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58 Year Old Female Solo Pilgrim Starting In Lisbon

Discussion in 'The Camino Portugues' started by Jaycee, Nov 15, 2017.

  1. Jaycee

    Jaycee New Member

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    Hi I am a 58 year old female who will be walking the Portuguese Camino solo next May. I will be starting in Lisbon. I did do the French Camino a few years ago on a bike with my husband. This trip was pre booked with luggage transfer etc. For my walk next year I want to experience carrying my own belongings and finding accommodation as I go. I have s few questions if anyone can help me.
    1. Will there be many other pilgrims around at that time of the year particularly at the start around Lisbon? I am a bit worried about getting lost or bring totally on my own.
    2. What do people do with their back packs and belongings when they go out for s meal or have a look around a town or visit museums etc. for safety if belongings do you need to take them with you everywhere you go.
    3. Will there be ATMs along the way or will I need to carry a fair bit of cash?
    4. Is Fatima worth a detour to visit?
    Thanks
     
    UnkleHammy likes this.
  2. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Well-Known Member

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    @Wily walked that route earlier this year with his wife. He rarely misses a chance to post here and should be able to answer your questions he gets back from his current hiking trip.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2017
  3. Crepes4Suzette

    Crepes4Suzette Well-Known Member

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    Hi Jaycee, and welcome to this forum. I didn't do the entire Portuguese from Lisbon, and can't help with several of your questions, but the waymarking was good. Some of the time in September it was possible to stay within eyesight of others, but not always.

    Most people take their valuables with them and leave their backpacks at lodging in the evenings. I have a very lightweight nylon daypack to put the valuables in that aren't already in my waist-belt when going out to dinner or sightseeing, and I always keep valuables ON my body - even taking them into the shower. The albergues have you sign in with your passport, so they keep track of who is inside and although occasionally someone who leaves their electronics charging without supervision gets something stolen, I've not heard of people having their backpacks stolen from inside an albergue or pension. I have heard it happening in train stations and outside rest stops. Some albergues have lockers. Some people take a small lock for lockers, but they're so heavy that I never bother.

    There were plenty of ATMs along the way from Porto onward. As Unkle Hammy said, Wily did the Portuguese from Porto this last Spring and he'll probably have good information. Happy planning!
     
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  4. Paul McGranaghan

    Paul McGranaghan Member

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    Hi Jaycee,
    I walked the Portuguese route from Lisbon in March/April this year.
    It was VERY QUIET.
    I used the Brierley guide to get as far as Porto and then took the coastal route [which the guide covers in brief detail, but with good maps]. I did not get lost and always had accommodation. That said, I found the stage from Lisbon-Porto a bit of a trial: LOTS of walking on highways and accommodation was at times in a fire station sports hall, a hospital store room, an expensive hotel, and once in a place where the shops were shut for the day - although none of these things put me off and actually enriched the experience for me. But do prepare for 'roughing it' for the first while of your trip, and take plenty of care on the roads!!!
    After Porto, I took the coastal route - in good weather [which I think you will have] - this was bliss. If you take this route, note that the ferry across the Rio Minho to Spain might not be running. A fisherman brought me across [it's his sideline, he's called Mario] and then the route ran up though Vigo and joined the main Camino again at Redondelas.
    So:
    [1] I was on my own for most of my trip.
    [2] I never had an issue with leaving my belongings before going out of the hostel/donativo.
    [3] You will pass though a number of towns with ATMs. Some places I stayed did not accept cards [e.g. Santarem] but there was a shopping mall nearby with ATMs. Some tiny towns have no ATMs though, so stock up if you feel the need when going through a bigger place - especially true of the coastal route.

    I hope that is of some help :)
     
  5. Paul McGranaghan

    Paul McGranaghan Member

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    [4] Fátima is worth a visit :) - It is very busy, though.
     
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  6. Jaycee

    Jaycee New Member

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    Thanks very much Paul for your reply it was really helpful. What were the highlights of your walk?
     
  7. Paul McGranaghan

    Paul McGranaghan Member

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    No problem at all :)
    My highlights? Hmmm Well, I wrote a book about my adventures [for bot the big Camino and the Portugues one], should you fancy a spot of light reading.
    But I would have to say the coast/beach walk on the Coastal route after the tough industrial route from Lisbon - Porto was really wonderful: peaceful, natural, cleansing, and calm :)
     
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  8. BenL

    BenL The Burghers of Calais

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    Jaycee, my wife and I will be walking the CP in May next year too. Our camino walk starts from Porto to Santiago. Our flight lands in Lisbon, and we will take a coach/bus to Fatima where we will spend two nights. Note that the first Fatima apparition was on 13 May (so, lodging is hard to find/expensive during this festive day/celebration). We were able to secure two nights in Fatima over this period (though at two different lodging facilities). From Fatima, we will then take a coach to Porto to begin our Camino. Perhaps we will meet you on the trail.
     
  9. RJS

    RJS Well-Known Member

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    I can’t add much to that that has already been posted as I only waked the route from Porto, and that was a few years ago.

    However, I did find it a simple route to navigate and the only problems that I encountered was the cobbled roads that the way was routed on for the first 2 or 3 days leaving Porto – They completely wrecked my trek-mates feet and he had to give up his walk, so hopefully you won’t have a similar problem to that.

    I was OK although my trekking pole kept getting jammed between the granite stones – But that after getting away from those first sections, I really enjoyed my Camino Portuguese and have written a few trek notes which can be found in my tagline if you want to take a look.

    Good Luck and Buen Camino

    Rob
     
  10. Jaycee

    Jaycee New Member

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    Thank you for your post BenL. I had no idea about the 13th May being a popular time to visit Fatima. I think that is around the time I will be there so I will need to try and book something either in Fatima or a town nearby. Its great to get these tips from others. Much appreciated. I hope you and your wife enjoy your walk.
     
  11. Paul McGranaghan

    Paul McGranaghan Member

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    Just on the Fátima front - there are buses that run there for nearby Sanarem [possibly Thomar, too], so if there are difficulties with your accommodation in Fátima itself, there is always this possibility. 'N1' hostel in Santarem is modern and friendly. :)
     
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