Hello, I am new to the forum and I am hoping you guys will be able to help me. I am thinking of walking the Camino Portuguese in September and I don't speak any Spanish! Would this cause me any problems? Roughly speaking how long does it take to walk this Camino? Thanks
You can find information on the Camino Portugues on the Confraternity of St James Website.
The total distance from Porto is 232k with about half in Portugal and half in Spain. Depending on how far you plan to work each day you should be able to do this comfortable within two weeks
As for the language, presumably they speak Portuguese in the Portuguese half of the Camino.
There are refugios along the route so you could probably get by without much Portuguese/Spanish but it would be really worthwhile learning a few basic phrases.
I used John Brierly's excellent guide for the Camino Frances. He has also written a guide to the Camino Portugués from Porto to Santiago (Camino Guides:Findhorn Press, 2005)
Hi, Karin here. We did just about half the Portuguese route in May. Started in Valenca/Tui and made Santiago in 6 days...allowing for a relatively slow pace to give us time to adjust to jet lag. So yeah..the whole route from Porto in two weeks...doable. We spoke very little I'm ashamed to say BUT I do speak German...and that got us thru in two rather interesting occasions! With few key phrases...you should be able to get thru. People were very very helpful, kind and I'd go back in two seconds if someone handed me a ticket and said go! Stop home long enough to gather a few things...and GONE! The is a delightful little restaurant in Porrino...the alburge was memorable...ahhh....Ill be smiling the rest of the day now...
Guess you could also check our/my blog
Wishing you all the very best....Buen Camino, Karin
I did the Porto-Santiago section in May in 11 days. I know no Portugese and just a little Spanish and had no problems. I agree with Ivar that more people in Portugal than in Spain speak English but in some of the smaller places they spoke only Portugese. You should have a way to communicate basic needs for getting a room etc.
I did this walk last year in May/June, 2007 with four others, and we had a tiny amount of Portuguese and language was not a problem. A hint on leaving Porto - if you are taking transport out-as suggested by Brierly look for up to date information from the web site -. We got a bus but we hear the Metro would be better. On occasion you will not have a refugio but you can stay elsewhere as per the Guide. many hotels give large discounts to pilgrims because there is no refugio. The way is clearly marked . There are enough walkers to be able to meet others but not too many. More join on the Spanish side. The pastries are a treat !!