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On the camino now!

Violinpatrick

New Member
My wife, her 13-year-old nephew and I started 5 days ago. So far, we've had a great time.
However, my companions think 30 km in a day is just too much. There's no time to relax and just enjoy things. Plus, it's physically hard.
It hadn't rained in a week but much of the off-road trail is chock full of epic mud pits. Shoe and soul sucking (sole sucking?) mud. Everything sticks to it, more mud, sticks, stones, plants, and small animals. Wow! It certainly added to the adventure but it was taxing and dirty.
We are enjoying a day of nothing in Santarem. Onward tomorrow!
 
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I agree with your companions. For me the Camino is not about racing to the destination, it is about the wonderful people you meet and places you see along the way. Slow down and let them enjoy it! :lol:
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Hi, Patrick,

Let us know how you enjoy this stretch. You may have seen that there is a lot of debate about the pluses and minuses of the Camino from Lisbon to Porto, so I'm sure that lots of people would be interested in hearing your stories.

I walked from Lisbon to Porto in spring and saw no one else, so I imagine that in early January you are totally alone!

Tomar is coming up soon. Enjoy the convent up on the hill, the Convento de Cristo. It has a three star Michelin window, Manueline and all that.

Hope the mud dries up! Laurie
 

Albertinho

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Olá Patrick !
You write your adventures on a web blog ? So we can follow your adventures virtualy ?

My wife and myself will start walking from Lisbon May 6 th coming ,so are curious about the "adventures" of others on the caminho Portuges.

Bom caminho

Albert Weterings Rotterdam The Netherlands
 
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peregrina2000

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Great blog, thanks for sharing it Patrick. I guess the one thing to console you is the thought that everyone else complains about the Caminho from Lisbon having too much road walking. That certainly doesn't seem to be your problem, and I bet you'd welcome some asphalt right about now!

Bom caminho, Laurie
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Looks like you got all the asphalt you could ever want, and lots of traffic to boot. I don't really remember that stage, but I do remember the riverside walk into Vila Franca. Hope the weather gets better for you. Laurie
 

nyken

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Caminho Potuguês Costa(2010) Caminho Português Central(2011) Caminho de Fátima(2012)
Portuguese people are great.
My advise, visit Fátima, Coimbra, eat "leitão" in Mealhada, sea the amazing oporto wine caves, Gaia/Porto. But for me the camino português begins after S. Pedro de Rates.
After that little Village you find Nature, rural Villages, old paths On the wood and fields, with lovely and amazing PEOPLE.

If you like fields and forest go to Barcelos, Ponte de Lima (crédula with Labruja), Valença. If you like coastal view just after Oporto Follow the sea, tell vila do Conde, Póvoa de Varzim, Apulia (where i live), Esposende, Viana do Castelo, Caminha, and ferroviária to Spain, A Guarda, Oia, Baiona, Vigo and Redondela. After Redondela the path is the same.

If you need help just day...
 

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WanderingNotLost

Director of Mirth & Merriment for the Cosmos
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Patrick,

Enjoying your blog very much. You write very well. Please keep posting when you can. I'll be interested in how often you are finding WiFi. While I use the Camino to unhook from technology for awhile, I'm thinking of only bringing my Iphone along this time to check in with the family every so often.

I will walk from Lisbon to Finisterre starting April 1st. The tales of your adventure are adding to my anticipation and excitement. After completing the Frances route from St. Jean to Santiago last May I'm hooked and need a Camino fix. I chose the Portugese route this time because I want to see another country and have heard that the local people are some of the warmest and friendliest around. Your experiences the first few days seem to confirm this belief.

A few questions if you have a chance.

Are you finding ATM machines readily available, or are you carry a good amount of Euro, or using credit/debit card?

You mention a guide / map you are using. Brierley's or some other? How are you finding the waymarking of the route? You mentioned picking up some sort of guide at the Cathedral in Lisbon, but it is in Portugese. My English is bad enough, but my Portugese is non-existant, and my Spanish only allows me to order a beer and get my face slapped. I'm interested to hear how you are getting along with any language barriers.

Have fun my friend. Your writing clearly communicates that you have the proper perspective and attitude to enjoy and appreciated everything you will encounter along The Way.

Buen Camino,

Craig
 
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Violinpatrick

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Hi Craig,
We are only carrying smart phones, plus my wife's camera has wifi so we can upload photos easily.
I'll make a list of wifi places. Actually that's probably a good job for my 12-nephew who's been aggressively seeking it.
We haven't had to use an ATM yet. We hope to make it to Porto.
We had trouble finding places that would accept an international Visa card, especially in Coimbra.

I'm using the Brierly guide and an online guide from the confraternity of St James, written by Laurie Reynolds. I read it as a PDF on my phone.

As far as communication goes, I can get by anywhere. I've lived in South Korea for the last 16 years. My Korean wife speaks Korean and English and has a great ear for language. Our nephew barely speaks English. We are making do. We really have to learn some other foods though!

Peace,
Patrick
 
Patrick,

I Love the ponies on the backpacks! I am Following your journey via your blog. I plan to walk this route in late May this year.

Buen Camino
Rebecca
 
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peregrina2000

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Staff member
Hi, violinpatrick,

Sorry to hear you are walking in a lot of rain, and glad to see you were able to recompute your stages to work better for you all. It will be interesting to see if you start meeting pilgrims now that you're on the much more traveled Porto-Santiago stretch. You have some lovely places ahead of you, which will of course be much more enjoyable if the weather cooperates at least a little.

Ponte de Lima must be coming up in the next week, hope you can spend a night there, because it has to be one of the prettiest little towns in Portugal. Great atmosphere, warm people, but of course that applies to all of Portugal!

Looking forward to hearing more, bom caminho, Laurie
 

Violinpatrick

New Member
Getting the blog caught up-- it's almost to Agueda but we are in Vilarinho and very wet. Will the rain ever stop? The locals say three more days bug they've been saying that for 5 days. Lol!

BTW, has the way to Vilarinho been changed? We followed the yellow arrows through tiny cobble stoned streets, and through a muddy farm but the guide book clearly states it stays on a main road the whole way. We couldn't find Casa Laura. Someone told us to go back 1 km on the main road that the markers carefully avoided. Surprisingly there was a yellow arrow in front of Laura's pointing in the direction we'd just come. I know we didn't walk past it. ????

Anyway, we are in good spirits.
 

Violinpatrick

New Member
Blog updated.

We arrived in Ponte de Lima.

There are issues with Three places listed in the newest Brierley guide.

The youth hostel is closed.
We could not find the InLima hotel (we didn't ask around, though)
The Beira Pensao is dodgy-- sounds like a rent by the hour type of place.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Hi, violinpatrick,

I'm reading your blog and am amazed at your soldiering on in good spirits despite all the little contretemps.

When you wrote that there was no lodging in Albergaria a Velha other than the cold basement in the church, I was worried because I'm helping people plan a camino from Lisbon and this is one of their stops. So I called the Residencial Casa de Alameda, where I stayed a few years ago, and it is open. It is a place above the restaurant on the left side of the camino as you walk into town, the block before the square, not that this information is of any use to you now. I can't figure out what happened, but my guess is that people in Portugal have a very clear distinction between "hotel" and "residencial" (which as you know is more like a rooming house). So can it possibly be that when three people with backpacks walk into a town and ask where the hotel is, townsfolk give the literally correct answer, which is that there is no hotel in town, knowing you are a foreigner and obviously looking for a bed? That's only explanation I can think of.

Another bit of information that might help you, but you are now probably beyond the point where this could help, is that the Vialusitana has a 24/7 phone line, the SOS peregrino line, which is always on and always has someone on the line who speaks English. That number is 351-915-595-213, and they are helpful and caring.

Wishing you a buen camino, Laurie
 
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Sagalouts

RIP 2015
Another bit of information that might help you, but you are now probably beyond the point where this could help, is that the Vialusitana has a 24/7 phone line, the SOS peregrino line, which is always on and always has someone on the line who speaks English. That number is 351-915-595-213, and they are helpful and caring.

great info Laurie thanks,now in my little black book. :D

also loving Patrick's blog-the honesty and humor

Ian
 

Violinpatrick

New Member
I just met someone who stayed in the rubiaes Alberge the day after me. A volunteer showed up after 7 with a heater. It's got to be cleaned, though. Filthy place.
 

Violinpatrick

New Member
Finished! We arrived, in the rain, at 11:59, just in time for the pilgrim's mass.
The blog is 9 days behind but should be all caught up tomorrow. We're taking a day off then going to finnisterre and muxia.
 
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alexwalker

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it is a great blog: love your humour, despite the bad wether!

I had similar on VdlPlata last May: 23 days, wher 21 days were rain and wind (2 of them with SNOW showers on the passes!).

Your blog will be read again, because I'll walk from Porto to SdC this May.

Txs a lot!
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Hi, Patrick,

So sorry to see your adventure (and hence, your blog posts) end. I have really enjoyed them, and as others have said, I'm impressed by your frank assessment of just about everything.

Are you looking forward to your next Camino? (know that you have a ready-made fan club sitting here on the forum, so we all encourage you to keep going!).

Buen camino, congratulations on your accomplishments, and thanks for your willingness to share your experience with total strangers.
Laurie
 

Violinpatrick

New Member
I've been home and back to work for a month but I miss the camino every day. One month is too short! My wife and are having a hard time sorting through our photos because we talk for so long about every picture.
 
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Diogo92

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
C. Português 2013, 2014
C. de Fátima 2014
C. do Salnés 2015
It appears that I’m not the only one with some sort of a syndrome for missing travel times :p
 

ChristineK.

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
planned in june 2013
Hello Patrick,

thanks a lot for your blog, I have started to read since I want to walk the Portuguese way in June.
I think there's not so much albergues from Lisbon to Porto, but since I have many friends in Portugal I've contacted them to get adresses of places to stay.
 

Albertinho

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ChristineK. said:
Hello Patrick,

thanks a lot for your blog, I have started to read since I want to walk the Portuguese way in June.
I think there's not so much albergues from Lisbon to Porto, but since I have many friends in Portugal I've contacted them to get adresses of places to stay.

Most are hostals, hotels or Bombeiros Volontarios (voluntary firebrigades where you can sleep)

Read as many as travelblogs and you find all their places they slept.In John Brierley's guide you will find enough places to sleep.

Bom caminho
 

Violinpatrick

New Member
ChristineK. said:
Hello Patrick,

thanks a lot for your blog, I have started to read since I want to walk the Portuguese way in June.
I think there's not so much albergues from Lisbon to Porto, but since I have many friends in Portugal I've contacted them to get adresses of places to stay.


There are many places to stay. We had problems because we walked in January and several advertised places were closed for the season.

I've noticed that the weather has not improved much since we finished in January. Am I a bad person for getting a little thrill out of that?
 

Diogo92

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
C. Português 2013, 2014
C. de Fátima 2014
C. do Salnés 2015
They say that the weather will improve in the next few days!

Until Azambuja you'll have no problem in finding places to stay, after that it could get complicated.

Best regards
Diogo
 
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Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
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Violinpatrick said:
I've noticed that the weather has not improved much since we finished in January. Am I a bad person for getting a little thrill out of that?

three days I heard....
 

Sedona2012

Bobbie Surber
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Albertinho said:
Violinpatrick said:
My blog is

http://blueponykorea.blogspot.com/

I will update whenever I have wifi.

Cheers!

Patrick

Love your blog! Very difficult to leave a reply for some reason but you sure brought great memories back about my Camino in October of 2012. Fernanda and her Husband and Daughter were my favorite memory. Think of them often.

Bues Camino,
Bobbie
 

Violinpatrick

New Member
Hello. My wife and I are on a new trek right now. It's not a camino but anyone who enjoyed my camino Portugese blog might enjoy reading about this trip.
It's on South Korea's biggest island, Jeju Island. It's a series of 25 connected walking trails that circumnavigate the island. We've done the whole thing once in winter during terrible wind and snow. And bitter cold. It was fantastic. Now we're doing in summer during terrible wind and blasting heat. It's fantastic.
Anyway, one blog entry explains it a little more. My travel accounts start with Day 6 but I'll add the first five days soon. The trip will be 13 days total.

blueponykorea.blogspot.com

Look for the first Jeju Olle Trail entry.
 

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