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LIVE from the Camino Winter Camino Portugues Central

Simperegrina

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2023-24, Portugues Central, Invierno 2024
Set out from Porto yday morning, having stayed a couple of nights in Gallery Hostel in Cedofeita (highly recommended).

The walk out of Porto is what it is - leaving any major city tends to mean kms of traffic heavy roads. But I rather enjoyed passing through the various neighbourhoods, and noticing the difference as you reach the outskirts, leave Porto behind you, and start walking the back lanes.

First Camino since breaking my wrist in Rabanal del Camino last Oct. Good to be back on the Camino trail again.

The rain was a major factor yesterday - maybe 6 bouts of intensive, heavy showers, some quite lengthy. Poncho on and off, or rain jacket? Fleece on or off? Oh the conundrums!

I loved the detour to the right at the Giao-Joudina junction. Vairao is delightful - I almost wished I’d decided to stay at the albergue but I’d already told Laura / Carlos I’d be staying at Casa da Laura in Vilarinho. There was an incident where I almost bowled into the tiny chapel but at the last second realised there was an occupied, open casket, and 3 people keeping vigil, looking at horrified expressions as I appeared at the glass door! Eeek.

So here I am at Casa da Laura, with the accommodation to myself. Which brings its own benefits - I can spread out, empty my pack etc. I love the tea/coffee/biccies/milk/beer/wine help -yourself hospitality here. Loved the plug in heater in my dorm room - much appreciated

No other Pilgrims spotted en route on day 1.

Gonna be a quiet one?
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
Simperegrina — I think I was in Rabanal when you broke your wrist. Glad to see you are back. :) Nelle
 
3rd Edition. More content, training & pack guides avoid common mistakes, bed bugs etc
Are you sleeping in the kitchen at Laura’s? I stayed in the other albergues but my friend showed me a picture of her accomodation at Laura’s and the bed was in the kitchen. Which I thought was hilarious.
 
3rd Edition. More content, training & pack guides avoid common mistakes, bed bugs etc
Are you sleeping in the kitchen at Laura’s? I stayed in the other albergues but my friend showed me a picture of her accomodation at Laura’s and the bed was in the kitchen. Which I thought was hilarious.


Er, no. Perhaps your friend was there at the height of the season when all the regular beds were taken, and the owners kindly put her up as an overflow?

I was in a shared room of 6 bunk beds. The room shared facilities - bathroom, plus little hallway in between this room and a double private room, that had tea, coffee, microwave, fridge etc.
 
Day 2 saw me set off under some blue sky, which was very welcome. I was staying on the track as it heads out of the town, and it wasn’t much walking along the road (note: on pavement) before the track turns off and starts winding down between trees. A river to the right was spotted, and then my first view of the lovely 8-arch Romanesque Punte de Ave. Crossing this the path then climbs up to rejoin the N306. Very shortly after, the detour appears on the left, and what followed was a meandering but bucolic ramble through countryside and hamlets, punctuated by the occasional barky dog behind a wall, outraged at my temerity at passing their boundary. Always a delight to see something like the bowl of fruit left out on a pilgrims bench.

Next up was the village of Sao Mamede, where I stopped for coffee and a muffin at its little bar-store. Leaving cobbles behind, it’s a tarmac road till the gravel and stone path that leads you to your first view of Sao Miguel de Arcos and it’s church tower. It’s here where you start to see signs of the Coastal and Central routes meeting.
And my first encounter with another pilgrim. Exciting!

Then onto Rates. I missed the instructions for the original route so followed the road (the newer route). Perhaps less interesting? After Rates, I wondered whether I’d see more pilgrims joining from the coast, but given this was late morning, probably too early for anyone crossing over from the coast to make Rates.

The stretch from Rates to Pedra Furada doesn’t get much in the way of a description eg Wise Pilgrim, but it’s 6-7km of the path crossing through farmland, very little in the way of cobbles or asphalt, and some modest ups and downs. Note that’s worth making sure you’re ok on the water front. I was running low before Pedra Furada, and nipped away from the route as it turns to the right, to find a top up in a village cafe bar.

Then to Pedra Furada and the main road. I stopped to take a look at the donativo, Albergue O Palhuco, opened in 2022. The hospi Marianne kindly gave m a quick tour and it’s delightful. I’d already made plans in Barcelos, but I’d recommend it to anyone looking to stop here. A reviving stop at a restaurant up the road run by the charming Antonio, and then on for the final push which as it usually the way at the end of a long day, seemed to take forever. I took the variants on offer to get off the road.

Weatherise, it changed every time you looked at it - sun-rain-wind-stillish-wet-dry.

A lovely day’s walking.

Here’s a pic from the bridge into Barcelos.

IMG_8388_jpg.jpeg
 
I remember the walk into Rates as being a very narrow, winding road with no shoulder and literally no place to walk - So they have changed the route? We had to tie orange bandanas to the top of our poles to be seen and keep from being hit by fast-moving cars.
 

Attachments

  • 1009_1504 Road to Rates.JPG
    1009_1504 Road to Rates.JPG
    1.2 MB · Views: 22
3rd Edition. More content, training & pack guides avoid common mistakes, bed bugs etc
Day 2 saw me set off under some blue sky, which was very welcome. I was staying on the track as it heads out of the town, and it wasn’t much walking along the road (note: on pavement) before the track turns off and starts winding down between trees. A river to the right was spotted, and then my first view of the lovely 8-arch Romanesque Punte de Ave. Crossing this the path then climbs up to rejoin the N306. Very shortly after, the detour appears on the left, and what followed was a meandering but bucolic ramble through countryside and hamlets, punctuated by the occasional barky dog behind a wall, outraged at my temerity at passing their boundary. Always a delight to see something like the bowl of fruit left out on a pilgrims bench.

Next up was the village of Sao Mamede, where I stopped for coffee and a muffin at its little bar-store. Leaving cobbles behind, it’s a tarmac road till the gravel and stone path that leads you to your first view of Sao Miguel de Arcos and it’s church tower. It’s here where you start to see signs of the Coastal and Central routes meeting.
And my first encounter with another pilgrim. Exciting!

Then onto Rates. I missed the instructions for the original route so followed the road (the newer route). Perhaps less interesting? After Rates, I wondered whether I’d see more pilgrims joining from the coast, but given this was late morning, probably too early for anyone crossing over from the coast to make Rates.

The stretch from Rates to Pedra Furada doesn’t get much in the way of a description eg Wise Pilgrim, but it’s 6-7km of the path crossing through farmland, very little in the way of cobbles or asphalt, and some modest ups and downs. Note that’s worth making sure you’re ok on the water front. I was running low before Pedra Furada, and nipped away from the route as it turns to the right, to find a top up in a village cafe bar.

Then to Pedra Furada and the main road. I stopped to take a look at the donativo, Albergue O Palhuco, opened in 2022. The hospi Marianne kindly gave m a quick tour and it’s delightful. I’d already made plans in Barcelos, but I’d recommend it to anyone looking to stop here. A reviving stop at a restaurant up the road run by the charming Antonio, and then on for the final push which as it usually the way at the end of a long day, seemed to take forever. I took the variants on offer to get off the road.

Weatherise, it changed every time you looked at it - sun-rain-wind-stillish-wet-dry.

A lovely day’s walking.

Here’s a pic from the bridge into Barcelos.

View attachment 164922

Day 2 saw me set off under some blue sky, which was very welcome. I was staying on the track as it heads out of the town, and it wasn’t much walking along the road (note: on pavement) before the track turns off and starts winding down between trees. A river to the right was spotted, and then my first view of the lovely 8-arch Romanesque Punte de Ave. Crossing this the path then climbs up to rejoin the N306. Very shortly after, the detour appears on the left, and what followed was a meandering but bucolic ramble through countryside and hamlets, punctuated by the occasional barky dog behind a wall, outraged at my temerity at passing their boundary. Always a delight to see something like the bowl of fruit left out on a pilgrims bench.

Next up was the village of Sao Mamede, where I stopped for coffee and a muffin at its little bar-store. Leaving cobbles behind, it’s a tarmac road till the gravel and stone path that leads you to your first view of Sao Miguel de Arcos and it’s church tower. It’s here where you start to see signs of the Coastal and Central routes meeting.
And my first encounter with another pilgrim. Exciting!

Then onto Rates. I missed the instructions for the original route so followed the road (the newer route). Perhaps less interesting? After Rates, I wondered whether I’d see more pilgrims joining from the coast, but given this was late morning, probably too early for anyone crossing over from the coast to make Rates.

The stretch from Rates to Pedra Furada doesn’t get much in the way of a description eg Wise Pilgrim, but it’s 6-7km of the path crossing through farmland, very little in the way of cobbles or asphalt, and some modest ups and downs. Note that’s worth making sure you’re ok on the water front. I was running low before Pedra Furada, and nipped away from the route as it turns to the right, to find a top up in a village cafe bar.

Then to Pedra Furada and the main road. I stopped to take a look at the donativo, Albergue O Palhuco, opened in 2022. The hospi Marianne kindly gave m a quick tour and it’s delightful. I’d already made plans in Barcelos, but I’d recommend it to anyone looking to stop here. A reviving stop at a restaurant up the road run by the charming Antonio, and then on for the final push which as it usually the way at the end of a long day, seemed to take forever. I took the variants on offer to get off the road.

Weatherise, it changed every time you looked at it - sun-rain-wind-stillish-wet-dry.

A lovely day’s walking.

Here’s a pic from the bridge into Barcelos.

View attachment 164922
Lovely descriptions ! Thank you so much for taking us along with you !
 
Set out from Porto yday morning, having stayed a couple of nights in Gallery Hostel in Cedofeita (highly recommended).

The walk out of Porto is what it is - leaving any major city tends to mean kms of traffic heavy roads. But I rather enjoyed passing through the various neighbourhoods, and noticing the difference as you reach the outskirts, leave Porto behind you, and start walking the back lanes.

First Camino since breaking my wrist in Rabanal del Camino last Oct. Good to be back on the Camino trail again.

The rain was a major factor yesterday - maybe 6 bouts of intensive, heavy showers, some quite lengthy. Poncho on and off, or rain jacket? Fleece on or off? Oh the conundrums!

I loved the detour to the right at the Giao-Joudina junction. Vairao is delightful - I almost wished I’d decided to stay at the albergue but I’d already told Laura / Carlos I’d be staying at Casa da Laura in Vilarinho. There was an incident where I almost bowled into the tiny chapel but at the last second realised there was an occupied, open casket, and 3 people keeping vigil, looking at horrified expressions as I appeared at the glass door! Eeek.

So here I am at Casa da Laura, with the accommodation to myself. Which brings its own benefits - I can spread out, empty my pack etc. I love the tea/coffee/biccies/milk/beer/wine help -yourself hospitality here. Loved the plug in heater in my dorm room - much appreciated

No other Pilgrims spotted en route on day 1.

Gonna be a quiet one?
I'm a few days behind you. Leaving on Wednesday from Porto along the Coastal route. Hoping to stay in Albergues.
 

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