Today I transferred from the Camino Portuguese Coastal to the Camino Portuguese Central route. This was a planned move since I wanted to walk up the coast on the first day to avoid the long walk through the industrial part of Porto and of course I really was looking forward to meeting my friend Fernando, who I met last year walking the Camino Primitivo.
Today’s walk was very interesting. It starts off following a line of 990 pillars of an aqueduct that was constructed by a monistary to bring water. I spent the first few hours walking along the aqueduct before turning east to travel towards the central route. If I had not had my app from Wise Pilgrim with its GPS I would have been lost. The markings on this part of the route are almost nonexistent.
The transition took about 3.5 hours of walking an was about 10 miles. It was mostly road walking, which is not really that bad except here you are walking along a road with large stone walls on either side. Fortunately there was very little traffic as these are country roads.
The second part of my day was to walk up the central route to Barcelos. I did a bad job of calculating just how far I was going to walk today. In fact I walked 22 miles. Another crazy day. I have talked with so many people that have walked the Camino Portuguese. Most all if them commented on the cobblestone roads and how they hurt their feet. I did not really understand, but now I do. The cobbles are uneven and like walking on large gravel. It does not hurt but it works your feet over pretty good.
The entire day was mostly road walking with a very few paths through the eucalyptus forests. I am hoping that the next few days are more path walking and less road walking. We will see.
Tomorrow is a short day. Only 18km’s which is less than 12 miles. It should only take me about 4 hours.