May 8th 2022 – Day 2
Ok, so I have a good few notes and photos for this day, mainly as I was walking solo. We all suffered in our own way after Day 1 and the two lads wanted to stay back a few extra minutes in the hostel. I decided to leave at 7.30am and walk slow. I was aware that (a) it was a Sunday so not much would be open and (b) it would be getting hot as the day progressed and I was right. I went in search of a cafe before I left Vila do Conde for a decent breakfast before I ventured back on the coast. I am aware that there is a line above the “a” in Fao but I can’t find the button on the keyboard so I might as well plough on. The cafe was found and I had a hearty breakfast – my first one for the day and I turned left toward the ocean.
The great thing about walking with a group is you don’t need to walk together. I enjoy walking solo and meeting up with folks I know at the end of the day. However I did worry about my brother after his exertions the previous day and hoped he would be okay today. My fears were allayed when I received photos of the two lads chilling by the ocean happy as larry. At least they had started their walk.
I was in Povoa de Varzim soon however the tourist office was closed for the day, like most things. I did stop by the church and take a few photos. There were the many joggers and early morning walkers out but very few pilgrims. I was back on the boardwalk once I left Povoa and it was a joy to see it again. It sticks to the coast and stays there until Agucadoura (sorry, I can’t pronounce it!). I met my first pilgrims of the day and I would meet them on and off until Santiago. Mick is from Luxembourg and is a Camino veteran. Margaret and her husband are from the UK and this is their first Camino and so far are really enjoying it. The topic of the weather is brought up. We are expecting a big increase in temperatures over the coming days – I will believe it when I see it. I am invited to a quick snack in Agucadoura by my new pilgrim friends. One of the pilgrims from the UK brings up politics and Brexit – I quickly deflect it with humour. It is one of the subjects I don’t talk about while on the Camino – as well as work! At this point, I had walked over 10km for the day and it was not 11am.
Leaving Agucadoura, I walked alone on boardwalk. I have to say it was tough going here as most of the boards were covered with sand dunes and it required effort to climb over the sand. I reached a point where we needed to turn away from the coast – there is a golf course – so the Camino takes you inland toward Apulia. I found this particular section challenging as it was hot, and the boardwalk seem to go on forever. We arrived in forest and the smell of eucalyptus was amazing. I took a break and met the UK couple, Lorraine from the US and Ruth from Germany. We rested in the shade for a bit before walking into Apulia.
Apulia is a beautiful town and it has a beautiful church. We took some rest beside the Church, got a sello and found the nearest cafe – which is a little off the Camino. UK couple, Lorraine, Ruth and myself ordered quite a number of bocodillos and bits and pieces and we had our fill. We were ready to go back walking. The thing is the Coastal Camino has one flaw – it does not follow the Coast. Lorraine, Ruth and myself wanted to return to the ocean so we chose not to follow the arrows and turned left.
It was Sunday – all the locals were out in the best clothes, but no food was being served until much later – just snacks. It’s just the way things are in Portugal. Arriving at Fao, Lorraine and myself witnessed the procession and celebration of Senhor de Fao. This occurs once every 4 years on the first Sunday of May. The locals cover the streets in petals and celebrate throughout the night. Myself and Lorraine had a drink and watched the locals get the street ready before I went to my hostel.
I think I was one of the lucky ones today – today’s hostel has to be one of the best on the Camino Portugués. Sandra looks after everyone so well. It is called The Spot Ofir Hostel and I found out about it through another pilgrim. I will be back, for sure. Wallace and Ray arrived shortly after. tired after a long day, and we got some food at a great bar not too far from the hostel.
So far I was feeling fine, I was a little burned but looking forward to the next day.
To Anha tomorrow – Bom Caminho!