Monday, November 3, 2008

Camino Portuguese...

I started the Camino Portuguese in O Porto, just 232km from Santiago
de Compostela. I've been to Portugal before and more people speak
english here than in Spain. Also, they seem friendlier and don't have
that, "what do you want in my shop" attitude, generally speaking.

When I talked with the tourist office to gather information about the
Camino they told me there were five different paths I could take.
Naturally, I chose the Coastal route. The only problem was that they
couldn't give me detailed directions for the Coastal path, but
informed me that once I got to the next town on the coast they would
have all the information. Famous last words.

So when I spoke with the tourist office at the next town I was
informed that they had no information on the Camino Portuguese, but
that the NEXT region just north of them would. In the meantime I could
follow National 13, their two lane road, up the coast to the next
town. There were two problems I had with this plan. The first was that
I would be walking along the shoulder of the road. The second was that
it was anywhere from 1-2km away from the actual ocean. So after about
an hour of walking on the boring road I decided to gamble and see if I
could walk along the beach all the way up the coast line.

It was a good bet and there were little sand dunes with paths to walk
along. There were also excellent camping spots all along the way in
which I took advantage of once. The only downfalls is that it's
slower, if you want food you have to walk inland, and eventually you
come to a river so you have to cut back across to take the bridge. For
me, the beauty of the ocean and beach outweighed all of the negatives.

As you can guess, I never found a single place or person who had
directions for the Coastal Camino Portuguese. The Camino was basically
the National 13 road, but I made my own Camino.:P I later found out
that only one of the inland paths was well traveled and had signs
every 50 meters.

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