Before leaving Porto we bought two travel umbrellas for three euros each. It would prove to be the best six euros we spent while walking the Camino Portuguese. As I mentioned in our last post we made it to Valenca before the rain rolled in and several hours later when it did, it did so with a vengeance. Dressed in full rain gear and with umbrellas open, we started day seven walking in the rain and crossing the Minho River to Tui, Spain.
According to our Portugal Green Walks road book, our walk from Ponte de Lima to Cossourado would prove to be the most challenging. At just shy of 14 miles it wasn’t our longest walk on the Camino Portuguese but it was indeed a strenuous and somewhat relentless day. It was also the day I received the first of two backhanded compliments and it was the day we were forced to remember why it’s so important to live the life you want to live.
The oldest city in Portugal, Ponte de Lima, is named after the medieval bridge that crosses the Lima River. I swear any time a city has a river that flows through the city center you know it’s going to be a special place and Ponte de Lima did not disappoint. What is it about a river anyway? As it turned out, the city proved to be a welcome respite while walking the Camino Portuguese.
When taking on a long walk, such as the Camino Portuguese, one of the things you quickly learn is how fast the days begin to blend together. It’s something we learned while walking the Camino Francis. If we didn’t have this blog of ours, we’d have a heck of a time remembering dates and places. With that in mind, and because I knew I wouldn’t be writing in real time while walking the Camino Portuguese, we took a series of notes each night. And, thanks to the cloud, all of our hundreds of photos are dated. Between our notes and photos, I can tell the tale of each day.
Walking the Camino – whichever route chosen – is never meant to be easy. But, in comparison to our Camino Francis walk in 2015, when we walked 350 miles across Spain, our twelve days walking the Camino Portuguese were infinitely easier. I suppose it was inevitable that we would, occasionally while walking, compare our two Camino treks.
Making our way back to Porto. There’s nothing better than a fierce tail wind when it comes to flying across the pond. What normally takes seven hours to fly from Newark to Lisbon, only took six hours on our flight last week. It was another red eye flight so six instead of seven hours is a win in my book. Especially, because crossing the pond usually finds us awake for at least 30+ hours.
In an attempt to make our travel life a bit more streamlined, I’ve been searching for the perfect travel bag for years. If we were just packing for our upcoming Portuguese Camino trek, it would be kind of a no-brainer. It’s because we have to pack for the Camino and also pack for the days before and after the Camino, that’s making it a bit tricky. I need the perfect travel bag. Don’t we all?
In April/May of 2015 we walked 350 miles across Spain following the Camino Francis. When we finished, I said to Abi, “Well, that was incredible but I will never do it again.” Ha! You know what they say about never say never, right? The Portuguese Camino is calling and it has been for a few years.
There’s so much to experience in the city of Porto that unless one spends an extended amount of time in the city, the average length of stay visitor will miss so much. Most visitors won’t know to take the local train to Espinho to walk the coastal boardwalk or visit the market. And, most visitors won’t know how to walk from Matosinhos to Porto, which is the path many Camino pilgrims follow to exit the city as they walk toward Spain.