Monthly Archives: September 2019

Camino choices

There are so many ways to travel from Porto to Santiago. We had walked the coastal way so far. We had a choice to make today. We could take the ferry and cross over to Spain’s coastal way or stay inland in Portugal for a few more days and then cross over to Spain.

We chose to stay inland because it had more villages, cafés, and accommodations. We also wanted to keep our walking distance modest (15K vs. 20 K per day). So much for planing! We didn’t realize there was a choice within the choice–the walk along the river or over the hills. Well, guess which one we ended up on? You would be correct, “the hills.”

We started correctly by crossing Rio Coura and then finding Rio Minho, but the yellow arrows took us to the forest and hills. It was a beautiful hike with only a few unplanned kilometers of walking, but we felt like we were back on the real Camino with yellow arrows pointing our way and with a few villages offering coffee and pastries. Tomorrow we intend to stick to the river and be more mindful of our options. Here is today’s journey in pictures.

Coastal walk

Today we walked along the coast in an overcast and cloudy day – perfect for hiking but not great for photography and scenery. The morning was idyllic and beautiful in the morning breeze and I was still able to find beauty all around me.

Off the beaten path

Sunday afternoon in Esposende was thriving with the locals having fun at the craft show and the marina.

We started on the main route for a bit and enjoyed a morning walk through the woods.

It was an overcast morning and we decided to deviate from the main route to take on the coastal route. How could anyone get lost on the coast, you just follow the coastline!

But, we weren’t so lucky as there were no boardwalks, and going from village to village we ended up bushwhacking through the forest, and of course there were no markers! We had to rely on instinct and google world maps, but even the paths that were on the GPS would vanish after a while. We ended up having to turn back few times. Walking on the sand dunes, the main goal was to keep moving north to the confluence of the ocean with the river where we would catch a ferry. What a fun day. To top it all off, we finally had some rain (although not in the days forecast).

It was an exhausting day because we had not planned on those extra km. Overall we had a wonderful day of surprises!

We came across welcoming posts that worked like sand cairns!

We are talking a rest day today in Viana do Castelo and will enjoy this beautiful town.

A little bit of everything

Today we started on the seaside boardwalk route, veered into the forest path for a bit through the eucalyptus trees, and finished by the coastal route.

Yesterday we stayed the night in Vila do Conde:

This morning we started again early just before the sun came out. Full moon was over the ocean. The morning breeze felt sweet caressing our bodies. The Camino walks are so beautiful and endearing, specially early in the morning.

We are now settled in an albergue in Esposende relaxing from a good day’s walk!

You can’t keep a good man down!

We are back for another adventure. The trip to England Coast to Coast felt incomplete as we had to cut it short due to rain and bogs.

We have regrouped and decided to walk the Camino Portuguese from Porto to Santiago. We spent a day in Porto taking in the beautiful city. Sitting at the confluence of River Duoro and the Atlantic Ocean, Porto is definitely worth a visit!

This morning we began our 280km walk along the coast toward Santiago. There are many routes from Porto, so we will be jumping between the coastal route and the more traditional route. Today we took a metro out of town and began our 18km trek to Vila do Conde.

Along the way we came across a couple of fishing villages.

At tonight’s hostel we met up with my sister who has joined us to walk the Camino.