Day 1 Porto to Vairao

I was very grateful to wake up in the correct time zone this morning. And to be in time for the wonderful breakfast presented by the hotel starting @ 6 AM. The young man who works nights does all the baking which included a variety of fresh croissants and other goodies. They even had a machine that makes and bakes pancakes on demand. I was his first customer for the day but it was filling quickly as I left.

I was on the road about 7:15 just as the day was beginning to brighten. Once I picked up the yellow arrow markers navigation was straight forward. The “trail” today was all sidewalk and streets, many of which were cobblestone.

I stopped for lunch at a very local restaurant where no one spoke a word of English. They only had two choices for their lunch special, fish or meat. I had the meat option which turned out to be a mixed grille, with dessert, drink & coffee 6.50 euros.

I may have been a bit slower after lunch. Plus endless cobblestone roads I had share with cars & trucks. Through slums, ugly developments, and some nicely remodeled homes attached to another about yo fall down. It was not until the last hour or two did the scenery begin to improve.

Of course there were usual quota of churches en route. All closed! Including a monastery which has a relic from Christs Cross.

I met my first pilgrims of the day about 1 kilometer from my destination. They were a lovely trio, a man and 2 women from Italy. He is an air force pilot about to retire, walking with his fiancé and her friend. Was sorry to part company so quickly. Hopefully I’ll run into them tomorrow.

Earlier in the afternoon I decided I needed to protect my neck & ears from the sun. I sat down at a bus stop to slit an OI buff and attached it to my camouflage Top Gun hat, which I got at the 50th anniversary celebration. A local woman waiting for the bus communicated that I did a good job and wished me a good Camino. She made my day. It is interesting how we can still be understood without language.

Staying in a large albergue which was originally a monastery founded before Portugal was a country. Only one other guest, a woman from North Dakota. We dined together at a local restaurant and had a dinner very similar to my lunch. It was great to have company and exchange Camino stories. She has walk many. Plus she had once built her own labyrinth!

I have a nice room with a lovely view. It is the end of a long day 7:15-4:00 15 miles. Good night.

3 thoughts on “Day 1 Porto to Vairao

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