The Portuguese Camino (2014)

It was New Years eve, and we were over in Albany doing the traditional viewing of fireworks when our friend Helen told us that she and her friend Ulla were booked to go to Lisbon in April, in order to walk the Portuguese camino from Porto to Santiago, a distance of about 240 kilometres. She casually suggested that I join them. I rang back the next morning and said that if she was serious about inviting me then I'd go. We arranged for me to meet Ulla, just to make sure that she was happy about the arrangement, and I booked my flights to and from Europe.

Things didn't quite work out the way we thought they would. In early March Ulla announced that she wouldn't be walking with us - she would still fly to Portugal at the same time, but then she would start the walk from Lisbon and had rescheduled her flight home to give herself more time to complete the 600 kilometre trip.

Helen and decided that it would still work out well for us - we could do a little sightseeing in Portugal, walk the camino to Santiago together, then go up to Bilbao to see the Guggenheim (and meet up with an old friend of Helen's), then leave from Madrid.

Most of this trip will be told using pictures rather than words, but I will try to give a brief summary of where we stayed and what we saw in our brief visit to Portugal.

The trip is written up in three sections:

Although we had some rough notes gleaned from the internet, we walked without any written guide. We had a wonderful walk, and I got to see Lisbon and Coimbra, cities I'd never visited before, although the rest of the route was a re-visit for me - we had been there thirty-eight years earlier, on our first trip to Europe.

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