but is not as effective) rub that all over you feet a couple of times a day and before bed. Finally I didn’t walk it but maybe head over to the coast. I am sure it will be crowded and probably more expensive but I have heard it is beautiful. Ask and do some research, maybe it is a much better alternative for you and no less lovely. Probably more crowded though but I have no idea hahaha
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances*3, Ingles, Primitive, Finisterre and now Portuguese
#22
Thanks so much for the very positive and helpful replies. I do appreciate that there are many positives in Portugal that sweeten the cruel asphalt. Most of the people I have encountered are welcoming, the food is delicious and incredibly cheap, the flowers in gardens are beautiful, the churches that have been open are so peaceful, the huge numbers of cars from the seventies and eighties make the way like an automobile museum, the sadness in the faces of the prostitutes on their chairs along the highways do make you realise how fortunate you are...

I went to Mass at the cathedral today and felt better after meeting many pilgrims who were waiting after Mass to get their credentials. A lovely couple of Irish retirees echoed what some forum members have posted above by stating that the route from Porto is very different from the pre Porto part. So I have decided to continue from Porto tomorrow and finish the pilgrimage I started. Feet feel better today too with no stabbing heel pain.

Porto is indeed a fabulous city but staying more than a couple of days would seriously expand your waistline, so I had better get going tomorrow.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
#23
Thanks so much for the very positive and helpful replies. I do appreciate that there are many positives in Portugal that sweeten the cruel asphalt. Most of the people I have encountered are welcoming, the food is delicious and incredibly cheap, the flowers in gardens are beautiful, the churches that have been open are so peaceful, the huge numbers of cars from the seventies and eighties make the way like an automobile museum, the sadness in the faces of the prostitutes on their chairs along the highways do make you realise how fortunate you are...

I went to Mass at the cathedral today and felt better after meeting many pilgrims who were waiting after Mass to get their credentials. A lovely couple of Irish retirees echoed what some forum members have posted above by stating that the route from Porto is very different from the pre Porto part. So I have decided to continue from Porto tomorrow and finish the pilgrimage I started. Feet feel better today too with no stabbing heel pain.

Porto is indeed a fabulous city but staying more than a couple of days would seriously expand your waistline, so I had better get going tomorrow.
I am so happy to read your post! Be kind to yourself, and enjoy every moment if you can.
 
#24
I also had foot pain when I walked from Lisbon, but that was in the days when I was wearing low Salomon hiking shoes. I have no doubt that my trail runners would have saved me a from a lot of that pain because of their great cushioning, but I am not sure when I will get back to test that hypothesis.

As far as the long stages go, there is a (now slightly out of date) document in Resources here entitled “Shorter Stages from Lisbon”, which would help to reduce the early days, which in turn would reduce foot damage.

Bom caminho, doctorherman, sounds like you’re in a much better psychological place to continue on from Porto than when you entered. I have not taken the coastal route, but others have raved about it, let us know how it goes for you.
 

Sharonn

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2015
Camino Portugues 2017
#25
Hi Doc so glad to hear you've decided to continue although I can identify with much that has been said. Asphalt and cobbles and traffic yes but a great experience and worth it all in the end. Take the metro to get out of Porto. Some of my highlights were the Albergue Sao Pedro at Rates. This could be your next stop. And our memorable stay at Casa Fernanda at Corgo. Eating Padron peppers. Nino albergue in Rubiaes. Crossing the border into Spain. Etc. Good luck for your feet and the rest of your pilgrimage.
 

Anamya

Keeping it simple
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015)
Camino Portugues (2017)
Lebaniego (Planning)
#26
Porto is indeed a fabulous city but staying more than a couple of days would seriously expand your waistline, so I had better get going tomorrow.
While I was quite thin by the end of the CF, I was exactly the same after CP. But HAPPY, for sure! :D

So good to hear you are feeling better. It will probably become better from now on.
Some of the Brierly stages are quite long - maybe take the metro out of Porto (line B, from Campanha or Casa da Musica) to Vilar Pinheiro to avoid road/industrial walk and do lighter stages from there.

I'd suggest an itinerary like:

Vilar Pinheiro - Rates (20km)
Rates - Barcelos (19km)
Barcelos - Vitorino dos Piães (19km - Casa da Fernanda is here. Call Fernanda, stay there. If someone in the world cares about pilgrims, it's that woman. She is unbelievable)
Vitorino - Ponte de Lima (15km - a short stage, but I'd only continue further if you have very strong legs dur to Alto da portela approaching. If you stay at Fernanda, you can help her with some chores before leaving.)

Further ahead, it may be good to break the Brierley stage out of Tui as well and stay in Porrino.
 

Walking Lover

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CdS from Leon to Santiago, June 16, 2016 to June 30, 2016.
#27
Hi,

I'm now in Porto after walking from Lisbon and my feet are really killing me like on no other Camino I've done. While seeing thousands of lovely gardens with their flowers in full bloom and lots of amazing garden statues, I'm not sure I can take much more asphalt. The towns of Santarem, Tomar, Coimbra and Golega are stunning in themselves. The section from Tomar to Coimbra was lovely.

Today I was even thinking how wonderful the section from Leon to Hospital de Orbigo was (the section I used to think was awful), on a comfortable pilgrim soft path.

I don't know how much more road and car dodging I can take, as well as saying Bon Dia to friendly villager after villager. I really think that if the Portuguese want to create a great Caminho route that will attract lots of people, they are going to have to find a much greater proportion of tracks and paths not made of asphalt. So far, the other pilgrims I have met, who have all been at least second timers on a Camino, have all said the same.

So, I have decided I have 2 options for the rest of my time this year. 1. Continue. 2. Get to Astorga and get on the Frances.

So I have a rest day tomorrow and will decide? Does it get easier on the feet and nerves? Is the section from Porto more of the same or are there more non asphalt paths that allow for introspection rather than foot pain and car dodging?

Thanks for any advice.
I share your sentiment. My feet have not been the same since walking the CdeP in '17. It does get better after Rio in many ways.
 

surya8

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portugues Central, Santarem-Santiago - 2017; Portugues Interior, Sanabres, Fisterra & Muxia - 2018
#28
Hi.

Can you advise if the Lisbon to Porto stretch is quite flat? I imagine it to be but love your reflections.
Yes, the route from Lisbon to Porto is flat, there are a couple of small hills there but manageable without trekking boots or walking poles.
 

surya8

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portugues Central, Santarem-Santiago - 2017; Portugues Interior, Sanabres, Fisterra & Muxia - 2018
#29
Does it get easier on the feet and nerves? Is the section from Porto more of the same or are there more non asphalt paths that allow for introspection rather than foot pain and car dodging?
Yes, it does get easier on the feet after Porto, so cheer up! The stretch from Lisbon to Porto I also walked according to Brierley's guide, was a challenge before Coimbra. And I didn't have proper shoes as was a spontaneous Camino, so my feet hurt every day, had to use Voltaren gel, it saved me. I got trail running shoes in Porto and walked happy after that, no blisters, no pain. After Porto it would be better to take a coastal option, the wooden boarbdwalks along the beachfront are lovely, springly and easy on the feet. And towns are also beautiful there and there is less road walking. Although even before Porto I was ok with traffic and industrial zones - when you find company on the road the talking keeps your mind occupied and you stay focused on the good things :) When you cross over to Spain it does get easier there, Galicia is not about cobblestones thankfully. Bom Camino! :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
2005 Frances
2006 LePuy to SJpdP
2007 Frances
2008 Toulsana to Santiago
2010 Frances
2010 Vezelay + Via de la Plata
2013 LePuy to Santiago
2015 RL Stevenson GR70
2016 Leon to Santiago
#30
I had to leave the CP in fall 2017 after just 8 days Lisbon-Porto (too hot for this Oregon boy), then just 5 more from Porto. Even with walking sticks, good boot inserts, daily taping with precut kinesiology tape both of my achilles tendons were so injured that my pace dropped below 2km/hr. So many cobblestones!!! The route was mostly flat and very beautiful; just enough pilgrims for solo walking but nightly dinner companions. Great food. Friendly locals. Very sad to leave with injury--had other elements of a near perfect camino. And mostly about me and my aging body; I walked a bit (on cobblestones) with a Canadian girl in flip-flops since she had lost her boots!! I cringed with every step she made.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances*3, Ingles, Primitive, Finisterre and now Portuguese
#31
Now in Tui and very glad I didn't give up. The Camino from Vilarinho is totally different from the sections between Coimbra and Porto. Beautiful countryside, more pilgrims, the churches tend to be open more and most importantly, it's on a variety of trails and not 90% concrete. Crossing the bridge 1km after Vilorinho was like entering a different world and being on a completely different Camino. I hope the Camino pre Vilharinho evolves and gmoves off the lethally dangerous roads in future at some point.
 

Sharonn

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2015
Camino Portugues 2017
#32
Now in Tui and very glad I didn't give up. The Camino from Vilarinho is totally different from the sections between Coimbra and Porto. Beautiful countryside, more pilgrims, the churches tend to be open more and most importantly, it's on a variety of trails and not 90% concrete. Crossing the bridge 1km after Vilorinho was like entering a different world and being on a completely different Camino. I hope the Camino pre Vilharinho evolves and gmoves off the lethally dangerous roads in future at some point.
Agree. And well done for persevering!
 

dkrez

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances - Fall 2016
Frances - Spring 2017
Portuguese - Spring 2108
#33
Hi,

I'm now in Porto after walking from Lisbon and my feet are really killing me like on no other Camino I've done. While seeing thousands of lovely gardens with their flowers in full bloom and lots of amazing garden statues, I'm not sure I can take much more asphalt. The towns of Santarem, Tomar, Coimbra and Golega are stunning in themselves. The section from Tomar to Coimbra was lovely.

Today I was even thinking how wonderful the section from Leon to Hospital de Orbigo was (the section I used to think was awful), on a comfortable pilgrim soft path.

I don't know how much more road and car dodging I can take, as well as saying Bon Dia to friendly villager after villager. I really think that if the Portuguese want to create a great Caminho route that will attract lots of people, they are going to have to find a much greater proportion of tracks and paths not made of asphalt. So far, the other pilgrims I have met, who have all been at least second timers on a Camino, have all said the same.

So, I have decided I have 2 options for the rest of my time this year. 1. Continue. 2. Get to Astorga and get on the Frances.

So I have a rest day tomorrow and will decide? Does it get easier on the feet and nerves? Is the section from Porto more of the same or are there more non asphalt paths that allow for introspection rather than foot pain and car dodging?

Thanks for any advice.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2010,2013,2015), Portugues (2011,2016), Muxia/Fisterra (2012), Norte (2018)
#34
Hi,

I'm now in Porto after walking from Lisbon and my feet are really killing me like on no other Camino I've done. While seeing thousands of lovely gardens with their flowers in full bloom and lots of amazing garden statues, I'm not sure I can take much more asphalt. The towns of Santarem, Tomar, Coimbra and Golega are stunning in themselves. The section from Tomar to Coimbra was lovely.

Today I was even thinking how wonderful the section from Leon to Hospital de Orbigo was (the section I used to think was awful), on a comfortable pilgrim soft path.

I don't know how much more road and car dodging I can take, as well as saying Bon Dia to friendly villager after villager. I really think that if the Portuguese want to create a great Caminho route that will attract lots of people, they are going to have to find a much greater proportion of tracks and paths not made of asphalt. So far, the other pilgrims I have met, who have all been at least second timers on a Camino, have all said the same.

So, I have decided I have 2 options for the rest of my time this year. 1. Continue. 2. Get to Astorga and get on the Frances.

So I have a rest day tomorrow and will decide? Does it get easier on the feet and nerves? Is the section from Porto more of the same or are there more non asphalt paths that allow for introspection rather than foot pain and car dodging?

Thanks for any advice.
I am sorry to tell you, that from Porto it gets even worse, or at least just as bad. It is less of asphalt roads, but more of the absurd phenomenon of country roads paved with cobble stones (see attached photos). I cannot understand why the Portuguese do it. It is not good for their agricultural machines, cars etc., and it is certainly very hard on a pilgrim's shoes and skeleton. I did suffer it all the way to the Spanish boarder, where it fortunately stopped, but I shall never do the Camino Portugues again because of it.
So, I would advise you to take the first bus to Tui, on the Spanish side of the border, and continue walking from there.
 

Attachments

Camino(s) past & future
August 2013 SJPP to Santiago
May 2018 Porto to Santiago
August 2018 SJPP to Santiago
#35
Hi,

I'm now in Porto after walking from Lisbon and my feet are really killing me like on no other Camino I've done. While seeing thousands of lovely gardens with their flowers in full bloom and lots of amazing garden statues, I'm not sure I can take much more asphalt. The towns of Santarem, Tomar, Coimbra and Golega are stunning in themselves. The section from Tomar to Coimbra was lovely.

Today I was even thinking how wonderful the section from Leon to Hospital de Orbigo was (the section I used to think was awful), on a comfortable pilgrim soft path.

I don't know how much more road and car dodging I can take, as well as saying Bon Dia to friendly villager after villager. I really think that if the Portuguese want to create a great Caminho route that will attract lots of people, they are going to have to find a much greater proportion of tracks and paths not made of asphalt. So far, the other pilgrims I have met, who have all been at least second timers on a Camino, have all said the same.

So, I have decided I have 2 options for the rest of my time this year. 1. Continue. 2. Get to Astorga and get on the Frances.

So I have a rest day tomorrow and will decide? Does it get easier on the feet and nerves? Is the section from Porto more of the same or are there more non asphalt paths that allow for introspection rather than foot pain and car dodging?

Thanks for any advice.
I had the same problem - I jumped ahead by train to Valença the continued on much better tracks on to SJC. Try the spiritual variant out of Pontevedra- wonderful!!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de Santiago, St Jean to Santuago, 2015
Camino Portuguese, 2018
#36
Gosh, sorry to hear this – I mean about the pain in both heels AND following the Brierley stages. That’s over 30kms every day for the first 7 days.

It does get better after Porto, but there are lots of cobblestones still to come. However, it does improve.

I love Lisbon to Santiago, because I love the wonderful Portuguese people, and their food, and their coastal boardwalks after Porto, and everything else that makes it the Portugués and not the Francés. But then I don’t walk Brierley stages.

I suggest staying on the Portugués and experience the whole route instead of giving up on it at this stage.

Good luck and Bom Caminho.

Jill

The Brierly guide is just that, a guide. Not holy scripture from above.
I value it, but have never tried to do a whole page in one day. All the suggestions given are great. Honor your body. Give yourself time to enjoy the Portuguese countryside ( even if through the window of a bus or train), eat, meet and greet Portuguese people and other peregrinos. Let life flow. And ignore any advice that does not fit!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Caminho Português (Out/2016)
#37
I cannot understand why the Portuguese do it. It is not good for their agricultural machines, cars etc., and it is certainly very hard on a pilgrim's shoes and skeleton.
We do it because we like it, because it is an easy material to get, because it is an easy way to make sure cars go slow, because it blends in with nature, because the needs of pilgrims are not a priority, etc... I would get really mad if they started making everything with asphalt/concrete.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de Santiago, St Jean to Santuago, 2015
Camino Portuguese, 2018
#38
We do it because we like it, because it is an easy material to get, because it is an easy way to make sure cars go slow, because it blends in with nature, because the needs of pilgrims are not a priority, etc... I would get really mad if they started making everything with asphalt/concrete.
I’m with you.

Long ago when I was living in the Açores (Portuguese islands) visiting Americans would sometimes ask “Jane, why do (don’t) they.....?”
The question always had me puzzled. Who would go to another country and think they would find everything just like at home? Isn’t part of traveling the finding of “different”?
Anyway... “to each his own, said the old woman as she kissed her cow”.
 
Camino(s) past & future
We are planning to do the Camino Portuguese in May!!
#39
Hi,

I'm now in Porto after walking from Lisbon and my feet are really killing me like on no other Camino I've done. While seeing thousands of lovely gardens with their flowers in full bloom and lots of amazing garden statues, I'm not sure I can take much more asphalt. The towns of Santarem, Tomar, Coimbra and Golega are stunning in themselves. The section from Tomar to Coimbra was lovely.

Today I was even thinking how wonderful the section from Leon to Hospital de Orbigo was (the section I used to think was awful), on a comfortable pilgrim soft path.

I don't know how much more road and car dodging I can take, as well as saying Bon Dia to friendly villager after villager. I really think that if the Portuguese want to create a great Caminho route that will attract lots of people, they are going to have to find a much greater proportion of tracks and paths not made of asphalt. So far, the other pilgrims I have met, who have all been at least second timers on a Camino, have all said the same.

So, I have decided I have 2 options for the rest of my time this year. 1. Continue. 2. Get to Astorga and get on the Frances.

So I have a rest day tomorrow and will decide? Does it get easier on the feet and nerves? Is the section from Porto more of the same or are there more non asphalt paths that allow for introspection rather than foot pain and car dodging?

Thanks for any advice.
Cobblestone... and more cobblestone!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, Le Puy, Rota Vicentina, De Soulac, Norte, Madrid-Salv-Primitivo
#42
I cannot understand why the Portuguese do it.
I don’t get why people complain about cobblestones. They don’t bother me at all, but neither does asphalt. Maybe it’s because I’m a “boot” person so I just don’t feel anything under my feet.

But anyway, what I wanted to say was that, here in South Africa, in my home town, we use the cobblestone system at intersections. We have huge logging trucks grinding their way through town on their way to the sawmills, and the cobblestone system, at major intersections, helps to reduce the heavy wear and tear from the trucks and reduces the need for road maintenance.
Jill
 
Camino(s) past & future
Lisbon- Santiago Sept-Oct 2015
#43
WOW
I adored Lisbon to Porto.
My feet & body ached, daily, it was always such a wonderful reward to bathe & eat at the end of each day . I felt so fortunate!
I feel strongly that whatever path we are on, especially one we have chosen, we should find the good in it, if one is unhappy, then, since you are lucky enough to choose your own way, find one that may be better for you.
I must say I found The Portuguese incredible & I was delighted when we exchanged
"Bom Dia " it made me a bit sad that this bothered you.
Bom Viagem e Boa Sorte
 

Walking Lover

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CdS from Leon to Santiago, June 16, 2016 to June 30, 2016.
#44
We do it because we like it, because it is an easy material to get, because it is an easy way to make sure cars go slow, because it blends in with nature, because the needs of pilgrims are not a priority, etc... I would get really mad if they started making everything with asphalt/concrete.
Good response.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2010,2013,2015), Portugues (2011,2016), Muxia/Fisterra (2012), Norte (2018)
#45
We do it because we like it, because it is an easy material to get, because it is an easy way to make sure cars go slow, because it blends in with nature, because the needs of pilgrims are not a priority, etc... I would get really mad if they started making everything with asphalt/concrete.
We do not want asphalt or concrete - we want the natural soil. What can be wrong with that? Why can they do it on the "Camino Portugues" in Spain and the Portuguese themselves cannot? Have you seen the photos I attached? How can you say that the cobble stones "blend with nature"?
 

annakappa

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Part frances jun 07/rest frances may- jun 2008/Frances sept-oct 2009/ Sanabres Oct 2010/Frances sept-oct 2011/Aragones Sept-Oct 2012. Hospitalero Sept 2010, Amiga in Pilgrim's Office Oct 2013. Part Primitivo Oct 2013. Portugues from Porto June 2015.
#46
We do it because we like it, because it is an easy material to get, because it is an easy way to make sure cars go slow, because it blends in with nature, because the needs of pilgrims are not a priority, etc... I would get really mad if they started making everything with asphalt/concrete.
Absolute perfect reply
 
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
#47
I am sorry to tell you, that from Porto it gets even worse, or at least just as bad. It is less of asphalt roads, but more of the absurd phenomenon of country roads paved with cobble stones (see attached photos). I cannot understand why the Portuguese do it. It is not good for their agricultural machines, cars etc., and it is certainly very hard on a pilgrim's shoes and skeleton. I did suffer it all the way to the Spanish boarder, where it fortunately stopped, but I shall never do the Camino Portugues again because of it.
So, I would advise you to take the first bus to Tui, on the Spanish side of the border, and continue walking from there.
Well I do think the Portugues manage just fine. Why oh why would they make changes for some passing pilgrims.
Like I already wrote here on many other occasions : the Camino is what it is. The good, the bad & the ugly.
A Camino is a pilgrimage and we take it as it comes. No cherrypicking!
 

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