It is 2 years since my brother and I walked from A Guarda, on the Spanish border, to Santiago de Compestela. It was his first Camino and my first time on the Portuguese Way. After a number of times on the French Way, I had watched the number of pilgrims grow and I wanted to mix things up, so this was a perfect next step. The distance from Santiago was 163km and walking by the coast was just perfect. It isn’t a challenging Camino compared to the French Way so I would most certainly recommend this as an option if you are to looking to walk for the first time.
A Guarda – Oia
Our first day would be a short day. 14km to be precise. And you would be right in saying that we didn’t wake too early either. We left the hotel just after 7am. It was a bright, clear, sunny Monday morning. Pilgrims were leaving the solitary albergue located in the town. but there were not too many of them. The Portuguese Coastal route is a quiet route. We noticed that on our first day. It was just the two of us for the first few hours until we reached Oia.
For the first hour after leaving A Guarda, we walked along the coast. The sea guided us. There was no need for arrows. The ocean was our soundtrack for the morning. I remember saying to myself it is better than the constant chatter of eager pilgrims and clacking of walking poles. Solidarity! We pass one or two fishermen on our way. That would be it. Occasionally, the trail takes you away from the sea and towards the main road. The PO-552 is a busy road and we watch ourselves as cars pass at speed. So when the Camino veers back to the coast, I am glad.
We arrive in Oia at the very early time of 11 am. Crazy, right? Just in time for second breakfast! Oia is a fantastic little town right on the Atlantic Ocean. It has a golden beach below it and overlooking the own is the Monastery de Santa Maria. We see there is a tourist office here also and ask where we can find a pilgrim menu. Thank you to Ana in the tourist office in Oia. She was a great help. So first, we checked in at Casa Puertas.
The evening was spent chilling by the sea, having a pilgrim menu and meeting fellow pilgrims, before packing up before the next day. Tomorrow would be longer, but not by much.