Day 25 – Balugães – Living in a house

Thursday the 18th, a short walk, slightly uphill but otherwise quite easy.

We have learned the lesson, getting up early, a short walk and you don’t end up completely dead in the afternoon! Walking the Camino Central again we were afraid of being alone again – but that’s absolutely not an issue. There are several pilgrims out walking.

Booking places to stay in advance is a gamble. Sometimes your are lucky, sometimes not. Today we have been lucky. A nice ally;

And a house of our own.

With a grand kitchen

It feels like a summer holiday day in the countryside, visiting some distant relatives! A couple of days in Porto our doorstep was more or less the street and here it’s a great distance to the road! What a difference! And this is the Camino at its best, sometimes water & food – sometimes not! Whatever happens you should not fight back and be upset – just go with the flow an enjoy life and what is provided for you. It’s absolutely not easy but it’s much better than the opposite!

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Day 24 – Barcelos – Crossover

Today the 17th of July we made a crossover, from the coastal road back to the Camino Central! And what a change, what a Camino focus! Suddenly useful and information is given about places and distances.

Even the classical Camino-milestones are back (with distance left to Santiago).

What a tremendous change in motivation, now it’s so easy to see the progress having such a concrete feedback!

Barcelos is a fine city with a very fine river. However drivers here seem to use the pavement as an extra driveway or parking place. As walker you have to fight for your part of the pavement!

Well it’s not only drivers using the pavement, it can be used for other purposes too. And its a good lesson to learn, don’t take things for granted in life, not even the pavement!

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Day 23 – Vila do Conde – A small step

Tuesday the 16th, today we did one of our shortest walks; not more than 7km. So we had time for breakfast, a look at the beach and almost enjoyed the nice flat walk 😉

Well, as mentioned before it’s not that bad, but slow walking 30 km could take about 10 hours so you don’t always have the time to stop. Hmmmmmn … sounds perhaps like a kind of Camino stress syndrome?!?

However, stopping at Vila Do Conde was a good choice, great city with fine long aqueducts!

It’s also the city where José Regio was born. Didn’t know that and to be honest I didn’t have the faintest idea who José was.

José strongly focused on the theme of conflict between Man and God and between Individual and Society – all according to Wikipedia. Sounds very serious and important and therefore worth a statue. So is there a conflict I should choose to get my own statue? Because, to be honest, who doesn’t want a statue – it’s so cool!

Well, until I find out an interesting conflict I have to be satisfied with my other Stone brothers have succeeded in. Below is the famous Marking Stone in Vila do Conde. This very unique stone helped vessels to avoid running into rocks or sandbanks! Could the stone at the right be as useful too? Should I dedicate my life to standing on a sandbank! Or could I perhaps focus more on trying to help my fellow humans(?) not to run into the sandbanks of life? Sounds difficult!

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Day 22 – Vila Chã – Walking by the Sea

Monday the 15 of July, since more pilgrims start from Porto the Camino feels more official and clearer. There are more signs and information.

We will walk the costal route for a couple of days and it’s absolutely a difference! First of all, a lot of Wood Works and a fine breeze! Then; no uphill walking! And a lot of places for resting and coffee!

However what I like most is all the information about the area. There are sunken ships, submarines and Roman constructions all the way and by very fine signs it’s nicely described; in English. At last we can understand what is written!

But as with all changes, after 28 km with a constant sea breeze it gets a bit irritating! Would have been nice with a bit of sun! Don’t want to be ungrateful, complaining about too much sun I should be happy! But isn’t that life, changes make it interesting. The challenge is of course to be able to live with the not so good changes, but when they come you should prepare yourself and do something good, like a nice walk in rain or sunshine!

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Day 21 – Porto – Reloading

It’s Sunday today and therefore shops are a bit more closed as well as restaurants, a perfect day for reloading the feet. And it’s indeed needed, lots of small injuries and different pains!

Porto is a big city but also quite tourist oriented, lots of arranged tours and guided groups. Being a bit alone walking, it feels strange with so much people all around you.

In all this mix of tourists from all over the world it feels a bit good to see “normal” life, like people hanging their clothes out for drying. Things that we can relate to!

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