First day of walking the Camino Portuguese

Sometimes I make choices that are not the smartest. Today I choose to walk 23 miles in one shot. I walked out of Porto this morning at 7:45 and off I went.

The walk today was actually really beautiful. For the start I walked along the Duro river as it finishes its path to the Atlantic Ocean. The Duro comes all the way from Spain and eventually empties into the Atlantic at a little town call Foz (pronounced fosh). I had the opportunity to walk with my friend from Matoshinos Fernando with whom I walked the Camino primitivo last year. He met me in his town and we walked for about an hour or so together. It was great to get to see him again and even better to get some local knowledge. He told me that Foz is one of the most expensive places to live in Portugal. I get that because it is absolutely stunning. It fronts the Atlantic Ocean with a wide boardwalk. As I was walking along I was saying to myself, not this is the place to live.

Once I reached the Atlantic the walk was mostly on a boardwalk that stretched for almost 18 miles along the coast line. There were places where it was in disrepair and some where it did not exist at all. I walked in the sand. That was a good reminder that I have no desire to walk a beach Camino. It is very hard to walk along the sand.

My destination today was Vila do Conde a beautiful city along the Atlantic coast. It is idillic. All day I kept thinking that this was just like walking along the coast in the Carmel or Monterrey area. It was cool breezy and there was a little rain, but not much.

I am staying in a youth hostil tonight. This is a different experience and it is crowded on the Camino so I have had to make reservations at every stop. We will see. Anyway tomorrow a will walk inland to Barcelos. Not many transfer from the Coastal route to the Central route but that is what I am going to do.

As I write this I have 51,478 steps today and a total of 25.04 miles. I scarfed down a pizza and a beer and frankly that won’t come anywhere here tipping the scales. The Camino diet is real and I love it.

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