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.
Our Porto Expat Life
It’s a bit surreal this other life we live in Porto. Being able to step off of the train knowing how to navigate our way around the city makes each arrival that much easier.
We have established a small corner of life here. We have a neighborhood hair salon, where the owner does not speak a word of English but always welcomes us and cuts our hair perfectly for 10€ each. In 2017 we found Dr. Kevin, an English-speaking dentist who was educated in New York. He cleans our teeth for 30€ each and in 2017 Abi had crown work done for a fraction of the cost in the US.
We have two favorite coffee spots, neither of which are authentic, but we love them anyway. We’ve been known to sit and watch the world go by for hours, depending upon if anyone else is sitting in “our” comfy chairs. All of these components enhance our Porto expat life. And, of course we have what we like to call “our” apartment, our home-away-from-home, even though it is not at all ours.
This past week has been one of rediscovery as we took several long rambles, visited our favorite haunts, ate our way around the city, caught up with friends and made a few new discoveries. It’s only been five months since we last spent time in Porto, but one of the things we love about this city is that there is always someplace new to experience, or a new perspective of someplace seen before.
A Sweet Cream Discovery
Our lovely friend, Helena who owns “our” apartment, introduced us to Leitaria da Quinta do Paco – the sweetest side of Porto since 1920. This may or may not prove to be a good idea. Butter, cream and eclairs… oh my! How we didn’t discover this little taste of paradise on our own is beyond me, but thank you, Helena!
The Portuguese Camino
We really don’t need a reason to spend time in Porto. We are madly in love with the city. But, with this trip comes the added bonus of our second Camino experience. We’re just about 24 hours from taking our first steps on the Portuguese Camino. If you’ve been with us for a good long while, you know that in 2015 we walked 350 miles on the Camino Francis. Now, four years later and almost to the day, we are ready to start walking a portion of the Portuguese Camino. Our plan is to walk 145 miles from Porto to Santiago in 13 days and 12 nights.
Yesterday, we bought two umbrellas for our daypack. That should give you an idea of the pending weather forecast. Yikes! Our rain jackets/pants are always at the ready, but the threat of thunderstorms requires a bit more coverage. My hope is that since we bought the umbrellas the storms will fade out of the forecast and we won’t need to use them. That would be money well-spent.
Tomorrow We Walk
Tomorrow we walk. I’ve said that before. I suspect our internet access as we’re walking may be limited and frankly, I may be brain dead at the end of each day so I’m not sure how many tales I can spin while we trek from Porto to Santiago. With that being said, I will be posting daily updates and photos on our Facebook page, and on Instagram. I think we’re in for another fantastic adventure, with or without rain and thunder.
Hi! Love your blog! We will be leaving jobs in August and heading to Portugal to figure things out in the fall. We have spent 5-6 weeks each of the last 2 years exploring the different parts of Portugal to see what suits us best. I adore Porto and the entire Douro Valley…beautiful. Porto is such a walkable city and we love that. My question is about your lodging in Porto…are you renting on a long-term basis and therefore returning to the same apartment each time you return? That sounds ideal. Enjoy your adventures, Fran
Hi Fran ~ Thank you for the nice feedback, we appreciate it! Fabulous you’re thinking of making Portugal your home. If you haven’t already found the posts, we’ve written several about how we acquired our temporary residency. You can find the posts in the archives, Portugal. To answer your question, we do rent the same apartment each time we stay in Porto for an extended length of time. We have an arrangement with the owner.
Rentals in Portugal are much more affordable, (in comparison to US rates) so it is economically feasible to rent long term, as long as you’re not in a high tourist area such as the Algarve. Enjoy your explorations and feel free to reach out if I can answer any questions. You can reach me directly: Patti@oneroadatatime.com
It makes such a difference to actually call a place home. No matter if you are only there a few months of the year or you come and go, it still is familiar and feels like home. We spent time in Lisbon, but did not make it to Porto, but after reading your posts I would definitely include it on our “itinerary” when next we are in Lisbon.
Best of luck on the camino.
I could not agree more, Peta. It’s a really comfortable feeling to have this double life. You must visit Porto!
Bon Voyage. I find excitement in both the new and the familiar when traveling.
Gaelyn recently posted…My gypsy life moving to California mid 1970s
Completely agree, Gaelyn, it’s how I feel every time we return to Porto. I get myself grounded in Europe again and then off we go!
Wishing you guys the very best. We arrive in Porto on May 3rd. Hopefully all of the bad weather will clear out for your walk and for our visit. I will be following on Instagram.
Thank you, Suzanne! I suspect the weather in Porto will be lovely by the time you arrive. It’s such a beautiful city. Too bad our timing is off and we couldn’t connect. Enjoy and safe travels!
I look forward to reading of your experience hiking the Portuguese Camino when you have the time and emotionally energy to post your stories. As I can’t imagine doing it myself, I can live vicariously through you both. I wish you peace, serenity and good weather on your trek.
Thanks, Annie! We’ll be posting daily updates and photos on our FB page if you’d like to follow along. https://www.facebook.com/oneroadatatime/