My travel to Portugal was not my best planned trip ever. First the train to Grand Central, bus running to JFK not running so an expensive Uber, plane to Paris then Lisbon, a 3 hour train to Porto lastly a long walk to the hotel. Not far from the train station I got my first “Buen Camino “, nice feeling.
Slept 15 hrs 💤 (my room looks like a hostel, 4 beds plus a trundle and 2 showers! I should have rented the extra beds.
I arrived to sad news that fellow pilgrim Phil Volker had gone to his final Camino 🙏. I will carry with me not sadness but his inspiration. ( to learn about him check out the documentary- Phils Camino so far so good)
Today started at noon with breakfast at a cafe nearby and a few errands. I intended to take is easy but nevertheless walk more than 5 miles.
I walked to the cathedral this afternoon where I received the 1st stamp in my pilgrim’s passport officially beginning my pilgrimage.
I followed the arrows cross town for about 2 miles, so I won’t have to retrace my steps tomorrow. I’ll start from my hotel and rejoin where I left off today. I had forgotten how hilly it is and how the streets zig & zag making it a real challenge to find and follow the markings.
The after was warm and sunny making this short hike a workout even without my backpack. However it is such a wonderful city to explore and the arrows guided me to new parts of town and, of course, past many churches. Many of the churches in town seem to charge for entry so I only visited the inside of the cathedral.
By the end of todays walking I began to feel the internal transition from tourist to pilgrim. Many emotions surfaced once again as body and soul begin to communicate, the physical and the spiritual which is what pilgrimage is all about.
Had to take a coffee break at Starbucks, only because it is the only place you can actually get a whole cup of coffee. Not just a shot of expresso. But they did have very good pastel de nata.
Followed this up with an early dinner at a nearby restaurant which only served pig. I enjoyed a perfectly cooked pork loin and salad.
Of course I grabbed a little gelato on the way back to the hotel. Looking forward to heading out tomorrow and praying that I wake up on the right schedule.