Po.12. São João…..- Vila Nova de Gaia (Porto)

Thursday May 19, my 8th day this year and 12th day in total of the Caminho Portuguese from Lisboa. Of the 611 km to Santiago, today after arriving at my hostel Sandeman, 248 km will remain….. So it’s already 363 km of Portuguese concrete gravel, sand and so on behind me, still some 130 km of Portuguese road ahead of me and 118 km of Spanish road.

This morning breakfast at 7, so I started really late 07.30. It’s the latest until now, but tomorrow it will be even later…. Because breakfast is at 08.00 in the hostel.

How was it today? Beautiful weather, sun sun and 🌞☀️🌞. The temperature went up up and up. I didn’t see a lot of pilgrims today, maybe 6, but also some on bikes, more than the walking pilgrims. And maybe also 6 pilgrims going to Fatima.

And today the road went up and down and…… I keep repeating my self each day.

When walking through the small villages I often wonder who will be living in those new houses. You’ll see old and very old houses, but also newer and not finished build houses. In those villages you mostly see older people, but very few younger people. Maybe they are working in the city….? And all newer houses have the blinds down…..

I had 2 breaks today and was late at the hostel 15.15. I walked 34 km today, and the last hour in the suburbs of Porto. The hostel is at the river Douro and on the other river side is Porto.

After my bath I walked to Se Cathedral to get my stamp of Porto, looked for a lavandaria to wash again my clothes. Every other day is washing day. During my walk in Porto, it was crowded with tourist, and maybe also with pilgrims 😁😆.

I stop this journal….. Tomorrow another 1…..


Po.06. Tomar – Alvaiazere

Hello today it’s Friday the thirteenth and this morning I got up again at 6 o’clock and after the ritual of getting up at 7 o’clock I started my second walking day. Today a trip of more than 30 kilometers is on the program and it should be more beautiful than yesterday’s I was told. After a few hundred meters I saw the Korean woman again walking a little slower than I was walking, which meant that at some point we walked together again and that was along a river on a narrow path. At one point that narrow path turned into quite a steep slope that we had to climb and after a few hundred meters she gave up because it was the style for her and she wanted to continue at her own pace. So I continued on my own and it was already a sunny day early in the morning, so the temperature is rising faster than yesterday. But after 2 slopes, at a certain point two women walked in front of me, a larger and smaller one, the latter from Venezuela and the first from the Netherlands from Brabant, Tilburg to be precise. After a very short hello I kept my pace and walked on and after about 11 kilometers I made a stop for a drink at a small cafeteria. At one point, the two ladies also sat down to have a drink and saw the woman from Korea continue walking, got up after drinking and picked up the thread again by continuing on the Camino. The temperature went up quite quickly and the roads were up and down and up and down until at a certain moment I saw the Korean in front of me again at an information board where you could choose from left and right. To the left was two steep slopes with in between a descent to the right was 700 meters longer but a gradual ascent. I chose the left-hand variant and the Korean followed me, but at some point had to drop out again. The road was quite steep and the temperature was actually quite high. At one point I looked at the app to see if I was still on the route but it said that I had seen a sign wrong so I walk back and look, I followed the signs correctly, only the app is still outdated and is the old route in the app and not the new one. I chose the old route here. You could see from the route that you were not walked much anymore. At a certain point you walked back on the route where the new route also ends. You walked a lot on asphalt and the sun made sure that the heat also came from below and 4 Spaniards walked in front of me. I stopped at the second-to-last albergue and had lunch. It was a late lunch well after 1 o’clock, a salad with a lot of drink, luckily I was also able to refill my water bottle for the last hour and a half. Fred was also resting in the albergue, Fred is the man from Norway, he left earlier, but we would meet again in the albergue at the place to stay. In the place where I would spend the night there was also a small detour of the Camino because the road had been shifted. Fortunately I was able to follow the signs on the road to the albergue and I arrived there at 3:20 am. After registering, I did a little bit of shopping through the village. My laundry was dropped off at the laundromat, yes, which I was then able to pick up clean and dry at 6:30 AM. I share the room with an elderly man from Italy I also had dinner tonight with sweetie at a restaurant around the corner for now thanks for reading and see you later.

Po.57. Padron – Santiago de Compostela

After a stormy night we woke up earlier than usual. We want to start before 8 because it’s going to be a long walk today. We do the normal morning rituals and are before 8 outside our windy hostel. The wind came out the electric sockets….😭

Outside they were putting up the Sunday market….. It was still dark….. But we could see the arrows and directions. And other pilgrims walking…. It’s a little bit cold, damp and foggy, but we had no difficulty finding our way.

Starting in the dark means seeing the sunlight coming up, the beautiful colours it makes in the sky, especially with foggy mist clouds hanging low. The forecast for this day was rain, every hour had more than 50% chance of rain…. But we were lucky so far.

Just before 10 we past by a church which is also a place pilgrims go to.  In a Escravitude is a Maria shrine Sta. Maria de Cruces, we saw pilgrims walking towards us to attend mass. We visited the church and went on with our walk, uphill, and down and up. Lucky us, still no rain.

At the church and a bit later we saw the Dutch and Belgium friends for the last time, when we had our Coffee break. The walk went on, still more than 15k to go.

We passen by a dogshelter,  walked uphill through a forrest and down through a village. And we started the last long climb of the day.  We met an Italian couple, who also visited the Philippines once.

In Opcion we had a lunch, the roof of our camino, the highend point. From here it’s  just 7,8 k to the Cathedral. Going downhill…… And i forgot to mentionthat we had a small rainshower…..After 3 corners we could see Santiago de Compostela and the 3 towers of the church.

We thought it woud only go down, but we still had to conquer a few steep climbs. We walked along a small hill and enteren Santiago.  We entered through the suburbs.  It was still 1,5 k until our destination.

When we reached the old town part is was crowded with People. Sunday around 14.45 People having fun….. And we reached the square, from the right side of the Cathedral.  A lot of pilgrims we celebrating their achievements, as we were.

After maling some photo’s, we went inside the cathedral. We walked around but could not visit the grave. After we asked how, we had to go outside and look for the Holy Doors. Through those we were able to pass by the grave of Saint James the Major.

Now up to the pilgrims Office to register and receive our certificate,  the Credential. We had to fill in a digital form, get a number and wait…… Within the hour we received the credential and we could go to our hostal.

After a rest and shower we went out to eat….. As 3 years ago we now also ordered a seafood platter, 6 different seafood items and potatoes,  enough for 3 or 4 persons. After this early diner we bought some souvenirs and went back to the Cathedral to attend the 19.30 mass.

Arriveer at the church we had to fall in line, a very long line….. we stood there for more than 45 minutes.  Just before the mass started we heard it was full, the maximum capacity was reached. A lot of People were not able to go in. Next mass, tomorrow morning 07.30.

When waiting in line we saw the Italian couple again and we went 2 People from the Philippines. We visited the grave one more time and went back to our hostal for the usual thans.


Po.50b. Travelling to starting point

Today, Sunday, we have a slow start. We had a late breakfast before we started our travel to Vila Nova da Cerveira. From the hotel I was just 5 minutes walking to the metro line, in Porto we changed to a different line to come to train station Campanhã. We had some time to spend, because our train would leave at 13.10.

It was a crowded short train and we were not the only pilgrims inside, we saw several backpacks with the white shell on the back. The train stopped many times, just before 15.00 be reached our destination. Even our overnight stay was not far from the station.

We could check in and look for a grocery store. We went sightseeing, saw some other pilgrims and checked out the restaurants for our dinner later this day.

We went back to our room, took a shower and went to the public laundry shop to wash and dry our clothes. And the time flies when you look at tumbling wash…. So after it was dry we went to a restaurant for our dinner…..

When we were finished eating and went outside I wanted to but my poncho away, but decided not to…… And then……. We walked back to our room, on our way I made a picture…. We walked up to our room and I wanted to take out the key card…… No key card because my wallet was gone….. We rushed outside looking for my wallet. First to the place I took the photo, no wallet.. Maricon hurried back to the restaurant….. Outside underneath the table she found the wallet… All my cards were still there… Thank you St. James for watching over us…..