Peregrinos by the sea at last: From Porto to Lavra

Day 20 – 30th October 2016 – Porto to Lavra

Hello friends!

Bright-eyed and bushy tailed (could it have been the red wine the night before?),  we veritably bounced out of our B&B at 7.30am in the morning. We had had a really good night’s slumber and got packed and ready quickly.  We were so excited that this stage of our Camino walk would take us to the sea, at last!

Can you tell, we’re very excited?

We headed down that incredibly steep stone slope down to the Rio Douro with ease and drank in the warmth of the sun’s rays as we walked out of central Porto along the colourful waterfront.  We followed the Rio Douro’s meandering course to the ocean. It was a beautiful morning, only a few joggers about on the prom, so plenty of room to amble along and take in the scenery.

The old ‘stomach alien’ was on top form after a few kilometres so we stopped for first breakfast at about 8km, at a café do Ouro just off the prom in a sunny square.  The café was already open because the owner had forgotten the clock change! He gave us a pilgrim stamp and, apparently, it was the first time it had been used. Lucky for us.

A nice stop for first breakfast on the way to Matosinhos

On the way out of Porto and thinking ahead to when we sail Theros from Canada to Europe, we were surprised to note the lack of marina facilities. We only saw one marina in Porto with maybe 30 to 40 docks. The next marina we saw was in Matosinhos at 13 km. Perhaps, the next time we visit Porto it will be by boat. Certainly we would love to return in future.

Matosinhos marks the official starting point of the coastal route of the Camino Portugues but we can’t emphasise enough that it is well worth walking to there from the old centre of Porto. Don’t miss this lovely walk but don’t take our word for it, let these photos speak to your heart instead.

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We obtained our pilgrim stamp at the Tourist info office on the beach and stopped at a café for a refreshing beach salad. We crossed the lifting bridge, noticing the numerous wind generator blades at the port, and continued along the ocean front, on the promenade, boardwalks and beaches. A scorcher of a day, the temperature soon soared to 29 degrees C. 

View towards Matosinhos
The moving sculpture Tradegia do Mar by the Tourist office, Matosinhos
Crossing over the lifting bridge

Strolling by the powerful ocean was exhilarating! I loved that amazing sensation when I walked mile and mile along sandy beaches,  feeling the sea breeze blow into my face, the sun bathing me in radiance and tasting the salt air on my lips. 

Although we trekked 29 km in total that day, the magical walk felt like half the distance. We enjoyed the boardwalks and the wild, wonderful, scenery…white horses galloping across the deep azure waves to the beach. What bliss! Life is great!

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Coming to the end of the day, we decided to look for accommodation. Initially we were going to make for the albergue at Labruge, because Pedro had recommended it. However, we were quite tired when we reached Lavra, so we turned off towards the campground Orbitur Angeiras.  Here, the reception and restaurant staff made us very welcome and gave us a special pilgrim rate.  We were able to stay in our own cabin for 7 euros each and make reservations for an evening pilgrim meal at 9 euros each.  The showers in a separate block were clean and only a short walk from our cabin.

Brett making himself at home in our cabin in Lavra

We haven’t seen a single pilgrim going our way though yet but several local people wished us a “Bom Caminho”, which was heartening and encouraging! 

Distance walked today = 29km

Cumulative distance walked so far = 449.88km

More later…

Peace, love and light, 

Sarah xxx


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