On our way!
Made it to Istanbul, a 12 hour flight. We were all very tired so slept.We are on our way! Finished up at school and catching the 11pm flight to Istanbul. Rebekah flies Saturday morning flight and will join us in Lisbon later on Sunday.
Enjoying the Turkish Airlines Lounge. A last indulgence for these simple pilgrims.
Arrived in Lisbon after a long trip, twelve hours to Istanbul and then a quick turnaround to Lisbon.
Apartment is rustic and we share it with the owner so it is “cosy”.
Visited the LX Factory Market which is an art, craft and design market situated in an old factory site. Crowds there on a Sunday afternoon enjoying the eclectic collection of merchandise, even helping to make their own fruit juice!
Two years ago when I visited the market I came across a gentleman selling Tintin figurines in shadow boxes. The inside of the box was decorated with the comic story associated with the figurine. I had wished I had bought one last time so didn’t think twice when I saw him there again.
After dinner in a Mexican wrestling themed restaurant we headed back to the apartment and collapsed!
Rebecca got in just after 1am after a flight delay. Ready to take on Lisbon again tomorrow.
It’s Monday and Lisbon is closed. Well that is what it seemed with the Monastery Jerome and the Tower of Belém not being open. Still wandered the waterfront and had some great food. Found the Tintin shop and explored the artsy district.
Walked a total of 15 kilometres which is a good start but short of what we will need to do on the Caminho.
On our last day in Lisbon we headed back to the Monastery to attend the 9:30 Mass but apparently it doesn’t happen on a Tuesday. Lunch at our new favourite sandwich place before heading to catch the train to Porto.
Takeaways from Lisbon
- Tiles have never looked as beautiful.
- Goes for the pastries as well.
- Public transport is pretty good. The three day pass took the hassle out of having the right change or knowing exactly where you were going.
Porto greeted us with a heavy drizzle that had us soaked in no time. I think it hit us today that battling rain could be a big part of our Camino. It will be what it is.
Spent time looking for some extra wet weather gear.
The Poets Inn apartment is very cosy so that lifted our spirits.
Caminho Day 1
The day finally arrived and I know I was anxious about how it would go.
We were limited by the fact that we needed to drop some bags at the accommodation office and that didn’t open until 8am. We also wanted to start from the cathedral so that could have delayed our start. With some smart thinking by the team we were on our way by 8:30.
Leaving a major town is always a tiring expedition. Walking through the CBD, then commercial and residential areas, then just residential and finally industrial before hitting the countryside.
The real challenges today were busy roads and the road surface. All day we were battling traffic as there were few sidewalks. We also had to walk on stone roads made of square blocks. The surface of these blocks were uneven to walk on and the sound vehicles made as they approached was similar to aircraft noise. At least we had plenty of warning!
Rebecca losing a nut from her walking pole and the guy in the nearby bike shop more than happy to fix it.
Working as a team. Everyone complements each other. Some times walking with others sometimes alone but all looking out for each other.
Meeting others on the Camino although we have only seen a few pilgrims so far. Dinner with Ally from Minnesota and sharing cherries with a lady from Lithuania.
Hot shower and bed at the end of the day at a monastery as well as the company of friends new and old.
Caminho Day 2
Today was tough. It was wet and the stage was long. By the end we dragged ourselves into the albergue and start to dry off.
We are sick of rain which started around 7:30am and was constant until 4:30pm.
Coffee breaks and lunch gave us some respite but we knew we would have to donned the wet gear again.
The albergue is nearly full. The most pilgrims we have seen over the last two days. If the weather continues to be wet then that will be a lot of pilgrims looking for accommodation before the end of the next stage.
Thankfully we have Booking.com so we have a place to stay tomorrow night. It will be a shorter stage for us so we have time to dry out.
Caminho Day 3
A much better day. We decided 33
kilometres was too far so booked accommodation at the 21 kilometres mark. That meant we finished earlier and it would give us a chance to dry out.
Colleen’s feet were giving problems but she was able to pull through.
Rebecca cooked up a stir fry that hit the spot so feeling restored somewhat.
It is now raining but everything is dry.
We only need to cope with the rain until Sunday evening. After that it is going to be sunny and hot!
Caminho Day 4
With rain threatening again today we decided to walk the short distance to Punte de Lima. The first drops of rain started just as we entered the town.
The albergue was not scheduled to open until 4pm – four hours away so ended up ensconced at the bar next door. It is a great way to get to know other pilgrims. Rebecca and I spent time talking to John from Ireland and Bernhardt from Germany while Colleen and Heather explored the town – aka shopped!
The rain really settled in so our decision to stay here was a good one.
Sadly Heather has decided to leave us tomorrow and head back to Porto. We will really miss her. Her optimism and laughter has been a real joy. Also sad to think that she will be back to where we started from in just under an hour!
Caminho Day 5
After saying goodbye to Heather we struck out for Rabaies. It looked like a day of walking in the rain which only lasted 10 minutes in the end.
Although the challenge today was climbing to the highest point on the walk it was tempered with quiet backroads, busk walks and pathways.
Highlights today were seeing wild horses near the summit, amazing chicken with peri peri sauce and a quaint albergue at the end of the day called the Pilgrim’s Nest.
Caminho Day 6
Spent a wonderful night at the Pilgrims Nest. Rebecca cooked and then we played cards with Helga from Germany and Esther from Spain.
Started the morning with breakfast which included fresh buns delivered by the baker and 7am.
Today was a stroll through bush and then through the urban sprawl of Valenca before cross the border into Spain.
The only “dampener” was the drizzle that came and went.
Once across the border we tried our first Tortilla Espana!
Now tucked up in a cosy albergue in Tui, drying out.
Hopefully no more rain on this trip
Caminho Day 7
Now that we are 100 kilometers from Santiago we are seeing more pilgrims. You need to walk this distance to receive the compostella or certicate when you arrive in the city.
We met one group of about 30 pilgrims with a guide.
Their gear is carrying ed for them so they only need day packs. It is easy to be critical but it is opening up the pilgrimage to more people.
As I said to another pilgrim as we were
Discussing this issue, “It is a lot like grace.” Whether we walk 200 kilometres or just 100 kilometres, carry a heavy load or not – the reward is the same. That is what is amazing about God. Sadly I didn’t get to say the last part to him.
There was no rain today and more patches of sun which is what we have been hanging out for.
We have also had to recalculate the distances for the last four days of the pilgrimage. There are five stages left not the four we had thought. That means that we will have to walk further each day to make it to Santiago by Saturday. Rebecca has a plane ticket out on Sunday and we would all like to finish at the same time. I think we are up to it!
Caminho Day 8
Started early this morning and enjoyed the early morning as we walked along back roads. It was glorious.
Our first really fine day. Made our way towards Rondondella stopping at a couple
If cafes on the way.
We had booked an albergue in Arcade so continued on for another six kilometres.
The albergue is rustic but in a great location. I am writing this sitting in the upstairs lounge with the sea breeze wafting through. A great place to rest.
It is hard to believe that it is just three more days until we are in Santiago!
Caminho Day 9
We decided that today would be our longest day at 34 kilometers. We headed off before 7am so we would be finished at a reasonable time.
Thankfully much of the walk today was in the shade so it got pretty warm.
Even with a number of stops at cafes for drinks and the toilet we still made pretty good time.
One of the challenges was getting through the city of Pontevedra as quickly as possible. We were through and out the other side before lunch.
The last seven kilometers was the hardest part of the day. Our feet were sore, it was getting hot and we did not know if we had a bed. The albergue we were aiming for is a municipal one which means no booking, first come first serve basis.
We arrived exhausted at 5 pm only to find no one else there! It is quite modern and sleep 28 but for tonight we have it to ourselves! Party!?! We are too sore and tired for that!
Caminho Day 10
A slow start this morning. No other pilgrims to start off early rustling bags and chatter as they leave- just us.
Yesterday took a lot out of us so our pace today was slower.
Generally the terrain was fairly flat as we made our way to Tres de Rae where we stopped briefly for a coffee – the first of a number today.
We saw more pilgrims today – we must be getting near to Santiago!
The trek up to and through the town of Padron, where we are staying was long but we have been rewarded with a comfortable bed and a bar to watch the football World Cup. Tonight Spain play Portugal. It should be an epic game.
Caminho Day 11
We made it! Walked 245 kilometres in 11 days. There was some wild weather, communal living, beautiful scenery, great friendships.
In it all God’s hand was evident.