15-Jun-2017 Porrino to Redondela

Doug- hello everyone. It was an intersting day on the Camino. With Michelle sidelined with an Achille’s injury, I decided to make the next trek alone. Left before sunrise and almost immediately met a young man named Bruno from Portugal. He had the same destination so we walked together for the whole day.  He was a bright and interesting man and we talked about many and varied topics while the miles slipped under our feet. We swapped life stories, talked of politics, business, religion, sports and many other things. About half way through, another young couple joined us, Antonio and Jennifer from California. It turns out that they are both professional America Sign Language translators. You meet a wonderful cross section of life out here. They were on the Camino just to be able to share some time together.
We made it to Redondela in good time and good shape, where a festival of flowers was being held. Everything you see in the pictures below are flowers or leaves, reminiscent of Tibetan sand art. Huge pieces of artwork that are there for a few hours then swept up and gone. I think there is a metaphor there but I’m not going to pursue it this evening ūüėÄ

Hope you are all having a wonderful day. Get back to you again soon.

P.S. a special thanks to Bruno. In the true spirit of the Camino, he made a donation to the FFC orphanage and I wanted to publicly thank him.

P.P.S.

We stayed at a wonderfully rustic hostel, just outside of Redondela.

14-Jun-2017 Valenca to Porrina

On this day we took leave of the
Fortezela Valenca and made our way to Porrina. We passed over the bridge into Spain and made our first stop in Tui at a beautiful cathedral. We are officially half way there.

After a long wall through the forrest, we stumble upon this beautiful artwork in what seems to be the middle of nowhere.

13-Jun-2017 Rubi√£es to Valenca

Michelle- This day brought us it’s own set of challenges. We awoke to rain snd thunderstorms so we decided to delay our start to see if it would pass, we got to test out our new ponchos.

We once again miscalculated the distances and an 11 mile hike ended up being a 17 mile hike. It was extra long but beautiful and the destination was an amazing 800 year old fort. Within the fort there is a bustling city, filled with shops and restaurants. 

Tomorrow will bring a new set of adventures for us.

12-Jun-2017 Ponte de Lima to Rubiães

Michelle-

In order to catch up, we took a taxi to Ponte de Lima and explored the city for the day. It is a beautiful river city.

The next leg, Ponte de Lima to Rubiaes is one of the hardest legs of the Camino Portuguese, with a 405 m assent affectionately known as “The Beast”

This shoe rack was completely full the night before and at 6:30 am it’s already half empty. Pilgrims start early on the Camino.

As we walked out of the hostel, we are met with this beautifully quiet city corner, peaceful and ready to embark on the journey and tackle “The Beast”

After many grueling hours, we made it to the top and were rewarded with this breathtaking view.
More adventures tomorrow.

2017-06-10/11 Barcelos

Michelle- Once arriving in Barcelos, we spent two days exploring the wonderful city while dad rested and continued to get his hand tended to (doctor’s orders.)

We were there during Portugal Day when many businesses were closed and people were enjoying their city.

Shea in front of the Barcelos’s mascot.

Piper standing in front of the chapel in the town promenade.

Here is a top street view of the promenade, empty, waiting for the evening festivities. We did not participate but it sounded like fun from the hotel room.

Next stop… Ponte de Lima 

09-Jun-2017 Day 2 of Camino; Sao Pedro de Rates to Barcelos

Michelle- Day 2 of hiking… supposed to be 9.3 miles, ended up walking 13 miles. Dad’s hand swelled up like the StayPuff Marshmallow man. We visited a wonderful farmacia that helped him with his dressing.

After the day’s ordeal, decided to stay in a hotel rather than an alberque… walked another 2-3 km to the one suggested and no rooms!!!! Finally found a hotel to stay at for the night. All in all a very tiring day but we got to see some beautiful scenery along the way.

Here are a few pictures from earlier today. Beautiful countryside and beautiful trails along the way.

Another day in the books.

08-Jun-2017 Day 1 of the Camino;  Viarao to Sao Pedro de Rates 

Note: these pictures are being posted on the 10th of June. This is the first time we’ve had useful wifi since arriving in Portugal. Videos to come, we hope. Bandwidth in Portugual has been an issue so far. Worst case, we will add the videos upon our return.

Michelle- Day 2 of our adventure (day 1 of hiking) Shea drank the water on day 1… sick all night… still a trooper and hiked over 10 miles today. Dad tripped on a rock and sliced his hand open and ended up at the hospital getting stitches. A nine mile day turned into an eleven mile day but we met some really nice people along the way.

The kindness of strangers; a lemonade stand that somone left out for pilgrims. 

Looking for yellow arrows to guide us along the way.

Nice gentleman named Willy, from New Zealand, that we met on the way

Another adventurous day in the books.

Before

And after…

07-Jun-2017 Porto Portugal

Note: these pictures are being posted on the 10th of June. This is the first time we’ve had useful wifi since arriving in Portugal. 

Greetings friends,
We arrived safely at the hostel in Vierao, just north of Porto. A beautiful converted monastery from the 11th century.

Carla, one of the volunteers at the hostel, offered to take us on a quick sightseeing tour of the area. Here are a few of the places we visited:

Old Portuguese seaside fort

Old Roman Catholic church

And the inside is magnificently  guilded and covered in spectacular statuary

Next to the church is an old roman era aqueduct that stretches as far as the eye can see.

After a long trip, it was a quick bite to eat and back to the hostel to rest and prepare for our first day walking the Camino

Three Generations Trek for Faith, Hope and Charity