Too Much, Not Enough: Camino Portugese 

It’s late, like 10:30 pm here,  with the sun still shining over the Atlantic that we hear outside our open door . Mame and I crossed over into Spain from Portugal today, with the clock advancing a one hour time change.  

Mame and I continually work out our own needs while holding onto to each others wants. We’ve been stepping this tango for some 46 years but still occasionally step on each other feet as we are enthralled by the music. 

  Today we are trying our old ” trail boss” approach. One person calls the shots, and today it is her.  She’s earned another alter trail name: Aunt Hypotenuse. She is mastering the art of walking the clean line, like Mario Andrettti, becoming efficient at morphing turns in our path into more of straight always.

There are two baffling aspects to walking this Camino.  

One is about distance traveled each day. I can’t run Strava all day to track our daily distance.  There doesn’t appear to be enough battery power for me to do it.  If there were, I’be set.  Alternatively, I am using my Iphone to run Fitbit which is registering more miles than we get when we tally from the Brierley guide old we are using. Naturally, Fitbit is registering every step- when I step off the path into the bushes to pee, walk sideways to explore a side trail, etc.  If that were it, it would be understandable but there is more to our dilemma than that.  For instance, plotting the same walk on Google or even Apple maps results in different mileages than the guidebook. Maybe Brierley underestimates?  If anyone knows what is going on here, let us know.  So that’s our “too much” issue.  

The “too little” issue has do do with costs of purchasing food in markets and paying the bill when we eat in restaurants.  While stretching our dollars is not a problem, it often baffles us.  I get that Portugal is a bargain right now.  Especially morning stops for excellent espresso ( often just € .60, or around $0.70), or cappuccino. Pastries are the same. I bought a bag of  four freshly baked baguettes for €.50.  

Take our dinner tonight at Casavant Henriquetta. We received discounts due to our status as perigrinos, but it seemed way too cheap.  

How’s this possible? Mame had a green salad, broiled fish, and flan for dessert.  I had broiled scallops for an appetizer, then a most excellent local pork chop in a wine sauce, with a mound of roasted poblano peppers,and also flan. We each had fresh bread and a couple glasses of excellent wine, and I had tea as well.  Total, including all taxes was €20.  It’s such an adventure to be here.  

It’s late and I’ll sign off by posting some pics of our day today.  Wow! 

Mamd starts out in wind
A seaside fishing hut
Biking the camino
Mame comes into the light
Trailside water is happening
Our first trail angels stop and give us water: Raj and Steve
Antonio Ferreria stamps our pilgrim passport an gives us a gift
Moving north still
Time for our umbrellas
This concrete boat is a summer cottage
Crumbling monastery centers Oia
Heading up for dinner at 8:30 pm
Good place!
Evening falls on Oia
Lights out on another huge camino day

8 thoughts on “Too Much, Not Enough: Camino Portugese 

  1. beautiful pictures.

    Yes, there really are places where the exchange rate is favrobale, as long as you earned the money somewhere else.

    Two comments.

    First, it seems like the treadway is mostly paved. that must be difficult for the feet. Sort of reminds me of Shenandoah National Park…..

    Next, they need to plant more trees, I think you are in blazing sun all day.

    I get it that this route is new.

    Finally – in Nepal there are places where distance is simply not expressed in km. Rather, “kos” are used. One kos is two hours of hiking time.

    You should have hiked enough by now to know that time and space are not absolute constructs. They are flexible. At some point they cease to matter – it’s at the very same point that you will be able to travel back and forth over the centuries and into the galaxies. Keep walking. You will get there.


  2. Doug O'Heir

    Thoroughly enjoy your commentary. How feasible do you think biking this particular Camino would be (thinking of how my knees would hold up with a long paved walk)?


    1. Yes! Met people in hotels who have done it. This route is almost flat. On a bike you could choose alternates that would be more bike friendly. Cross tires. Almost zero asphalt in Portugal, roads are all cobbled. .


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