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Water on the Portuguese Camino

Year of past OR future Camino
Frances - 2009
Portuguese Interior (2014)
Hadrian's Wall (2017)
Porto to SdC ( Seaside) 2019
Please advise me about fountains or water availability especially if you've recently walked from Lisbon to SdC (2014). On my Frances' journey fountains were quite frequent. I've read Brierly and he seems to say that water is less frequent. What's the latest? What are the alternatives to buying water all the time?
Thanks!:confused:
 
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amorfati1

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2014_Caminho Portuguese (Lisboa to Santiago_4 weeks in May)
During the recent caminho (May, lisbon to SdC) i never used water from public taps/fountains. Sometimes local friends/people advised even against tap water in some areas (in one case due to higher iron content of the water for e.g.) - I bought bottled water, drank lots of caffe', and vinho verde (when arrived @ destination :) and never was dehydrated or ran out of water while walking.
Once a local man in Santarem advised against drinking from the fountain on the way up to the town of Santarem. (steep uphill walk) -
I don't like to gamble on water sources -
hope this answer was sufficiently useful.
Happy trails to you on your upcoming caminho!
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances - 2009
Portuguese Interior (2014)
Hadrian's Wall (2017)
Porto to SdC ( Seaside) 2019
During the recent caminho (May, lisbon to SdC) i never used water from public taps/fountains. Sometimes local friends/people advised even against tap water in some areas (in one case due to higher iron content of the water for e.g.) - I bought bottled water, drank lots of caffe', and vinho verde (when arrived @ destination :) and never was dehydrated or ran out of water while walking.
Once a local man in Santarem advised against drinking from the fountain on the way up to the town of Santarem. (steep uphill walk) -
I don't like to gamble on water sources -
hope this answer was sufficiently useful.
Happy trails to you on your upcoming caminho!
amorfati1,
Thanks for the quick response. Is the Vinho Verde a "tail kicker" like new wine in Germany?
I had trouble last Camino with electrolytes ... I love it but have to over-hydrate sometimes. I love the coffee, too, but it's the same issue. What about the Poweraid kinds of things?
 

amorfati1

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2014_Caminho Portuguese (Lisboa to Santiago_4 weeks in May)
Ola' again - and you are very welcome. - Vinho Verde simply means green wine - a very refreshing young wine from the northern parts of portugal, with tiny bubbles.
http://www.vinhoverde.com/en/default.asp
favorite of mine - tastes best when enjoyed in portugal. the ones i try here in the states never quite taste like it. it has a lower alcohol volume - a nice bottle can be had for 4euros or less.(supermarket; more of course in restaurants)
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/03/d...r-cheap-and-cheerful.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
my other 'secret bullet' was something my chiro gave me as her contribution to the pilgrim adventure - and i had it each morning, mixed with water and a bit of fruit juice before i headed out for another day of walking. http://www.thesynergycompany.com/v/pure_synergy.html
seemed to cover all electrolytes, etc needs the body had. - and after a few hours i was ready for first breakfast (caffe') and then second breakfast (some solid food) - am a bit like 'Hobbits' in that regard ;-) each morning i started with a 1/2 l bottle of water and a small juice drink container - and got more as needed. there are bars, 'mini mercados' , petrol stations, etc where i asked for water if needed. - i've met pilgrims who carried four liters of water though ... it all depends on ones true body needs. and you know best what those are. -- Food and drink wise -- portugal is close to heavenly (for me) - Hope you'll enjoy it as well!
 

Diogo92

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
C. Português 2013, 2014
C. de Fátima 2014
C. do Salnés 2015
Please advise me about fountains or water availability especially if you've recently walked from Lisbon to SdC (2014). On my Frances' journey fountains were quite frequent. I've read Brierly and he seems to say that water is less frequent. What's the latest? What are the alternatives to buying water all the time?
Thanks!:confused:

Usually if you find a fountain on the Caminho Português, and if it doesn't have a sign saying anything, don't drink from that. If it says "Água Potável", it's drinkable. Otherwise, you can always do what I do, which is to refill the water bottle or bladder, on the cafes where I pass through.

The only fountain on Portugal that I remember which was potable was on a place after Ponte de Lima, before you start the ascent of the Labruja Mountain.

In Spain, there are some built by the Xunta de Galicia, with the help from unemployed people. But has far has I remember, these fountains still waited for the results of the test's to know if the water was already potable or not.
 
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Magwood

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
See signature line for links to daily posts to blogs from many caminos
The amount of water you need will depend a lot on the weather. Walking between Lisbon and Porto this year in May it was very hot and I needed to refil my two 750 ml bottles en route. I don't remember seeing any fountains with drinking water, but asked in bars for a refill or occasionally purchased water. One very hot day I ran out with no sign of a refill, but luckily, just as I was beginning to get worried I saw some women chatting in their garden asked them if they could help. I was treated to some ice cold water from their fridge, it was delicious, and a lovely pause to chat.

You need to take every opportunity to refill - there are long stretches without facilities.
Bom caminho
 

edumad

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Português '12 '14 (Rates), '18 (Ponte de Lima)
Interior '15 (Vila Real)
Francês '16 (Ponferrada).
There are plenty of fountains and water taps along the camino. I finished yesterday and found more that I did two years ago. However there are very few which state they are drinkable (água putável, agua potable). Many time you will see a sign saying "água não controlada" which means its not monitored. The only fountains I did not drink from where the ones that state it is not for human consumption, usually with an x or some mark over a tap.
My rule is when in doubt ask a local. Sure people are different, but most likely if its ok for them it'll be fine for you.
You can allways ask for tap water: água da torneira (PT) or agua de grifo (ES) wherever you pass a restaurant or cafe.
In Ponte de Lima when we stopped for lunch and asked to top up our bottles they even offered some ice cubes.
So talk to people, show them an empty bottle, mime, whatever... You'll be fine for water.
 

shubertj

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2012, 2013, 2018 Portuguese 2014 Ingles 2017 Fin/Mux 17, 19 Invierno 2018
Primitivo 2019
amorfati1,
Thanks for the quick response. Is the Vinho Verde a "tail kicker" like new wine in Germany?
I had trouble last Camino with electrolytes ... I love it but have to over-hydrate sometimes. I love the coffee, too, but it's the same issue. What about the Poweraid kinds of things?
Flewitheagles,

The last 2 Caminos I carried small dry packets of Gatorade and my wife used poweraide (they don't weigh much). You need to replace electrolytes on a regular basis especially as you sweat it will be obvious with the salt lines on your clothes. I come from a marathoning and cross country cycling background and assure you it can be one of the major needs of your body. Be careful if you are over hydrating as this can be as dangerous as not hydrating. We normally filled one bottle with the aide per day. You can also buy supplement chews and jelly beans but they weigh alot more.
 

Diogo92

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
C. Português 2013, 2014
C. de Fátima 2014
C. do Salnés 2015
Flewitheagles,

The last 2 Caminos I carried small dry packets of Gatorade and my wife used poweraide (they don't weigh much). You need to replace electrolytes on a regular basis especially as you sweat it will be obvious with the salt lines on your clothes. I come from a marathoning and cross country cycling background and assure you it can be one of the major needs of your body. Be careful if you are over hydrating as this can be as dangerous as not hydrating. We normally filled one bottle with the aide per day. You can also buy supplement chews and jelly beans but they weigh alot more.

Now it is me who has a question to make: when you talk about supplement chews, are you talking about bars and that? I started to take with me Trail Mix, which I do at home, and fruit (mostly bananas). For the Trail Mix, I buy a mix of dried fruits (like hazelnuts, cashew, macadamia nuts, almonds, raisins and nuts), then I add some dehydrated apple, some cereals with fibers and then some M&M’s.

Do you think that this it’s enough?

For me, this is what I follow: before I start walking, I try to drink about 500ml of water (250 after waking up, and 250 in the 5 minutes before I start to walk). During the walk, I munch a little bit while I’m walking (I always have the Trail Mix bag in an accessible zone), and drink small portions of water. I try always to consume small portions of both Trail Mix and water, and never eat like 150g in a row, or drink 500ml in one stop.
 
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Diogo92

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
C. Português 2013, 2014
C. de Fátima 2014
C. do Salnés 2015
The amount of water you need will depend a lot on the weather. Walking between Lisbon and Porto this year in May it was very hot and I needed to refil my two 750 ml bottles en route. I don't remember seeing any fountains with drinking water, but asked in bars for a refill or occasionally purchased water. One very hot day I ran out with no sign of a refill, but luckily, just as I was beginning to get worried I saw some women chatting in their garden asked them if they could help. I was treated to some ice cold water from their fridge, it was delicious, and a lovely pause to chat.

You need to take every opportunity to refill - there are long stretches without facilities.
Bom caminho

Mag, I'm going to do the Caminho De Fátima this October, and I'm still undecided if I'll take my two 0,5L foldable bottles, or my 1,5L water bladder. My concerns are from my home until Santarém (especially from Valada do Ribatejo until Santarém). What do you think about this?
 
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shubertj

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2012, 2013, 2018 Portuguese 2014 Ingles 2017 Fin/Mux 17, 19 Invierno 2018
Primitivo 2019
Now it is me who has a question to make: when you talk about supplement chews, are you talking about bars and that? I started to take with me Trail Mix, which I do at home, and fruit (mostly bananas). For the Trail Mix, I buy a mix of dried fruits (like hazelnuts, cashew, macadamia nuts, almonds, raisins and nuts), then I add some dehydrated apple, some cereals with fibers and then some M&M’s.

Do you think that this it’s enough?

For me, this is what I follow: before I start walking, I try to drink about 500ml of water (250 after waking up, and 250 in the 5 minutes before I start to walk). During the walk, I munch a little bit while I’m walking (I always have the Trail Mix bag in an accessible zone), and drink small portions of water. I try always to consume small portions of both Trail Mix and water, and never eat like 150g in a row, or drink 500ml in one stop.
Flewitheagles,
The bars are great for regular nutrition as your taking them it takes about 30-45 minutes for getting them to fuel your body. The bananas are especially good they provide quick fuel with some natural sugars and potassium which helps replenish some electrolytes. what you described looks great.
The supplements I described are quick fuel you will see them in any running or sports store Guu, cliff shots, cliff shot blocks, extreme sport beans.
These provide some quick carbs to fuel your body, electrolytes (Sodium and Potassium) and some vitamins. Many of these also add a shot of caffeine to give you a boost especially at the end of a day when your dragging and all fueled out.
 

Diogo92

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
C. Português 2013, 2014
C. de Fátima 2014
C. do Salnés 2015
Flewitheagles,
The bars are great for regular nutrition as your taking them it takes about 30-45 minutes for getting them to fuel your body. The bananas are especially good they provide quick fuel with some natural sugars and potassium which helps replenish some electrolytes. what you described looks great.
The supplements I described are quick fuel you will see them in any running or sports store Guu, cliff shots, cliff shot blocks, extreme sport beans.
These provide some quick carbs to fuel your body, electrolytes (Sodium and Potassium) and some vitamins. Many of these also add a shot of caffeine to give you a boost especially at the end of a day when your dragging and all fueled out.

This was Diogo92, not @flewitheagles :D

But thank you very much for your response, I've never had any kind of problems, but just checking it out ;)
 

shubertj

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2012, 2013, 2018 Portuguese 2014 Ingles 2017 Fin/Mux 17, 19 Invierno 2018
Primitivo 2019
This was Diogo92, not @flewitheagles :D

But thank you very much for your response, I've never had any kind of problems, but just checking it out ;)
Sorry Diogo92,
Muscle cramps would be a sign of low electrolytes either in your sleep or while walking. Low fuel would be similar to what they call "bonking" In the Tour de France or "hitting the wall" in a marathon.
 

hnguyen

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
April-May 2013; (September 2014)
Please advise me about fountains or water availability especially if you've recently walked from Lisbon to SdC (2014). On my Frances' journey fountains were quite frequent. I've read Brierly and he seems to say that water is less frequent. What's the latest? What are the alternatives to buying water all the time?
Thanks!:confused:
Thank you for asking this question. I've just bought my plane ticket for Lisbon, arriving in mid October - so the information in this thread is quite relevant for me. Much appreciation to all those who contributed!
 
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Please advise me about fountains or water availability especially if you've recently walked from Lisbon to SdC (2014). On my Frances' journey fountains were quite frequent. I've read Brierly and he seems to say that water is less frequent. What's the latest? What are the alternatives to buying water all the time?
Thanks!:confused:


I will be bring along my Life Straw which allows you to filter ANY water to be drinkable..So if you pass a stream or creek....voila..you have water!
 

Magwood

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
See signature line for links to daily posts to blogs from many caminos
Mag, I'm going to do the Caminho De Fátima this October, and I'm still undecided if I'll take my two 0,5L foldable bottles, or my 1,5L water bladder. My concerns are from my home until Santarém (especially from Valada do Ribatejo until Santarém). What do you think about this?

Sorry for the delayed response @Diogo92. I found the amount of water I needed depended entirely upon the weather. When it was very hot I needed to refill my bottles regularly, but when I was walking in the rain I needed little water (although I probably should have taken more). Personally, I don't like the bladder system and I used two 750 cl bottles. I carried one hanging from my bum bag and the other lived in the side pocket of my pack. With a bladder one can't tell how much water has been used and how much remains and it is necessary to remove your backpack to refill.

We split the stage between Azambuja to Santarém and arranged for Mario to collect us from Morgado. It was very hot walking these days and it would have been difficult to walk the full distance in the heat of the afternoon. Mario stopped to offer water to several pilgrims after he picked us up. We returned to Morgado the next day to continue the walk to Santarém in the fresh morning air. In cooler weather it would have been ok to walk the full distance in one go. I would say to walk that full stage in hot weather one would need more than 1.5 litres of water and there are very few opportunities to fill up, and none on the second half of the stage.

For anyone interested in Mario's pick and drop service take a look at my blog post for this stage, or check out this thread regarding the possibility of shorter stages between Lisbon and Porto.
 
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Diogo92

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
C. Português 2013, 2014
C. de Fátima 2014
C. do Salnés 2015
Sorry for the delayed response @Diogo92. I found the amount of water I needed depended entirely upon the weather. When it was very hot I needed to refill my bottles regularly, but when I was walking in the rain I needed little water (although I probably should have taken more). Personally, I don't like the bladder system and I used two 750 cl bottles. I carried one hanging from my bum bag and the other lived in the side pocket of my pack. With a bladder one can't tell how much water has been used and how much remains and it is necessary to remove your backpack to refill.

We split the stage between Azambuja to Santarém and arranged for Mario to collect us from Morgado. It was very hot walking these days and it would have been difficult to walk the full distance in the heat of the afternoon. Mario stopped to offer water to several pilgrims after he picked us up. We returned to Morgado the next day to continue the walk to Santarém in the fresh morning air. In cooler weather it would have been ok to walk the full distance in one go. I would say to walk that full stage in hot weather one would need more than 1.5 litres of water and there are very few opportunities to fill up, and none on the second half of the stage.

For anyone interested in Mario's pick and drop service take a look at my blog post for this stage, or check out this thread regarding the possibility of shorter stages between Lisbon and Porto.

No problem with the late response. I will do that stage from Valada do Ribatejo to Santarém. I will bring two 500ml foldable water bottles, since on the day after I arrive to Santarém, I will join a group of pilgrims that has a support vehicle.
 

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