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Day One of the Camino Portuguese

Porto

Day one of the Camino Portuguese:

May 10thPorto to Mosteiro de Vairao

Today is day one of the Camino Portuguese. We are planning to walk 23 KM today and leave Porto by 6:30 am and arrive in Mosteiro de Vairao by 2 pm. That was the plan and as you know plans never go as you want.

After some much need coffee and breakfast, we were ready to head out.

Day one on the Camino Portuguese
Ladies enjoying breakfast at the Best Guest Hostel

Camino Spirit

Yes, we were ready. We had all the right gear and were joyous to begin our journey. As you can see all we had to do is walk out the front door of our hostel and turn right and we were on the Camino Central route.

Route marked from Train station to Hostel

The route from this location is all uphill through the city of Porto, on cobblestone paths. It was a rainy start to our morning and a little chilly but that didn’t get our spirits down. We trudged on, and on and on!

Day one of the Camino Portuguese
Cool, rainy morning uphill
Day one on the Camino Portuguese
First Camino Selfies

Although I should have known this, I have to admit I was reading the guide book wrong. (Don’t tell the other ladies they still think I know what I am doing at this point). I thought for our first day we could do the 23-25 km it was going to take to get us to our first planned stop. But I did not take into account the elevation and we ended up walking a total of about 29 km on the first day. This is what pretty much killed our spirit on the first day. Don’t worry it comes and goes a lot throughout the story!

Walking Path on day one of the Camino Portugues

Leaving Porto as I said is pretty much all cobblestone and roadway, very little of the gorgeous countryside you would expect on a Camino. If you come to a crossroads where there is an option to take the scenic route…ALWAYS TAKE THE SCENIC ROUTE. I can’t stress this enough.  We did not and went through some very industrial areas with no places to stop and no shade. Lost spirits here.

There comes a part closer to Vilarinho where it becomes a much nicer walk, we stopped just before that so our first night in a hostel would be at the Mostereiro de Vairao. Thank goodness we did.

When we finally arrived, tired, sore, exhausted, hot and very cranky we were greeted by the two most amazing hosts, Eduardo and Diego. I mention this before but as a group of six, there are some perks for bedrooms. We ended up with a floor to ourselves in a room with six beds and a washroom for just us. I know what your thinking sharing a washroom with six ladies is hard, but on a Camino, this is a luxury. Spirits are coming back.

The view from our room

First Camino dinner

Too tired and exhausted we almost gave up hope of eating dinner since we would have had to walk to the restaurant to get it. Our hosts, taking great pity on us offered to go pick it up for us and bring it back.  You have no idea how awesome this was, spirits fully restored.

Our meal for 6 euro each consisted of steak, fried egg, french fries, salad, fresh bread, and water. It was an amazing meal with fantastic company.

Camino routines

After day one of the Camino Portuguese, we settled into a routine pretty quickly. Arrive at hostel, shower, wash clothes (if needed), eat, pack and prepare for morning, get to sleep. Repeat every day until you finished the walk.

Resting and tending to feet
Getting organized

Unconventional part of the walk

 Here’s where I tell you our dirty little Camino secret. Shhh, don’t tell on us. OK, so we really overdid it the first day and we’re not sure how we were going to make it to the end without dying. We needed a new plan! After one of our many group meetings to make decisions we had a plan for our unconventional Camino. So, we checked with our hosts on how we could skip a day and carry on by bus.

I know what you’re thinking, they cheated. There is no cheating the Camino, you do it how you want to, we all arrive at the same place.

The start of day two

Follow along to find out what we did for day two of our journey to Santiago on the Camino Portuguese.

Here is the research I did for our first-night stay.

Day one on the Camino Portuguese – Albergue Mosteiro de Vairao (donativo) $10 Euros expected

Albergue Mosteiro de Vairao

The Monastery of Vairão, with more than 1,000 years of history and a privileged location, is the ideal space to welcome the pilgrims of the Way of Saint James. The creation of the hostel allowed to recover facilities and open the doors of the Monastery to the local and international community, promoting their appreciation.

With the opening of the hostel the Portuguese Way of Santiago is “complete”: in the connection between Porto and Santiago de Compostela, traveled annually by about 10,000 pilgrims, the maximum distance between hostels is now 25 km, distance separating the Port of Minnow. This distance is considered “natural” among pilgrims

Currently, the Albergue has 50 individual beds distributed by 12 rooms, several sanitary facilities, kitchens, a dining room, lounges, and a meditation room. We also have 30 beds for groups. For meals, pilgrims can phone the Catiago Restaurant and they will bring food (meat or fish), soup, bread, fruit and a drink for 6,5 euros (+351 252 663 304). There is also the Otília Snack-bar (200m) and D. Miguel Restaurant (700m) and the possibility to prepare the food in one of the two kitchen.

mosteirodevairao@gmail.com

Telephone: +351 966 431 916 (Carla Silva)

Follow Oh What a Journey for more inspiring tales of the Camino Portuguese.

 

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