Monday, June 15, 2015

The Next Adventure - Caminho Portuguesa Da Costa

Our replacement Hospitaleros arrived yesterday and our job here is finished as of tonight. Barbara and Jose Luis live in Valencia, Spain. José Luis is Spanish and Barbara is Italian and between them they speak Spanish, Italan, French and English. José Luis worked at this Albergue last year, so there was not as much orientation needed as was necessary for us novices, so they went to Toro sight seeing this morning. Later tonight they will look after the Albergue for a few hours while Jocelyne and I go out and have our "Goodbye Zamora" dinner. We plan to first have a aperitif at the Zamora Parador.
My Hospitalera partner Jocelyne is heading to Madrid and will fly home to Montreal on the 17th. It has been a wonderful experience working with her and I have made a new life long friend. Also, now have someone to visit in Montreal! I have had a fulfilling and unique experience being the "rock on the shore of the pilgrim river". That said, I am very tired having been on duty for 14 days straight and without much relaxation or alone time. So I am happy to say goodbye to Zamora and pass my Hospitalera hat to another.
The yellow line marks the coastal route

As you might recall from my earlier blogs, this is a 3 part holiday. I first walked the Camino Frances from May 8th until the end of May and since then I have been here in Zamora. I had planned to bus back up to Astorga and continue the Frances route after I was finished here, but I have changed my mind. Not about walking but about the route to take. I fly from Santiago to Madrid on the 1st of July and my flight home is on the 2nd so I have 13 days after leaving here to walk. This is just not quite enough to finish then Frances route or to do the Sanabres route and I so I had thought I would do the Frances route but bus forward a piece to make up some time, but I have found a better plan.

The route is fairly flatland not much uphill or downhill walking.

On Tuesday the 16th I am busing to Porto, Portugal and I will walk the Portuguese Coastal route, which heads north via mainly beaches and fishing villages next to the ocean. I can cover the 260 km in 12 days and so be able to spend the one extra day in Porto drinking - guess what - port - and listening to Fada music. Click here to read another blog I wrote some years ago about Fada music. Ok, so I won't spend the entire day drinking port, but Porto is the place that port originated so having a glass or two will be on my agenda for sure.


I have booked into the Porto Sports Hostel for 2 nights, on the 16th and 17th (for a mere 11 EUR a night for a bed in an 8 women dorm room) and will start walking on the morning of the 18th. The hostel is in the centre of the old part of the City and near to all the sights. I will be able to go out on the first night and find a nice bar with live music and sit and sip my port. The next night it will be early to bed as I will be up at dawn the next day to walk.

I think the route will be pretty spectacular as it is all along the ocean and beach pretty much until I get to Spain just beyond Redondela. I will stay in small fishing villages along the way and the seafood should be excellent. The ocean breezes will be great if the hot temperatures return and still pleasant enough for walking if not. Spain has turned cold and wet these last several days, but next week it will be warmer - I hope! If the weather is hot I will be able to lay on the beach and swim in the ocean in the afternoons when I get to my destination each day. Sounds pretty perfect, eh? I went shopping for a bathing suit on Saturday!

This route through Portugal is relatively new as the traditional route is just a bit further into the interior of Portugal. I think this route is just maybe 10 km from the interior route, so if I find it under serviced with Albergues or if the weather is nasty alongside the ocean I can always skip over to the other Portuguese route. At least on the coastal route it will be impossible to get lost as the ocean will always be just to my left.

So tomorrow, Jocelyn and I will head to the bus station in time for me to catch the 9 am bus to Salamanca and for Jocelyn to catch the 9:30 bus to Madrid. I will be on the 12:45 bus to Porto and arrive there at 6 pm Spanish time which is an hour earlier in Porto. I will be sightseeing in Porto, so may not post a blog until the night of the 17th. I am not sure how accessible wifi will be on this route, and my Spanish SIM card will be no good in Portugal, so don't be surprised if there are a few days of radio silence once I start walking. I will at least check in on FB at least whenever I stop in a cafe or bar with wifi, so folks will be able to keep tabs on my whereabouts.

Hasta luego!







  1. I really like the last photograph .... see you later ....

  2. Good luck on your new adventure!

  3. Sounds like me time coming up...:) have fun.:).. :)