El Camino de Santiago

Camino Portugues

El Camino de Santiago

Camino Portugues

Porto to Póvoa de Varzim 19.6 miles

Today got off to a flying start - but not in a good way. Mindful of your expressed concerns for the well - being of my feet, sitting on the side of the bath I anointed them with a precautionary layer of Vaseline. One step on the tile and I was airborne, narrowly missing a close encounter between head and toilet. I seem to remember doing something similar before. Anyway the sky was clear blue and I couldn't wait to get going but another hitch was the non - arrival of the chef and therefore likewise breakfast. I was given a €5 refund and heartfelt apologies from the harassed receptionist with assurances there were lots of places where the chef would turn up. I planned a little help from the Metro to get me out of the urban sprawl (I can hear you tutting!) which worked well and then finally off

As you can see the weather was perfect and this was exactly what I had been hoping for.  The premise with this Camino for several days is that if the ocean is in your left you are going in the right direction and will not end up in Fatima  (the other Pilgrim destination as I am sure you know). Easy then. 

After a couple of hours I remembered that breakfast had been skipped and thought I should stop at one of the many inviting beach bars. Apparently the patrons and the wait staff were all happy to lounge around looking at their phones. Coffee and croissant took 45 minutes to get. Don't these people know some of us have miles to walk? I haven't got all day. Oh wait, yes I have.

The miles of boardwalk paralleling the beach were full of info boards about ancient history - Romans, local history - pirates and so on and a whole lot about the biodiversity of the coastline. All very well but I had to stop stopping and anyway in my opinion the flora and fauna were a bit boring. I did see a pretty blue thistle but thankfully not the local snub - nosed viper. 

Lovely empty beaches

Pretty blue thistle?

Eventually the Camino left the ocean and headed inland through a fairly large town, Vila do Conde, with a giant Monestery

Apparently there was a surfeit of nuns a while ago and this place was built in 1318 as somewhere to put them all. Gradually their numbers diminished and in 1893 the last one pegged out and since then it has been used by various institutions and is soon to be opened as a 5 star hotel. The things you learn!

Ok so onward through the mainly empty town and then back to the beach for the final slog

Nearly 20 miles later I arrived at my seaside hotel. Today was lovely in many respects but too many people!! I loved the scenery but missed the solitude of the previous Camino. One final question is this a large glass or a small bottle?  Night night.