Caminho Português da Costa

This will be our third Camino in the last 24 months. We started our first Camino together (Jim walked a previous Camino with our daughter Emily in 2015) on September 17 of 2021 in San Sebastián Spain. On that venture we walked over 180 miles in 2½ weeks before Jim was unable to manage any more hills and we decided to discontinue the trek due to anxiety about his heart. After being cleared of any further heart concerns we started our second Camino in Pamplona on September 26 of 2022. We completed the Camino Francese in Santiago de Compostela on October 30, covering a distance of over 450 miles. We are now starting our third Camino in Porto Portugal with the goal of walking over 170 miles, two time zones and two countries in two weeks and one day. We are thrilled to have the privilege of walking with our good friends Karen Lewis and Bill Boyle.

Leaving our fancy hotel at 08:40.
We haven’t even reached the starting point of this Caminho and Sandy is already well ahead of Jim.
Mile 0, starting point of our Caminho with Bill and Karen.
In front of the Porto Cathedral.
We are pilgrims, again, and we are ready for this.
Competing pilgrimages from here, Fatima in blue and Santiago in yellow.
From the Cathedral we head downhill to the Douro River.
Porto has so many hills, narrow alleyways and many stairs.
A 10/10 day weather-wise for a walk along the beach.
We have reached the river already.
Porto is so picturesque that we had to stop many times for photos even if it meant adding extra time getting to our destination. This is a view looking across the river from Porto to Gaia.
Igreja de São Francisco which we visited last year.
Ragamuffin veteran pilgrims.
Well dressed novice peregrinos.
We are actually walking out over the river.
Beautiful weather and a scenic start.
A lovely Park as we head out of Porto.
At the mouth of the river we turn north to follow the North Atlantic Ocean for the next two weeks.
Our first Café stop for great coffee, fresh squeezed OJ and pastries.
Karen is in her happy place at the Ocean. Just look at tat smile.
We loved watching the waves crash against the rocks as we walked O along the boardwalk.
Enjoying a quick break to breath in the refreshing salt air.
This is Porto’s cruise ship terminal. No cruise ships here today although we did see quite a few in Lisbon two days earlier.
She Changes” by Janet Echelman, installed in 2005. This 3D multi-layered net floats in the wind to create different shapes and shadows.
This is the first arrow we saw directing us to our destination. Fortunately Jim kept us on course with the Buen Camino app.
This seaside city of Matosinhos is very close to Porto and is where most pilgrims start their Portuguese Camino. We wanted to start at the Cathedral and then walk along the water from there.
A shipwreck of four trawlers killed 152 fishermen on December 1, 1947. In July 2005 this sculpture was inaugurated which pays tribute to the families and victims of that shipwreck.
Karen just loves the ocean and will be in her happy place for the next ten days of walking along the oceanfront boardwalks, lanes and pathways.
Ollie makes another appearance. As we mentioned in the previous blog Ollie is their granddaughter’s stuffed animal that she gave them to walk the Camino with.
Boa Nova lighthouse, the second tallest in Portugal.
Pilgrims are recognized by the scallop shell they hang from the outside of their back pack. It is a very recognizable symbol that the person is walking to Santiago. We understood that the lines of the scallop shell represent the many routes that converge and end in Santiago. It is said that the way of St James means we are all as one just walking each other home.
We walked for miles and days on these well built, nicely maintained boardwalks.
Only 258K to Santiago. We are walking 13 days and resting for 2 days. Averaging over 20K per day, about 12-15 miles/day.
You can see how we walked west out of Porto and then turned north towards Spain.
Karen captured this evening sunset in Matosinhos.
We were somewhat unsettled when we saw this sign in the window of the address we were given for our lodging. Vende-se means for sale in Spanish😮.
Our lodging for the first night was literally two rooms over someone’s home. There was no signage, we just found it by a Good Samaritan who stopped their car to ask us if we needed directions. That being said it was clean, adequate and had that outdoor deck with the above view of the sunset. 11.7 miles for Day 1 but more like 12 after we walked to dinner and back😌.
Early morning sun creating great shadows of us in the sand as we began our second days walk.
Karen tried out the beach exercise station.
This boardwalk went on for miles.
We are so impressed with the beachfront amenities in Portugal.
Karen loved taking brief breaks to walk in the sand.
Sorry no explanation for this sculpture.
As we walked through a fishing village Bill enjoyed chatting with these tourists from Singapore.
Short video of waves crashing on the rocks. We loved watching the big splashes it created.
During our 4 mile rest break we met these cyclists who were from San Diego.
We crossed this bridge into Vila do Condo.
Monument in honor of the teacher and education in Vila do Conde. We have been to this town twice before in July of 2022. We came once with Dick and Andrew to meet up with two of their friends and we walked here on the first 16 miles of the Camino just for fun.
Last stop of day two before we reached our hotel. Ollie made us do it.
Day two hotel is completely different from day one. A high rise beach hotel provided us with two floor suites with two bedrooms and two bathrooms each.
14.26 miles for day two.
View from our balcony.
Same view at 4am with a moonset.
Day #3 walk started off again on the boardwalk.
Bright eyed and bushy tailed and ready for for our next trek of 12.5 miles.
We stopped in this church for a stamp in our Pilgrim passport. We need two stamps a day in order to get our Pilgrimage Certificate called a Compostela, in Santiago.
A change of scenery to a woodland path.
Over another bridge into town.
Hard to miss this arrow marking our direction.
Another beach hotel for the night.
13 Miles for day #3.
Yummy Margarita to celebrate finishing Day 3.
Bill and Karen met these two brothers walking the Camino together. One is living in South Carolina and the other in Thailand.
Jim spotted these two little backpacks next to a huge one in this church.
This was another 4 mile break at a cafe where the proprietor could not do enough for the pilgrims who stopped to rest. We feel like royalty at times. People love the the pilgrims and always shout out encouragement to us.
In the next church stop we met the two little backpacks with their mothers who are a married couple. They are planning on walking about 10K per day all the way to Santiago. We saw them one more time two days later at a lovely cafe.
Bill showed them Ollie and they pulled out their “stuffies” from their backpacks.
James and Saint James.
This is Heather who we first met at the train station in Porto, she is 80 years old and from Alaska. Here we met up with her again at a church.
With temperatures in the mid to high 80’s we were happy when our route took us up into the forest where the trees gave us shade and the temperatures were noticeably cooler.
There were so many lovely little churches but not all were open for us to go into.
This was the first view of our days destination, Viana do Castelo.
Bill said Sandy has the “barn syndrome”. Which we think means like a horse when they can smell the hay will speed up at the end. Here she is leading the pack across this very long Eiffel bridge as we head to our hotel.
Very tired peregrinos at the end of a 16 mile day with a rest day tomorrow.
Well, not quite a 16 mile day, ¼ mile short but whose counting and look at that pace👍.
This day was mostly inland.
This is our day off of walking to rest up and explore the town a little. Lovely little town square in Viana do Castelo.
Beautiful church on the hill overlooking the town.
Normally we would walk up to the church but this is our day of rest and they have this funicular so we decided to forgo the 660 steps it would take on the path up and took the funicular.
This church is the majestic icon of Viana do Castelo and dominates the skyline of the city
View from the church veranda of the beautiful Portuguese coast which we have been walking along.
Magnificent domed ceiling of the church.
Five days down, another ten still to go.

10 responses to “Caminho Português da Costa”

  1. Donna and Tom Quirk Avatar
    Donna and Tom Quirk

    So cool! Love the costal route. Brn Syndrome???? 🙂

  2. What stunning documentation of this amazing journey!!! The pictures are GORGEOUS – makes me want to put on my trail shoes and hike the Camino 🙂 Silly tho it may sound, I am SO proud ( and in AWE ) of the two of you, Pilgrims!
    Sending tons of love and hugs to you both, Karen and Bill, and your footwear!!!! 🙂

  3. My favorite photo was the one of the two saints, both named James!

  4. Philip F. Steen Avatar
    Philip F. Steen

    We truly love you guys but it is hard for us not to covet your excellent adventure .We are still absorbing our memories of trying to keep up with you in Sevilla and London.what wonderful memories you have given us! I think we would probably be at least two towns or 25 churches behind Sandy. Tell Bill hello from a ragamuffin from long ago. I think I wore the grooves out on his blind faith album at Pico St. and I still enjoy listening . We hope to see you soon and as always

    HAPPY TRAILS. Philip & Phyllis

  5. Christina Larson Avatar
    Christina Larson

    Your perseverance is amazing! Love it!

  6. I enjoy every bit of it! You are absolutely amazing amazing!

    1. We feel that you are the amazing person.

  7. I’m exhausted! And you all look so fresh and so happy! The route looks amazing and very tempting – you’re a great ambassador… Looking forward to seeing how the rest of it goes…..

    1. Hi Marie, let me know if you receive this. I enjoy all of your posts, but the one this morning wore me out. You have covered so much of this world. All of those driving trips in the Americas are amazing. I have driven across the USA & Canada 20 times but you have seen more than I have.

      1. Our problem is trying to squeeze too much in… just in case we never get back there! My argument since we’ve retired is that we don’t need to travel for a relaxing break – sure that’s what life is like at home !!( well for me anyway – Tom is just semiretired).

        We’d love the idea of doing a bit of the Camino one day… but I doubt we’d cover the miles that you can manage…. well done..

        Enjoy the next 10 days. XXXMarie

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