El Camino Walk

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In September 2015 just before my 75th birthday, we and two friends  walked the Portuguese Camino from Porto to Santiago.This page containing our planning information (Google maps of the route and hotels in each destination) may be of use to others planning such a walk. As well, this link to a tour operator’s offering gives an idea of the nature of the walk.

Photos

Some details on the walk follow the photos

The Walk

As you can see we only walked 8 days for a total of just under 150 km (One day was washed out by a tropical storm and, on one other, we took a bus because one of our friends had bad blisters). As well, by plan, we took a bus from Padron to Santiago due to time constraints as well as reports that a good amount of this walk was on roads.

Porto to Povoa

Sept 13 2015: Original planned route turned out to be 25k; so we took Metro to Modiva and walked to sea and then along shore (largely along boardwalk through a protected area of dunes).

Walking distance: 17k

Povoa to Esposende

Sept 14 2015: Left Hotel and walked  along shore (lots of boardwalk) for about 8k. Then onto a fairly busy road for a few kms; then on dirt road through mostly woos and farmland.

Distance walked: 19 k

 Esposende to Viana da Castelo

Sept 16 2015: Tropical storm Henri made walking almost impossible today; so we took a taxi. Spent an enjoyable day hanging out in a well-appointed hotel.

Distance walked: 50 metres

Viano do Castelo to Vila Praia de Ancona

Sept 17 2015: This was supposed to be entirely along the coast but lots of boardwalk construction and no markings. Sometimes paths were primitive and we (my fault) took a turn away from the coast which led to lots of climbing, some confusion and extra distance.

Arrived very tired.

Distance walked: 24k (instead of 18)

 Praia de Ancona to A Guarda

Sept 18 2015: Pretty easy 10k walk to Caminha where we took short ferry to Spain and walked over a steep hill into A Guarda.

Distance walked: 15k

A Guarda to Baiona

Sept 19 2015: This is a 29k walk so we shortend it by taking a “taxi” for about 10k to Oisa Monestary. The rest of the walk was mostly along the coast (dull though as it was mostly bike lanes on a fairly busy road). The one exception was a pretty signicant climb to cut a corner to Cadeiras — would have been less work to walk a couple of extra kms.

Distance walked: 19k

Baiona to Vigo

Sept 20, 2015: we took a bus to just past Nigran to shorten this. It started with a fairly significant climb and then a gradual descent into Vigo. It wasn’t the greatest of walks as the last half was through a largely unattractive part of Vigo which is a significant city (about 500,000)

Distance walked: 15k

Vigo to Redondela

Sept 21 2015: This was the best walk yet. Just a few kilometers with a long gentle climb. We then walked on fairly level ground high above the city with great views. After a while we entered a wooded area very popular with mountain bikers which lasted almost to Redondela — very pleasant walking. Finished with beer and sandwiches at a cafe on the edge of town and then on to our hotel. We join the main Portuguese Camino route here and met a fair-sized group (mostly Irish) at a café before supper.

Distance walked: 17 km

Redondela to Pontevedra

Sept 22 2015: This walk wasn’t great. It involved two climbs; GPS and route plan said they were 150 metres but they were steep and certainly not easy going up or down. Finally, the last few kms through the sprawl of Pontevedra were dull and hot — but we were rewarded with great hotel in a pedestrianized area at the end of our day’s journey.

Distance walked: 20 km

Pontevedra to Caldas de Reis

Sept 23 2015: We decided to take the day off and go by bus as one of our friends had developed several bad blisters. We spent the morning wandering around the centre of the city which is a heritage site)

and then off to Caldas where we stayed in a combination hotel, spa and retirement home.

Caldas de Reis to Padron

Sept 24 2015: This was a pretty good walk through largely woodland and country lanes until we got to the edge of Padron where we were able to find a bus that took us to Santiago.

Distance walked: 18 km