Welcome to Santiago de Compostela

Well… the walk is over. Made it from Lisbon Portugal to Santiago de Compostela Spain in 23 days. 620km/385 miles.

Met some good people, said goodbye to some good people and have walked on.

This was the third consecutive year for walking the Camino, the fourth Camino. Plans are in the works for walking next year. Who knows what it will be like but it can only further enrich the whole Camino experience.

Luis, Kylie, Mercedes, Doris, Koldo, Phil and all of the others that I met on the trail made this Camino special.


Bueno – ya se acabo el camino de nuevo. Este año fue desde Lisboa Portugal a Santiago de Compostela – 620km en 23 días.

Ya conocí unas buenas personas, me despedí de ellos y seguí andando.

Este Camino fue el tercer año seguido y el cuarto camino. Ya estamos planeando el próximo el año entrante. Que será, no se sabe todavía, pero solo se va agrandecer la experiencia del camino.

Todos las personas y más que había mencionado hicieron ese camino especial. Gracias!

The last day of the Camino was a fun-filled day full of memories.

Got up a six, walked 26km with the obligatory coffee stops every 90 minutes or so. Arrived in Santiago around noon and watched other friends arrive in the plaza.

Checked into the albergue, showered and then off to the Compostela office. A three hour wait dissuaded us and we created an impromptu group to get all of our Compostelas processed while we went out for drinks and pastries and met more friends.

Wandered around until we found a restaurant at 2100hrs. Wonderful dinner and a good time. Ended up leaving the restaurant at midnight. Hitting a bar on the way home – leaving at 2:00 this morning.

Then we decided to go dancing and have more drinks, getting back to the albergue at 0430.

Best night in a long time.

Love this place love these people.

Day 11 & 12 – O Porto

Today was a good day. I was planning on walking only 20km but at the 20km point I felt really good to continue another 15 into Porto. It just so happened that there was a thunderstorm and it dumped a bit of rain and lightning etc. I waited it out and then hiked in the fresh cool air.

Made it to Porto where I’ll stay here for three nights and go port tasting.

Day 8

Another day. The heat is building up this week so I am off to early starts. 0600 this morning but I was done by 1130.

Today is significant because for a short 4km, I encountered the only real “trail” so far in the 250km since Lisboa.

All the others have consisted of main roads, country roads and farm roads – the later being unpaved.

The second half of this Camino is supposed to be better. On the north side of Porto, there are three main choices – interior, coastal and litoral (actual coastal beach and boardwalks).

Day 7 – Caxarias to Coimbra

Camino Tales:


Guy at next table (outdoor) is seated with three women

Guy gets up to go to the bathroom

As he leaves…

A pigeon leaves a deposit on his chair from above – splat 💥

As 3-4 languages ensue in laughter from surrounding tables, the three girls decide to leave it there for him to find

Just as he was sitting down (all of the tables waiting to see what he would do) they told him and he jumped like he was sleeping at the edge of a vine row as a tractor with blades of decapitation exited the row.

All laughed and made, for a brief moment in time a connection of humanity when they all discussed the timing of the bird shit on the chair.

Day 6 – Fatima to Caxarias

As I was walking today, I heard a little mew from the woods. As I was walking by it became incessant. I crossed the street to investigate and a little kitten 🐱 wanted attention. More than that it was hungry.

There happened to be a park about 250m down the road. As I walked down the road she started screaming at me. Not much I could do. It followed me down and crossing the road.

I sat down and it was mewing quite a lot. It was really hungry. Probably lost its mom as it was only about four weeks old.

I gave it all of the meat and cheese from my sandwich and it was still hungry. I gave it the bread and it ate the buttered bread. But left the dry bread.

Time to leave. It didn’t want me too. So I picked it up and stuck it on my pack behind my head. It didn’t like that. So I held it a bit and it freaked out when cars passed.

I could just leave it there. It would surly have died on the road. And besides, it followed me when I put it down and started walking.

So I did the cowardly thing. I looked for a high wall/fence where it couldn’t see me from the other side and I dropped it over in someone’s yard. OMG did she yell at me. The cat not the owner.

Anyway, I made my clean escape. Hopefully it will find a home where I left it.

Not a long day. But a very hot one. 95°.

The forecast has 95°-100° for the next week each day is around 30km. Note that I am not posting from where I finished walking today at Caxarias. I’m in Coimbra. Not much cooler here but here I can do 20km walks in the morning before it heats up without missing the schedule.

Towards the end of my hike today I was starting to get chills. So I did the best thing for it. I had a beer – well ok – 🍻

I’m all sticky and sweaty. My hands feel swollen. I really want to take a shower. But with 95° heat out there at 1640, I’ll just get my clean clothes all drenched.

The hostel i am in wouldn’t let me wash in the kitchen. So I have to pay 5€ and change to wash and dry two changes of clothes.

Day 5 – Fatima

On the 100th anniversary of the 2nd apparition of Fatima, it was revealed that Francisco and Jacinta – two of the three children who Fatima appeared to, would go to heaven soon. Which they both did within two years to due the flu pandemic. It was also revealed that the third child – Lucia, would live a long life to teach the rosary. Lucia died in 2005 after a long life of service teaching the rosary.

Tonight is a great celebration of the catholic faith. And if the crowds are an indicator, it will be well attended.

Day 4 – Day off in Santarem

A day off from the walking. Wandered around Sanrarém – an old fortified city on the top of a hill that survived many attacks and earthquakes. It has many examples of gothic architecture.

Camino Tales:

55km in one day is a lot. Stack that with 37° temperatures and it can be a bitch.

About 45km into the walk, I was starting to experience the symptoms of heat exhaustion.

The next shade I find (walking under the sun in open farmland) is the end of a grape row- not unlike that which you would see in Sonoma county.

I throw the pack down, drink some water, eat a banana and a piece of scrumptious trader lies dark chocolate and lay down to rest with a basic awareness of the drone of farm machinery in the background.

Not 10 minutes later while I was blissfully disturbing all of the wildlife in the area with my snores m, the tractor exited the row I happened to be snoozing when a leaf-trimming-spinning-blades-of-decapitation-and-death tractor exited said row and came inches from the snoozing pilgrim.

Now you must understand that under normal conditions, anyone would move quickly, but in a fatigued, snoring state, my movement was – a miracle.

After giving the tractor operator a freight – never mind my own, we chatted amicably 30 minutes while I learned all about his vineyard and it’s operations.

Friendships made in challenging circumstances.