Laird Evans is officially a member of the 20 miler club after his second day. He has two blisters, some aching muscles and bones to show for it but he is smiling because of the honor. The blisters? He didn’t prime his toes with the foot glide. The good news was no rain but winds up to 25 mph. Congratulations.
Although this day was listed as 25 km or 15 miles, how did we end with 20? I have found that these distance specs are usually rough estimates. They don’t account for walkers wandering here and there looking for local floral and fauna. Challenging situations arise such as the map showing a path where it dead ends in a nature preserve and one has to improvise finding the way to an alternative route. Or, construction necessitates a detour and backtracking. We experienced it all.
Unlike the 88 temple walk, dinner starts much later in Portugal. When we arrived at 6 PM, we would have been late – a faux pas on the 88. Imagine the polite but downward look and sigh from your Japanese host. Not here! Also, no need to rise before the sun to make 6 AM breakfast. Tomorrow, breakfast at 8:15.
We encountered several different walking conditions on this day. After leaving the Metro, we walked through the port smelling newly caught seafood being processed and shipped. Here are the gloves of the ladies who were cleaning the fish. Note the sign above the gloves about masking. We observed 100% mask wearing on the Metro and in indoor areas. About 40 – 50% wear masks outside. Almost all Portuguese are vaccinated. We had to be particularly alert to wear masks when indoors. I’ll add another helpful hint. Be sure to buy your Metro ticket in Porto. On our ride to the port, agents came through the train to zap tickets. Avoid the embarrassment and fines.
After we crossed the bridge to leave the port, blue skies and brisk winds faced us along this beautifully laid out beachfront. Some people were out jogging, walking their dogs, or finding a sheltered spot on the beach.
Further on we enjoyed the boardwalk that stretched about 8 -10 miles up the coast. The area has beautiful dunes and wetlands. People can walk through them without damaging the environment especially the delicate dune grasses. We liked it for its softer surface; the stone sidewalks were hard on the body. Here is Laird walking on one of the boardwalks.
Even on a supposedly 15 mile walk, we needed a break. We came upon one of several beachfront restaurants. Here’s our view just before we sipped (really after walking eight miles?) and dug into our wraps and pommes frites.
Another type of trail was this “marked” road that eventually lead to a dead end. Enough said.
But then again after we walked through the dunes, we found a boardwalk that brought us to this beach.
After two more construction detours, we were back in an urban area. Much of the Camino is idyllic and pastoral. Like pilgrims of old, one still had to traverse towns and cities.
We made it to the bridge that brought us about three miles from our hotel. We thought about what Ukrainians are experiencing and how fortunate we are to be walking this Camino.