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Camino Portuguese

After two years of hiatus I am back on the Camino once again. This time my companion is my great grand nephew. This is an opportunity for the two of us to bond and learn from each other. We arrived in Lisbon three days ago and proceeded to take on the sights and sounds of Lisbon.

Today we started our Camino from Lisbon. It was a hot day so we were happy that we started early to avoid some of the afternoon sun. Our journey began at the Cathedral in the Alfama district. We did about 21km and ended our day in Alpriat.

I will try and post every few days if I can find better Wi-Fi. Good to be back on the saddle again.

Precious Moments

As we walked today to complete our Pat’s and my 5th Camino in 6 years, I was stricken with the value of each moment. Walking the Camino has confirmed how precious every moment is. I never dreamed that over this period of walking I would also be blogging for over 2000 miles. Blogging was a way for me to be in the moment and be able to see the beauty all around me. I notice the tinniest little flower or bug and enjoy all aspects of nature and people.

It was also fun to have my sister along for this Camino, just like the first one. She has such zest for life and loves to explore the world. The long days of walking are never easy but the rewards are tremendous. One feels alive and connected to the world.

Again thanks for all your well wishes and support. We bid you goodbye from this adventure in 2019 with today’s pictures.

All good things must end

We are now 13.7 km from Santiago. Tomorrow God willing we will complete our planned journey from Porto to Santiago.

We would like to thank all of you who have joined us for this memorable journey. Thank you for your comments along the way also.

Last when we left you we had just crossed this bridge to enter Vilanova de Arousa for the night.

The next day, yesterday, was our journey by boat to Padrón. The boat was to leave at 1:30 pm based on the tide. The next morning we realized why! You can see how the tide changes the coastline.

We have enjoyed walking in the rain, but our boat ride to Padrón in the rain was not anything to write home about. We were completely drenched to the bone when we got off the boat. It continued raining for the rest of the day.

This morning we woke up to rain and mist, and I was sure we would not get any good pictures or views, but we were surprised. It was a nice day as you can see. We went through some charming streets and forests.

Rain also forces you to stop if there are cafes along the way. Especially Pat and Sakkar had a wonderful time with their Cafe con Leche while I enjoyed my Sumo Natural Naranja! Along the way we also caught up with our Camino friends from South Africa.

Most of the times when you are following the yellow arrow it will swing you by the church, and today it even took us up the steps to the front door of the church.

Even though we are so close to a major city there are always quiet and beautiful scenes everywhere.

Sometimes it is hard to find a dry spot to sit down on in the rain!

Our cat whisperer had a happy surprise when the cat decided to forgo her rain shelter for some petting!

We encountered some nice forests also.

We are staying in a Casa Rural tonight and the place is gorgeous.

For the 🌹 lovers. Here are a few that didn’t make it in my last blog.

Oh, all the places we go

Today we started by walking along the river Umia for about 7 km. It was a cool and misty morning and the river meandered it’s way along the grape vines.

For the next 8 km we were walking through villages and country roads. The terrain and the environment was completely different. We were now enjoying a little bit of sunshine also.

The last 5km we were back on the coast! Tomorrow we take the boat to Padron where we join the central path. The coast once again was gorgeous! The sun mixed in with the cool breeze of the ocean was just what we needed to end a nice day on the Camino, where the scenery is always changing.

Ruta da Pedra e da Auga

“Path of Stone and Water” was the name of our path this morning.

Our next destination was 24km, which was a bit more than we wanted to take on in a day. Unfortunately there was only one stop 7 km away. So we ended up breaking the days into 7 today and 17 tomorrow!

I would change the name of the path to “Heaven on Earth.” Even though it rained the whole way, it was one of the most precious walks of this Camino. Walking along the creek with the sound of rushing water beside us. The rain drops making their distinct sounds on our rain jackets. The rustling of the leaves, the cool breeze. All of these along with the light and environment were making this a magical morning.

Peaceful Monastery

Our goal today was simple. Leave the coast, climb about 1,200 feet gradually and then begin our descent into a quite and peaceful monastery to spend our night. We like to make sure that we get a chance to spend at least one night in such a special place in each of our Camino journeys. Pat was dogged about getting us this accommodation and had to make several calls over multiple days before we were able to secure the reservation. Good thing she did, because when we arrived, there were no rooms to be had.

Here is our day in pictures.

Spiritual Variant

We had no idea how many pilgrims would take the central path to Santiago and how many would take the spiritual variant. The first 2 km out of Pontevedra are the same route for both paths, and we saw hundreds of pilgrims leaving Pontevedra this morning on the shared path. Once we branched off onto the variant, we probably saw only seven pilgrims the rest of today. Talk about the road less traveled!

It was a bit hilly but gorgeous the rest of the way.

Along the way we came across the Monastery do Poi and decided to take the tour inside.

The last few days we had been moving inland, so the last thing we expected was to be at the shore, but that is where we ended up at the end of the day. Wonderful cool breeze, sunshine, and great coastal view.

Walking in a dreamland

We woke up to rain spattering over our roof window at the Albergue. The forecast was for an overcast day, so we knew we could count on the rain to fizzle away. We started in a mist (the dumb rain as it is know in Spain – because if you are dumb enough to ignore it, soon you realize you are soaking wet).

It turned out to be perfect scenery with lush forest and trees most of the day. It felt humid and wet through the early morning climbs, but soon it gave away to undulating forests. A perfect day to smell the earth, grass, eucalyptus and feel heaven on earth.

We are about 65 km from Santiago. There is another variant known as the spiritual path that we are planning to embark on tomorrow which eventually merges with the central path at Pedrón through a boat ride.

A pilgrim at the end of the day!

At first blush this may look like a scarecrow..

At close inspection you notice his hiking boots and the hiking pole. For us it reminds us of a pilgrim at the end of the day. If we don’t look like it, we definitely feel like it!

Last night being Sunday and our being in the center of town, we were witness to yet another Spanish festival.

The band played right outside our window until 1 at night. Of course I slept through it all but Pat and Sakkar suffered through the cacophony.

We left early again for our 17 km walk through various villages and country roads.