Camino Portuguese – Stages 3 & 4 Day 1

“If you get distracted it’s easy to get lost : stay focused!” And so our latest walking adventure began with […]

“If you get distracted it’s easy to get lost : stay focused!”

And so our latest walking adventure began with last night’s arrival in the beautiful city of Porto. Sadly it was dark by the time we reached our very swish hotel, but it had a lovely bar which afforded spectacular illuminated views across the rooftops (it was on the 17th floor).

Today began with an excellent breakfast which we scoffed prior to setting off on our quest to figure out just how you’re supposed to get out of Porto via the Camino trail. The cathedral is considered to be the starting point, and finding our way to that wasn’t too difficult. From there it was all downhill, metaphorically, of course. Very few Camino arrows, vague directional instructions and bemused looks from locals meant we required 2 hours to cover 3.4 kilometres.

We’d met a very nice lady called Hazel at the cathedral (she was pretty much lost as well) and she ended up walking with us for most of the day. She used to be a PE teacher, but now she’s a postie in Oban and loves her job. Needless to say, she’s a good walker.

It was supposed to be a straightforward 17 km walk today, and once we had escaped the Porto maze we charged along at a tidy old pace. Possibly too tidy, as in so tidy that we overshot our destination by 4 kilometres (it’s easier than you might think) and turned it into a 25k slog. This was difficult to laugh at, but we eventually fetched up at our hotel for tonight and it’s wonderful. I’m typing this with a beer at my side, looking forward to dinner. I am prepared to accept most of the blame for today as I was up front while Dora chatted to Hazel ; she is, however , the official navigator, forgiven for past misdemeanours and skating on thin ice (wrong imagery for a hot sunny day, but what do you expect – Tolstoy?).

There isn’t much to say about today scenery-wise. The majority of it was in built up areas or busy roads which afforded little to admire. We expect better tomorrow, and feel confident that the vistas shall lift our spirits to the heavens ! Provided we don’t get lost again, obviously.
One final piece of information from this morning. As we took the lift down to breakfast we noted it was made by the Schindler company. Schindler’s Lift, as it were.

Today’s album track is “Back On The Road” by Joe Egan, the older but less successful brother of Dermott “Gypsy” Egan, co-writer of the iconic “The Moon Is Very Moony” among others. Joe did reasonably well with something called “Stuck In The Middle” in the seventies, but we’ve chosen this one because………..we’re, well…………