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Any Advice For Porto To Santiago Route?

Discussion in 'The Camino Portugues' started by KLangy1988, Aug 10, 2017.

  1. KLangy1988

    KLangy1988 New Member

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    Hello,
    I'll be a solo female (first time) pilgrim this mid-September. I'd be so grateful for some advice as my research has been pretty minimal so far. I have 10 days to get between Porto to Santiago, but ideally I'd like to do it in 8 to have a day either side.
    The first decision I need to make is whether to do the coastal route - what would be the pros/cons, if anyone has experience of both?
    Any recommendations would be much appreciated, thank you!
    Katie
     
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  2. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey Katie - Welcome to the Forum. My wife and I walked from Porto to Santiago in April, but we took the Central Route. It was great! We only spent one day long the coast and that was the first stage from Porto to Vila do Conde. That section was a real treat as we had beautiful weather for walking. Altogether we did a pretty leisurely Camino walking it in 11 days. We could have easily pushed harder and covered more kilometers every day, but as we had the time, our pace worked quite nicely for us. I believe that Brierley divides that half of the CP into ten stages. By extending your mileage each day, you should be able to do it in eight. Unfortunately, I can't offer you many insights on the coast. However, if you do choose the Central Route, it is most enjoyable. If you check out our blog, you'll find quite a bit more information than I could post here along with photos of our journey. Bom Caminho!

    Caminoportugues2017.blogspot.com
     
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  3. KLangy1988

    KLangy1988 New Member

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    Hi Wily,

    Thank you so much for that info - it's really helpful! I'll be sure to check out your blog, glad you had such a great time in April.

    best wishes,
    Katie
     
  4. RJS

    RJS Well-Known Member

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    It’s a while now since I walked my own Camino Portuguese and I took 11 days to compete the route – The total distance of this walk is 241.4 kilometres and it is usually walked in 10 to 14 days - To do it in 8 would be quite tough with an average distance of over 30km per day need IF you wanted to walk the entire route.

    My own trip notes are at

    https://web.archive.org/web/20151031050709/http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/50192/c4/ but unfortunately since the demise of VT, many of the links no longer work. But you might still find a useful snippet or two :)

    Good Luck and Buen Camino

    Rob
     
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  5. Bisnick

    Bisnick New Member

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    Hi Katie, welcome. I am with Wily re the first section on the coast up to Vila do Conde. I have completed the Portuguese twice now, the first in May 2015 in a group of four and we took nine days. We took the road route from Porto and it is not pretty it is just a hard city slog, the boardwalk is far better. I did not enjoy this camino divided into nine days as it gave no time for enjoying the sights and stopping for leisurely chats with other pilgrims in the cafes along the way. I was so disappointed that as soon as I got home I planned for April/May 2016 and walked solo. This time I started in Matosinhos and enjoyed the sea breeze to Vila Do Conde and then walked into Rates on the central route. This camino took me as follows,

    upload_2017-8-11_11-48-3.png
    Farmello was added as a stop as I had prebooked accom in Santiago and it gave me an early arrival next day.
    At the first café after Rubiaes I met John Brierley who was walking to update his guide book and he was staying at the following five night stops and I had many a good conversations with him.
    Don't worry about being solo, you will soon meet up with like minded people who you can walk with or meet up with each night and by the time you arrive in Santiago you will have many new friends.
    Nick
     
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  6. danvo

    danvo Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Katie, biggest problem is not that it is ca 30 km daily from Porto (for 8 days), but amount of albergues. It is not Camino Frances with albergue "every 4km" So there is only few parts where you can manage daily distances
     
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  7. RJS

    RJS Well-Known Member

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    Danvo is correct and there are certainly a lot few Albergue’s on The Camino Portuguese than there are on the Camino Frances, so to average your daily 30km + you will inevitably have days significantly longer – and doing this day in, day out for 8 days would be very tiring !!

    Good Luck

    Rob
     
  8. toadoftoadhall

    toadoftoadhall Member

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    If you want the compostela, you only have to complete the last 100km, so
    you could start your walk in Porto, walk for 2 days or so. Catch a train closer to Santiago, then walk the final 100km.
    Porto looks a great city, not to be missed, you could spend a day there easy. Santiago is ok, but comercialised.
    My plan originally was to do the walk in 10 days, but now diverting at Vigo, going over to Moana by ferry and walking around the peninsular to Pontefedra.
     
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  9. danvo

    danvo Super Moderator Staff Member

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    @toadoftoadhall I afraid I don't understand you. Camino is very special experience just because of walking, not for Compostela. So walking from Porto, up to Tui, is much better than walking from Tui, because it is last 100, with too many pilgrims which want that paper. If someone want only Compostela, it is quite big mistake to walk. And if someone has only few days, for that last 100km, walking from Muxia through Finisterre is far best option.
     
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  10. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey All - I'm sure there are folks out there walking just for the Compostela, but I haven't yet met any. The entire walk from Porto to Santiago is quite nice. I don't think you'd want to miss any of it. As it is already a relatively short Camino, at least in comparison with the CF, so jumping around and skipping parts of it would be a great shame. Therefore, try and plan your Camino so that you can experience the entire route. I found the Compostela a nice souvenir, but it certainly wasn't why I was walking the Camino. Good post Danvo. The walking IS the experience as you said. Bom Caminho!
     
  11. toadoftoadhall

    toadoftoadhall Member

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    I did say "if you want a compostela". The walk from Porto in 8 days is possible, but only for the very fit.
    I am walking purely for the pleasure, and wont be calling at Santiago, Been done that. The peninsular after Vigo looks much more interesting.
     
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  12. danvo

    danvo Super Moderator Staff Member

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    @toadoftoadhall sorry for my post, it was quite offensive. I just returned from portuguese way, so when i saw
    it was like "fatal error". Camino portugues, from Porto is very short (short means there are only few days others than final 100) - so there are only few normal camino days (caminoists understand what I mean :) ) My wife was on first camino and she said: If I will go any next camino, I don't want to walk last 100km. So any recommendation like walk from Porto for 2 days, then catch a train...is not very good. It's about: miss better part of that camino only for Compostela.
     
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  13. toadoftoadhall

    toadoftoadhall Member

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    The problem was she only had 8 days to walk. 30km per day is doable, but it head down and stride out, no time to see any thing, smell the roses etc.
    We all walk our own camino. personally, I would never use baggage transfer, some do. I carry everything. The certificate is not of importance to me, only the walk and the people I meet.
     
  14. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey Toad - Like you said, 30 km a day is very doable particularly considering how flat the CP is. But, your earlier point on fitness is well taken and one all pilgrims should think about. The more physically ready one is, the more one can hope to attain their goals particularly that of walking the CP in eight days. And as Danvo said above, and I believe he's correct at least as it applies to the Central route, the frequency of albergues is a bigger problem than is the milage to complete this Camino in a shorter timeframe. Personally, I'd like to take as much time as possible, particularly, as you point out, because of the people we meet along The Way, but that may not fit everyone's schedule. We all do what we can and consequently walk our own Camino. Bom Caminho!
     
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  15. KLangy1988

    KLangy1988 New Member

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    Hi everyone,

    Thanks so much for your thoughtful responses, I really appreciate the first-hand experience from all of you. I have just bought the Brierley book so am re-thinking my timing - 8 days definitely sounds too ambitious! I'll get planning.

    Many thanks again :)
    Katie
     
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