|The Camino begins|
We arrived in Portugal about 2 weeks ago from England. Each leg of our trip provides new and different views, cultures, language and experiences for the body, mind and spirit.
Our first week was a return to a favorite city Porto (and the same Airbnb on Rua da Alegria 62). Porto is such a walkable city and we continued our "training" for the big camino by visiting many old and new sites by foot. A thrill is always searching out good veg restaurants and now, with Molly (our Iphone with googlemaps) we find anything we want with ease.
|The houses of Riberia, along the river|
Unfortunately I have a bit of sciatica so Porto provided us with an opportunity to visit an acupuncturist-massage therapist who gave me two treatments during the week. I am learning ways to manage it for this long walk as there are only short moments of discomfort and thankfully only at the end of the day. Not sure how I got it but I am hoping it disappears as easily as it came.
For anyone interested in the food and restaurants during our stay in Porto, please visit my blog at:
|Symphony Orchestra of Porto|
We visited Palacio de Cristal with beautiful gardens and grounds and view of River Duoro and then to Museu Romantico and Casa Tait - both were closed but we walked the extensive grounds.
|Ricardo's favorite - pastel de Nata|
Here are my thoughts about visiting the same place twice (or more). My memories that are vivid about some things and vague about others are renewed. It is fun to be able to take the public transportation because we knew a bit more about where we were going. Going to the same Airbnb as last time made it feel like going "home". Drawing at the same place as before is interesting. I never have forgotten a place that I sat and drew so going back to the tea house at the Casa da Cha - at the Art Museum Seravales and drawing the houses along the riverfront of the Duoro River was a great way to reinforce my memory.
|Typical Portuguese roofs|
After 6 days in our Airbnb we moved to the Hotel Trinidade in a different area of town. We did this because we were now beginning our 2 weeks with Portuguese Green Walks. They are providing accommodations and transporting our luggage during this Camino de Santiago. We are walking ourselves, but with this support.
NOW WE BEGIN THE CAMINO de SANTIAGO
I am writing this from Valenca in Portugal which is just over the river from Tui, Spain where we will be tomorrow in the early morning. We are taking a day rest in the middle of this 12 day walk and all is going very well. As I am keeping records of each day, each city visited and our mileage, I will not list it all here. We are averaging about 20k (12 miles) per day and with the addition of Portuguese Green Walks, our life is easier. We do not have to wonder where we will sleep and can carry just a day pack with snacks, jacket, drawing book, etc. which is much easier on the body. So far I think we will both agree that it has been great and the scenery is wonderful. We travel on various paths - cobblestones, tarmac, dirt, old Roman roads and the terrain is up and down with only one major uphill climb of 1200' (so far).
|Grapes ready for harvest|
|Entrance to fortressed city|
of Valenca, Portugal
We are looking forward to the Spanish part of this Camino and you will hear more when we end.
|We pick up stones and|
leave a prayer
Please know that our thoughts are with all our friends affected by the hurricanes and earthquakes. We are very aware of what is going on in the world and are saddened by this situation.
Once again, thank you for traveling with us.
Words from Ricardo on Portugal and the Camino
We had another great week in Porto, Portugal, one of our favorite cities. Even though I was unable to master much of the Portuguese language by using my Spanish and at times English I was more or less able to be understood. Most Portuguese speak two languages and the second is either English or Spanish.
Porto is a very vegetarian friendly place with a lot of culture, pride, very laid back and safe. Porto has not just a wide river running through it but a great beach for surfing, swimming and for us just - to lay on the sand.
After this fun filled week we began our second Camino de Santiago which ends at the burial place of the bones of St James. I'm writing this as we begin the second half of this journey into Spain. The total walk of 12 walking days has an average of 12 miles/day. So far it has been a complete joy with ample time to reflect. Much time and prayers have been given for all the people suffering from the hurricanes and earthquakes this month.
Our weather has been perfect - cool mornings and never more than 70 degrees in the afternoons. Soon the rainy season will begin. Susan wrote more of the details but for me I just like to add a little of my thoughts.
I have tremendous pleasure in walking and as long as my body allows, I will walk. This type of walk is always a challenge, but with this comes a deeper understanding of the world connection around us. I now see life more and more through the eyes of others while meeting with so many humans from all over the world, walking near me. Life is full of many kinds of caminos and this is just one of them.
May you all have a great Camino today.