With only a few months away, it’s very difficult to not look forward to the next Camino. I was back volunteering with Camino Society Ireland last Saturday and it felt great to chat to pilgrims either planning their Caminos or who have just returned. During the pandemic, I had been conversing with friends over email, zoom or instant messenger, but there is nothing like talking in person about the Camino to another pilgrim. It gave me my fill for the day, anyway. Apart from that, I have my kit ready, give or take a few things. I am eager to step on Portuguese soil to get walking. It will be my first time arriving in Santiago since 2019 when I walked with my brother from A Coruna – a short but special Camino.
The walk from Porto will be longer – 280 kms approximately, but we have walked from A Guarda or the Portuguese border in 2018, so it will be a good time to mix things up after that point. We have reserved two bunks in Porto Wine Hostel which is about 20 minutes walk from Porto Cathedral. There is one official albergue in Porto but many many hostels that I have lost count. The only other accommodation I have reserved is in Santiago de Compostela – Hospedaría San Martiño Pinario for two nights. All in all, this should take us 12 days walking barring any injury.
The map above is of the Portuguese Camino. You will see that there are a number of variations until all the routes converge in Redondela. The Portuguese Camino starts in Lisbon further down which is another 300 km approx however most pilgrims start in Porto or Tui further on. We intend to stay to the coast as much as we can. At Caminha, we will need to catch a ferry from Portugal to Spain at A Guarda. Some pilgrims walk from the coast to Valenca, and you can see this on the map.
Some of the highlights on this Camino include:
- the many beaches that line the Camino,
- Santuario de Santa Luzia, Viana do Castelo
- the magnificent monastery in Oia
- Old Town of Baiona
- Historical Centre of Vigo
- Pimientos de Padrón
- Arriving in Santiago
Now to get out with the pack as I will be the first to admit I am rusty. More to come soon.
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