Day 1 Porto to Matosinhos
Day 2 Matosinhos to Labruge
Olà amigos. I’m posting from Labruge after a walk from Matosinhos on the spectacular Portugues Coast. The minute I stepped onto the sand yesterday and when we first walked by the sea, I knew I was on the perfect Camino. I love the sea and shore. Those negative ions are a positive! I’m home.
Recap: An easy start to Matosinhos, literally a short coastal walk or end of the bus line from Porto. We thought September would be quieter and easy to walk without reservations, but have discovered many of our Albergue or hostel choices are booked, and hotels are pricey.
Plus we’re going to need to pay attention to accommodation’s distance from the Camino.
So on this Camino I’ll keep in my mind this reminder and these words of wisdom my peregrina amiga back home shared. Obrigada, M.
“It is good to have an end to journey towards, but it is the journey that matters in the end.” Ursula Le Guin.
We stayed at a private hostel, Oportocean, in Matosinhos, about 20/30 minutes walk from the beach/Camino, much of it on the busy road, without clearly marked shoulder. Super staff and my favorite private bunks with curtains, electric outlet and lights. And party-time for the staff late evening, clearly not an early rise- get on the trail choice for pilgrim. But here we are. Ready for the next surprise.
Silver lining on the trafficky walk: a cafe with the best Portugues pastries!
I had an early dinner in a boardwalk cafe, on the beach, with my friend from Oz and another pilgrim, Miriam, from Holland. Sharing stories and considering how whatever plans each of us made in the beginning have changed. The proverbial “plans are made to be broken” and I realized I am not the only person who needs to keep pencils and erasers handy. Injuries, weather, surprises about Albergues or locations, all of us made changes in our “plans” before meeting up.
Always a Plan B.
My watchword for this Camino: balance.
Today’s walk started after a Metro ride to the beach and a walk over the bridge and down to the boardwalk.
So far, we’ve met many pilgrims from all over the world who are beginning their Portugues Coastal Camino, some who carry packs, others who send them on, or contract with a company for full service. Some are young students, others seasoned travelers. Age limit today in our Albergue Sao Tiago do Labruge : I win the prize.
Mostly I’m using Gronze.com, Wise Pilgrim and Booking.com and lots of advice and resources from other pilgrims to organize my journey.
I’m hoping to carry my pack most of the time, but so far even with short distances my body is beginning a little protest with all the walking on hard surfaces. I have the option of sending pack on to another accommodation. That will be Plan B.
I’m already hearing some pilgrims discussing walking over to the Central Route. Reasons vary: too flat, too much the same, too much hard surface, even boring!!!
I love it, but am surprised by the industrial development by the sea and the commercial tourism and big hotels. Of course there may/will be more. Perhaps this growth is confined to city areas. I’ll find out soon. There are fishing villages on the Way, too and the seafood is wonderful.
An environmental park also is part of the walkway near the Obelisk.
But the kilometers and Kilometers of endless ocean and crashing waves speak to my heart at the deepest level. It’s a birth or a rebirth. From my poem “Eight Weeks”: Miracle after miracle, this birth, this metamorphosis to baby floats, a fish in the original sea. ~ Yes, I’m home ~~ Irene
Tomorrow: Hostel Sardines and Friends in Póvoa de Varzim.
Bom Caminho, Irene