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Woman walking from Lisbon, hoping for input

RobinAll

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances Sep 2018, Portugués May 2019
Hello! I'm walking alone from Lisbon May 15 and am wondering a few things... I walked the Frances last year (LOVED it) but understand there are far fewer people starting in Lisbon (in favor of Porto). I'm hoping there are enough at this time of year that I can feel relatively safe going solo. So, are there buses along the Lisbon --> Porto route, or are taxis fairly available in case I get stuck? And I saw that there are many festivals in Portugal in May and a lot of the hotels are booked. Although I plan to mostly stay in albuergues, I look to the hotels as back up. Can anyone out there now comment on how full-up the accommodations are? Would SO appreciate it.

I have some nerves going, as is typical for many of us getting ready to start these caminos!! Lastly, anyone also walking from Lisbon around the same time? Bom Caminho!
 

NorthernLight

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
Each day, or every couple if days, get a phone number for a local taxi. That way you have the most local service, and increase odds of said taxi driver knowing the area and being able to find you and knowing local hostel options. I can't speak to buses, but do a few searches on Rome2rio using some of the more remote villages and maybe something will show up.

There are other solo women out there, also starting from Lisbon, but you may easily go a few days not seeing any pilgrims at all. There are many options getting out of both Lisbon and Porto, so the pilgrims are scattered.

If you know how far you want to walk, it may make you feel more secure to book the day before. The hospiteleros will help with that phone call.
 

Bluedog

Austin, Texas
Camino(s) past & future
None yet. Departing from Lisbon on April 17 (2019)
I just walked from Lisbon and am in Barcelos (just past Porto now).

I would not hesitate to recommend skipping the first stage or two out of Lisbon. It may be a day or two walk for you but it is only a 15 minute ride by car, for anyone.

The nice woman who ran the first alberge (I forget the place) made me promise not to open the door after hours. That got my attention.

You would not be missing anything.

Just my 2¢.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
First, RELAX. You are not the first person to do this solo.

Second, when you need a taxi to go from where you are to ‘x,’ I recommend popping into a cafe and asking the proprietor to call a taxi for you to go to ‘x.’ Use one of the online translators to compose and bookmark to save the phrase for future use.

Third, I recommend you use Wi-Fi to access your App Store to get free apps for the Portuguese rail system, CP; and for Rede Expressos, the inter-city bus company.

Between these apps, and taxis, you should be able to “leap frog” over portions that do not interest you for any reason. There is no harm in doing this. Remember, it is YOUR Camino. No one can tell you the “right” way to do it.

The only point at which you have to suck it up and press on, IF you want a Compostela, is from Tui to Santiago. But, in my two Caminos this way, once you arrive at Porto the Camino is kinder and more user-friendly.

Hope this helps.
 

RobinAll

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances Sep 2018, Portugués May 2019
Each day, or every couple if days, get a phone number for a local taxi. That way you have the most local service, and increase odds of said taxi driver knowing the area and being able to find you and knowing local hostel options. I can't speak to buses, but do a few searches on Rome2rio using some of the more remote villages and maybe something will show up.

There are other solo women out there, also starting from Lisbon, but you may easily go a few days not seeing any pilgrims at all. There are many options getting out of both Lisbon and Porto, so the pilgrims are scattered.

If you know how far you want to walk, it may make you feel more secure to book the day before. The hospiteleros will help with that phone call.
Thank you! That's useful!
 

RobinAll

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances Sep 2018, Portugués May 2019
First, RELAX. You are not the first person to do this solo.

Second, when you need a taxi to go from where you are to ‘x,’ I recommend popping into a cafe and asking the proprietor to call a taxi for you to go to ‘x.’ Use one of the online translators to compose and bookmark to save the phrase for future use.

Third, I recommend you use Wi-Fi to access your App Store to get free apps for the Portuguese rail system, CP; and for Rede Expressos, the inter-city bus company.

Between these apps, and taxis, you should be able to “leap frog” over portions that do not interest you for any reason. There is no harm in doing this. Remember, it is YOUR Camino. No one can tell you the “right” way to do it.

The only point at which you have to suck it up and press on, IF you want a Compostela, is from Tui to Santiago. But, in my two Caminos this way, once you arrive at Porto the Camino is kinder and more user-friendly.

Hope this helps.
Of course I'm not the first woman to do this solo (there are plenty of threads of solo women asking this same question and none from men FYI and there's a reason for that) and I did the Frances solo, but I'm looking at this point for useful, current info that will help me decide if there are enough pilgrims from Lisbon to Porto for me to feel comfortable walking it solo. First for safety and second for camaraderie which was an aspect of the Frances I totally enjoyed.
 

RobinAll

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances Sep 2018, Portugués May 2019
I just walked from Lisbon and am in Barcelos (just past Porto now).

I would not hesitate to recommend skipping the first stage or two out of Lisbon. It may be a day or two walk for you but it is only a 15 minute ride by car, for anyone.

The nice woman who ran the first alberge (I forget the place) made me promise not to open the door after hours. That got my attention.

You would not be missing anything.

Just my 2¢.
So did you like the rest of the stretch past Lisbon to Porto? Just curious. :)
 

The Kolbist

Member
Camino(s) past & future
past: Frances, inland Portuguese, Fatima
future: Del Norte, coastal Porugues, Englis
May 13 is coming up. it is the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima and a lot of Portuguese pilgrims walk towards Fatima. Thats why you might see a lot of bookings in the hotel. Camino de Fatima and CP shares the route from Lisbon to Santarem and then they split. Just like the outskirts of getting into Burgos, you might encounter an industrial area just outside Lisbon. Just like what t2andreo said, Portugal has a pretty good public transpo that takes you from one town to another including trains. When we walked the Portuguese from Lisbon, we did not feel that in anytime we (2 couples) were in danger although there were some reports on this forums. We found the Portuguese people to be kind and helpful. One thing that we usually do when we are in Portugal is to use Uber, they were cheaper than Taxi and pretty reliable. Maybe thats an option for you. We've been scammed by taxi drivers twice in Lisbon by them switching meters. Other than that enjoy Portuguese food especially seafood that is if you like seafood especially grilled sadinhas. Bom Caminho..
 

Bluedog

Austin, Texas
Camino(s) past & future
None yet. Departing from Lisbon on April 17 (2019)
So did you like the rest of the stretch past Lisbon to Porto? Just curious. :)
I don't know if I can answer that question yet. I saw very few other pilgrims. It was a chance to get to know rural portugal a bit before running into the teaming masses in Porto.

Outside Lisbon was the only place I felt was a little sketchy.
 

Magwood

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
See signature line for links to daily posts to blogs from many caminos
I walked from Lisbon back in 2014 and found a walking partner from this forum as I was a little nervous walking solo on a camino that I read was little walked. As it happens there were several others walking at the same time. I posted to my blog each day about the type of trail I was walking on, the landscape and the type of accommodation available. There is at least one new albergue now, making the first stage out of Lisbon more manageable, and there may well be more. You are welcome to take a look here and I hope it is helpful and reassuring.
 

surya8

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portugues Central and Coastal 2017 & 2019; Portugues Interior, Sanabres, Fisterra & Muxia 2018
I'm hoping there are enough at this time of year that I can feel relatively safe going solo. So, are there buses along the Lisbon --> Porto route. I plan to mostly stay in albuergues, I look to the hotels as back up.
I walked between Santaren and Porto out of season, at the end of Oct 2017. There were between 3 and 9 people at the stage on a particular day, more people arrive after Coimbra. I found a Camino family easily, right after my first day and we walked together to Porto. Plenty of chats and shared meals with fellow pilgrims and amazing hospitality of the locals as well! There were people from Portugal, Brazil, Russia, Denmark, Canada, Australia and Germany. We'd been talking to the hospitalieros along the way and they say this stretch is getting busy, numbers are coming, and mid May is a high season, so you may find your company on the way. There is a railway line, it lasts out of Lisbon for many stages, so you can hop on and off if you wish so. I stayed only in albergues, both municipal and private, was fine, some long stages between Lison and Coimbra because of that but you don't have to do so if you stay in private accommodation which should be easily available. The full list of accommodation: http://www.vialusitana.org/caminho-portugues/albergues/ My day-by-day blog starting from Santaren: https://anna-camino.livejournal.com/1580.html One of my friends from that Camino has been helping opening the albergue in his home town on the way, it's brand new and waiting for pilgrim, located in Branca, after Albergaria-a-Velha: https://www.facebook.com/CasaCatolicoBranca Bom Caminho! :)
 

Elle Bieling

Elle Bieling, PilgrimageTraveler
Camino(s) past & future
Inglés, '14 '17 Finisterre, '14 '17 '18 Primitivo, '15 '18 Portuguese, '17, '18 San Salvador, '18
I did not mind the walk out of Lisbon at all. You walk through the old World Expo site and on lovely promenades along the river! I just don't understand why folks don't like this section. Look closely for the arrows as you leave the cathedral. See my day one for photos and make your own decision!
Lots of pilgrims use the train as needed as Surya says and I would recommend it too if you are unhappy with your walk.
I think you will love this section and the Portuguese are amazingly friendly and helpful. All you need to do is ask. My blog is full of stories on how we were helped by these amazing people!
Bom Caminho!
 

Ferenjinan

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy- Auvillar ( 2018 )
Lisbon- Santiago (2019)

St. Jean Pied a Port - Finisterre 2008
Hello! I'm walking alone from Lisbon May 15 and am wondering a few things... I walked the Frances last year (LOVED it) but understand there are far fewer people starting in Lisbon (in favor of Porto). I'm hoping there are enough at this time of year that I can feel relatively safe going solo. So, are there buses along the Lisbon --> Porto route, or are taxis fairly available in case I get stuck? And I saw that there are many festivals in Portugal in May and a lot of the hotels are booked. Although I plan to mostly stay in albuergues, I look to the hotels as back up. Can anyone out there now comment on how full-up the accommodations are? Would SO appreciate it.

I have some nerves going, as is typical for many of us getting ready to start these caminos!! Lastly, anyone also walking from Lisbon around the same time? Bom Caminho!
We walked from Lisboa 1 month ago. All was fine except for hostel at Alpriate ( our first night out)
Manager was creepy, groped my breast while ' 'showing'me something which I'd not asked to be shown and charged 1 € for the thinnest blanket in Portugal. Avoid that one, all the rest were splendid.
I also got pickpocketed in Porto on the metro. That'll teach me not to walk out of the city! Be careful.

But it was great, though it might be more crowded now than a month ago. We met lovely people, and in fact just now ( a few days from Santiago) we met one of our pals from those early days. A young German woman walking alone.
Do it. It was grand. Go to Fatima too if you have time.
By the way, we are 2 ladies over 70.
Havin' fun.
 

RobinAll

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances Sep 2018, Portugués May 2019
May 13 is coming up. it is the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima and a lot of Portuguese pilgrims walk towards Fatima. Thats why you might see a lot of bookings in the hotel. Camino de Fatima and CP shares the route from Lisbon to Santarem and then they split. Just like the outskirts of getting into Burgos, you might encounter an industrial area just outside Lisbon. Just like what t2andreo said, Portugal has a pretty good public transpo that takes you from one town to another including trains. When we walked the Portuguese from Lisbon, we did not feel that in anytime we (2 couples) were in danger although there were some reports on this forums. We found the Portuguese people to be kind and helpful. One thing that we usually do when we are in Portugal is to use Uber, they were cheaper than Taxi and pretty reliable. Maybe thats an option for you. We've been scammed by taxi drivers twice in Lisbon by them switching meters. Other than that enjoy Portuguese food especially seafood that is if you like seafood especially grilled sadinhas. Bom Caminho..
Thank you! : )
 

RobinAll

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances Sep 2018, Portugués May 2019
I walked from Lisbon back in 2014 and found a walking partner from this forum as I was a little nervous walking solo on a camino that I read was little walked. As it happens there were several others walking at the same time. I posted to my blog each day about the type of trail I was walking on, the landscape and the type of accommodation available. There is at least one new albergue now, making the first stage out of Lisbon more manageable, and there may well be more. You are welcome to take a look here and I hope it is helpful and reassuring.
Yes, very reassuring and helpful. Amazing that you've been able to do so many caminos!
 

mike mcbroom

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis June 17, 2015 ,Portagusee from Porto to Santiago August 2016, Francis may 2018 this year wil
Hello! I'm walking alone from Lisbon May 15 and am wondering a few things... I walked the Frances last year (LOVED it) but understand there are far fewer people starting in Lisbon (in favor of Porto). I'm hoping there are enough at this time of year that I can feel relatively safe going solo. So, are there buses along the Lisbon --> Porto route, or are taxis fairly available in case I get stuck? And I saw that there are many festivals in Portugal in May and a lot of the hotels are booked. Although I plan to mostly stay in albuergues, I look to the hotels as back up. Can anyone out there now comment on how full-up the accommodations are? Would SO appreciate it.

I have some nerves going, as is typical for many of us getting ready to start these caminos!! Lastly, anyone also walking from Lisbon around the same time? Bom Caminho!
i plan to start in the morning but i plan to walk slow at first. I walked from Porto to Cdc two years ago on the Coastal route in August. The number of pilgrams was very light until Tui.
The folks in Portugal are the best and you should not have issues.
Contact me if you want walk partner for d
safty
 

RobinAll

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances Sep 2018, Portugués May 2019
I walked between Santaren and Porto out of season, at the end of Oct 2017. There were between 3 and 9 people at the stage on a particular day, more people arrive after Coimbra. I found a Camino family easily, right after my first day and we walked together to Porto. Plenty of chats and shared meals with fellow pilgrims and amazing hospitality of the locals as well! There were people from Portugal, Brazil, Russia, Denmark, Canada, Australia and Germany. We'd been talking to the hospitalieros along the way and they say this stretch is getting busy, numbers are coming, and mid May is a high season, so you may find your company on the way. There is a railway line, it lasts out of Lisbon for many stages, so you can hop on and off if you wish so. I stayed only in albergues, both municipal and private, was fine, some long stages between Lison and Coimbra because of that but you don't have to do so if you stay in private accommodation which should be easily available. The full list of accommodation: http://www.vialusitana.org/caminho-portugues/albergues/ My day-by-day blog starting from Santaren: https://anna-camino.livejournal.com/1580.html One of my friends from that Camino has been helping opening the albergue in his home town on the way, it's brand new and waiting for pilgrim, located in Branca, after Albergaria-a-Velha: https://www.facebook.com/CasaCatolicoBranca Bom Caminho! :)
Surya, I thought about starting in Coimbra instead! So nice to hear all this, thank you for sharing and for the links! Love your blog photos, but couldn't read it.
 

Joan Biggs

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portugal to Santiago
Hello! I'm walking alone from Lisbon May 15 and am wondering a few things... I walked the Frances last year (LOVED it) but understand there are far fewer people starting in Lisbon (in favor of Porto). I'm hoping there are enough at this time of year that I can feel relatively safe going solo. So, are there buses along the Lisbon --> Porto route, or are taxis fairly available in case I get stuck? And I saw that there are many festivals in Portugal in May and a lot of the hotels are booked. Although I plan to mostly stay in albuergues, I look to the hotels as back up. Can anyone out there now comment on how full-up the accommodations are? Would SO appreciate it.

I have some nerves going, as is typical for many of us getting ready to start these caminos!! Lastly, anyone also walking from Lisbon around the same time? Bom Caminho!
 

Joan Biggs

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portugal to Santiago
Re festivals, the main busy time is around 13 May for Fatima, apart from that there are no major public holidays/festivals in Portugal.
 

RobinAll

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances Sep 2018, Portugués May 2019
I did not mind the walk out of Lisbon at all. You walk through the old World Expo site and on lovely promenades along the river! I just don't understand why folks don't like this section. Look closely for the arrows as you leave the cathedral. See my day one for photos and make your own decision!
Lots of pilgrims use the train as needed as Surya says and I would recommend it too if you are unhappy with your walk.
I think you will love this section and the Portuguese are amazingly friendly and helpful. All you need to do is ask. My blog is full of stories on how we were helped by these amazing people!
Bom Caminho!
Thanks so much, Elle, I will def check out your blog, maybe on the plane tomorrow. :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Cycling Lisbon to Santiago - Oct/Nov 2015
2019? - TBD, I have 2-3 weeks and don't really like crowds
Also remember, from Lisbon to Santarem you are on the same route as the Camino de Fatima. Depending on time, you could walk to Fatima then cross over to Tomar. Don't miss Tomar though.
 

surya8

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portugues Central and Coastal 2017 & 2019; Portugues Interior, Sanabres, Fisterra & Muxia 2018
Surya, I thought about starting in Coimbra instead! So nice to hear all this, thank you for sharing and for the links! Love your blog photos, but couldn't read it.
I've just heard from my friend who volunteers in the new donativo albergue Casa Catolico in Branca, about 50km south of Porto, between Albergaria-a-Velha and Sao Joao de Madeira. He said some days in the morning between 20 and 30 people pass by, so the closer to Porto the busier. I've posted about this albergue here as it's brand new and not in the apps yet. They should have a place for you :) I visited there before starting my Camino in Jan 2019 when they were working on the project. Loved the house and the garden there! https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/new-donativo-albergue-casa-catolico-lisbon-porto-stretch.62251/#post-745118 Bom Caminho!
 

Belinda Brown

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
St.jean to Burgos 2015, Burgos to Leon 2016
Hi Robin, I depart uk on Tuesday for Lisbon and am a woman walking alone too. I’m sure it will be less busy than the st.frances trail but the Portuguese have a wonderful reputation for their kindness so I’m sure we will be fine. I also had reservation about starting from Lisbon but am now sure it looks lovely walking alongside the river so that’s the plan. It’s easy to catch trains or buses if we change our minds at any point. Hope we bmp into each other. Belinda
 

Artemis

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2006, Camino Portuguese 2009
Hi Robin, I depart uk on Tuesday for Lisbon and am a woman walking alone too. I’m sure it will be less busy than the st.frances trail but the Portuguese have a wonderful reputation for their kindness so I’m sure we will be fine. I also had reservation about starting from Lisbon but am now sure it looks lovely walking alongside the river so that’s the plan. It’s easy to catch trains or buses if we change our minds at any point. Hope we bmp into each other. Belinda
Hi, Belinda. My 19 year old nephew will be starting from Lisbon on Wednesday. This will be his first camino. Maybe you will run into him.
 

Belinda Brown

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
St.jean to Burgos 2015, Burgos to Leon 2016
Hi, Belinda. My 19 year old nephew will be starting from Lisbon on Wednesday. This will be his first camino. Maybe you will run into him.
Great I’ll watch for him what’s his name??
 

alhartman

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2005 2007 Frances
2016 Leon to Santiago
Walked solo (male so cannot address female risks) Oct 2017. Intermittent walking tho because of Achilles injury. Left permanently north of Porto after Sao Pedro de Rates. I loved all the walking I got to do--even the industrial stuff out of Lisbon. Loved the Portuguese. Loved the food. Loved the bigger city tourism (esp Tomar). Never dined alone; but never had a camino family or steady walking companion either--which was perfect for me!
Met lots of Brazilians headed to Fatima.

bom caminho
 

Belinda Brown

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
St.jean to Burgos 2015, Burgos to Leon 2016
Great I’ll watch for him what’s his name??
Great I haven’t found him yet but lots of other pilgrims walking from Lisbon so I’m positive he’ll find companions. Hot weather in the Portuguese but fabulous breezes off the sea and river. I highly recommend a Quinta called Quinta de burra just after Porto de Muge fir anyone heading this way! 20 euros with dinner breakfast rolls fir the walk to santerem and a generous hearted host named Paula who even did our washing and brought us fresh orange juice on arrival.
 

Artemis

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2006, Camino Portuguese 2009
Great I haven’t found him yet but lots of other pilgrims walking from Lisbon so I’m positive he’ll find companions. Hot weather in the Portuguese but fabulous breezes off the sea and river. I highly recommend a Quinta called Quinta de burra just after Porto de Muge fir anyone heading this way! 20 euros with dinner breakfast rolls fir the walk to santerem and a generous hearted host named Paula who even did our washing and brought us fresh orange juice on arrival.
 

Artemis

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2006, Camino Portuguese 2009
Belinda, because of time constraints with his return ticket, he has decided to start in Porto instead. I doubt you will meet up but thanks for looking for him. Hope you have an amazing Camino.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
For me, “industrial” means factories belching smoke, heavy traffic. From Lisbon, the heavy industry section doesn’t start till you get quite a bit further out and walk right alongside some factories that look like nuclear power plants, but I am not sure that’s what they are.

From Lisbon itself, you go through the Alfama (old moorish area), past the tile museum, along the old port (with its really beautiful old buildings) and on some roads with traffic into Parque das Naçoes. That is an old Expo site and has a river walk. You go under the long Vasco da Gama bridge, and then along a canal that runs alongside the Tajo River. It is a strip with a lot of illegal dumping and ruins of what used to be some very nice large estates.

That stretch along the canal after Sacavém was the site of an attack on a solo peregrina last year.



Since then, I have heard no reports of further incidents and I know that the Via Lusitana and the police have been vigilant. I don’t want to stoke unnecessary fears, which I know this post might do, but it did happen. I also know that many women have continued to walk solo, on the Portugues and on other caminos, knowing that there is a risk of incidents, just as there is a risk of incidents almost everywhere in the world. For me, knowing that the camino is almost exponentially safer than my own home town and country, I have made the decision to accept the risk and continue to enjoy walking alone. But if you can’t shake the fear, even though your brain tells you it’s not totally rational, then you shouldn’t walk alone because you will not enjoy it.
 

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