Camino Portuguese Day 6 ~ Celebrate!

August 11, 2018: Casa Fernanda to Ponte de lima. We sadly bid farewell to our new friends at Casa Fernanda and embark on a short, but hot 12 kilometer day. It’s as though the hills are singing to us as we walk from one festival to another.

Below is a short video of Day 6:

 

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A line of RV’s from all around Europe are parked along the river take on the duties of “Welcome Wagon” as we enter Ponte de Lima, so it took a while to visit with the gang. It’s hot and  we have been told the Municipal Albergue de Pereginos doesn’t open its doors until 5 p.m.  All the time in the world, right?

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Wrong… Randy makes the trip across the bridge (While Joan and I have a cold beverage) to check out the bed situation and discovers  Albergue de Peregrino opens at 4 p.m. and he is encouraged by camino friends to get our bags in line ASAP! We quickly get all of our bags across the bridge and get in line for beds. When the doors do open we stand in a long, slow line for well over an hour, but it’s worth it as we do get beds.

All low beds and we have a beautiful view… A-a-a-ah-h-h-h.

 

 

 

Camino Portuguese Day Five ~ Casa Fernanda?

Friday, August 10, 2018:  Will we walk 32 kilometers today?

After a festive evening listening to boy scouts singing folk songs, we rise at the early hour of 5 a.m. to tackle a long day of walking from Barcelos, Portugal. I appreciate the nice kitchen provided by the author of the Brierly Camino Guide and prepare coffee to help jump-start the day.

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Inquiring minds will want to watch the video below… Joan, Randy & Joyce take on Camino Portuguese Day Five.

Camino Portuguese Day Four ~ Where are we?

Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.    -Arther Ashe

August 9, 2018: Joan, Randy & Joyce take on Camino Portuguese Day #4 | 18 kilometers

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A good day becomes great…the walk from Sao Pedro de Rates to Barcelos along the central route includes a photo opportunity with Elvis, the King of Rock & Roll.

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As we enter the Barcelos town square we hear music and see the festivities. Is this their way of welcoming weary pilgrims? No, wait! It’s Thursday, the traditional market day, Feira de Barcelos.  Why wait until the weekend?

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Poor Tiina, our Finnish friend, is having ankle issues so came in later that day. Joan is the hero as she marks a bottom bunk ready for Tiina’s arrival at Albergue Cidade de Barcelos.

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The grocery store is apparently having a sale on Bacalao, salted dried codfish. Reminds me of lutefisk with a better smell, consistency and taste.

Below is a short video of Camino Portuguese Day #4:

Camino Portuguese Day Three – Going the wrong way!

August 8, 2018

 

Oh, my, what a beautiful view with tree silhouettes against a blanket of white.

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Our Finnish friend, Tiina, is walking with us today as we follow Google Maps while crossing the bridge near Vila do Conde. The goal is to make our way to Sao Pedro de Rates via Arcos to hook up with the central route. We see no other pilgrims or arrows so maybe this is like being true pioneers. But when the locals stop what they are doing and violently gesture and point you another way, you’d better take heed. So, back we go across the bridge we just crossed. With the help of some German Jakobsweg Camino arrows we find the correct route and proceed to tackle about 13  kilometers of hot, road walking complete with speeding cars, motorcycles and dogs barking, At least the terrain was quite level.Day 3-0637

The Caminho Central sign at Arcos is a welcome site as it means we have successfully connected with the correct route.

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The lineup begins as we try to score some beds for the night at the donativo Albergue de Pereginos in Sao Pedro de Rates. The young South Korean woman  standing in line is my inspiration today. (white shirt and hat) Smiling from ear to ear, she seems to not have a care in the  world. We do notice her clothing is not your typical hiker quick dry attire and the very small backpack is more like a child’s schoolbag. There must be a story…

Her original backpack was stolen in the Lisbon bus station! It gets even worse as all of her cash, credit card and passport were in the stolen backpack.  Thankfully, the Camino provides and a stranger loaned her some emergency money, her mother was able to send a new credit card and the embassy allowed her to receive a temporary passport to continue her trip. Valuable lesson  learned… My favorite tactic is looking homeless with a “decoy” pouch around my neck containing small bills. The real goods is buried deep where nobody wants to go.

“These days, it’s better to look poor and be safe, than look rich and be a victim.”
Anthony Liccione

Below is a short YouTube video summarizing our day #3 on the Camino Portuguese. Excuse my horrible hair. The light on our deck was so beautifully diffused this morning that I got wrapped up in filming these clips and totally forgot about my previously scheduled and desperately needed hair appointment!

 

 

 

 

Camino Portuguese Day Two

“Don’t be a tourist. Plan less. Go slowly. I traveled in the most inefficient way possible and it took me exactly where I wanted to go.”National Geographic’s Andrew Evans

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The day is free and easy with level board walks much of the day as we hug the Portuguese coastline. We cross the bridge into Vila do Conde, look for the albergue and sit in line until allowed to enter and register. Here we meet Tiina from Finland as we pass the time away.

A large group of 11 are right ahead of us and will probably continue to snag the future limited available albergue beds if we stick to the coastal route. Unfortunately, it has become a bed race of sorts.  A decision needs to be made:  Do we stick to the coastal trail or walk to Rates to join the central route? What to do?

We contemplate route options as we tour the city. Vila do Conde is situated at the mouth of the Ave River, historically a center of shipbuilding and seafaring. It is obvious that  the main industry today is tourism with beautiful beaches and seaside resorts.

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The  impressive Santa Clara aqueduct towers over the city and befitting its power the Convent of Santa Clara once drew a lot of water. Quite literally in fact, as in 1626 it initiated a giant project to improve its water supply. Channeling water down from the high ground in Terroso, this structure stretched for four kilometres and needed almost 90 years to complete. One reason it took so long is that there was an interruption in the 1630s when they realized they had miscalculated the slope. Parts of the aqueduct were lost in the 18th and 19th centuries to construction and storm damage, but when it was finished in 1714 it had 999 arches. ~thecrazytourist.com

Add in a bell ringing, walking funeral procession, a wedding recessional being photographed by a drone, ice-cold Super Bock and I’d say it was a pretty good day.  … and bottom bunks!

 

Camino Portuguese Day One

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.

~Quote by Melody Beattie

August 5-6, 2018:

We walk back and forth outside the Porto airport while our jet lagged brains and Google Maps try to navigate around the airport parking lot. This proves to be our biggest challenge of the day along with finding yellow arrows. Thank you Camino Angel #1 for showing us the way!port_day1-0426.jpg
Grateful to arrive at the albergue in time for last three beds available and even more thankful that none are bunk beds.

Port_Day1-0419Belly busting Francesinha sandwich is on the menu. Francesinha means little French woman or simply frenchie in Portuguese. Usually, a francesinha is made with bread (the thicker the better), wet-cured ham, linguiça (a portuguese sausage), steak or roast beef, everything covered with melted cheese and a special tomato and beer sauce. Most times it’s served with a fried egg on top and french fries that you can dip in the sauce. It really reminds me of a beef commercial without the mashed potatoes.

Thankful for the opportunity to burn off the calories in that Francesinha sandwich tomorrow while hiking along the coast to Vila do Conde.

VB Montage

There is no glory in practice, but without practice there is no glory.

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Photography and montage design by Joyce Meyer ~ Unknown quote

…washing the dust of daily life off our souls. ~ Picasso

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