Caminho Portuguès, Day 1

The Emerging Artist (can I still call her that?) and I are walking part of the Caminho Portuguès, from Porto to Tui (which is in Spain, but quite a way from the goal of true pilgrims, Santiago de Compostella. We are not true pilgrims: we’re not sporting scallop shells, we left our Pilgrim’s Passports in our hotel room in Porto, and we don’t anticipate spiritual experiences. But I’ll try to put up a couple of bits of verse each day. So here goes, with Day One.

I though we’d be like vermin
but sweet European birdsong
and men on bikes in lycra
wish us Bom Caminho.


Twang two three four
thud two three four.
Walk with a stick and
follow follow follow
follow the yellow arrów.


Here the eucalypts
are a virus caught from capital
but they still smell like home.


On these cobbled high-walled roads
cars approach like thunder.

7 responses to “Caminho Portuguès, Day 1

  1. Keep them coming, and keep on walking!


  2. You and the Heart Artist or the Artist of Heart are walking the Caminho! Bravo, bravísimo! And the eucalypt scented-air (or is that “sainted air”). Those trees – in Spain and in Portugal – I noted in early 1973 again in Spain in 1977 and in 2011 – wherever in the world one travels – those trees drag all the senses into a kind of nostalgic gasp – finding them and oneself so far from the Great South Land – but together. Will your path wind you away from traffic – into hilly quieter reaches? I hope so. When I walked the 88temples pilgrimage path around Shikoku (1200 kms) walking beside roadways was sometimes a little scary (once or twice through lengthy and narrow tunnels) but into the rural parts – foot-paths – beneath tall forests of cypress or cedar – birdcalls and the scent of the timber – or the fields of canola – mustard rape – all evocative of and stilling one’s heart. Bem caminho peregrino. (A poor attempt at Portuguès!) from Jim KABLE



  3. I’d be in deep trouble if I started calling her the Heart Artist, Jim, much as I’d like to. The Japanese walk sounds great, though 1200 k would be well beyond my capacity now, or ever. Yes, we are getting quite a bit of hilly quieter countryside. Today we walked through a lot of what our trip notes called woodland. A good bit of it was actually eucalypt forest, trees planted terribly close to each other, for woodpulp, replacing the slower growing native forest. They really are an environmental disaster.


  4. And now I have some time, I’ll read your Caminho posts in a rush. Enjoyed this. Always interesting to contemplate OUR plants and critters being pests elsewhere isn’t it. And those cobbled paths! I hope you didn’t have to walk on too many of them. How many kms are you walking (well, now it should be, did you walk!!) each day?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The cobbled paths became objects of dread by the fifth day, Sue. What our walk notes called well worn paths were fabulous, and even ‘rocky paths’ were fine if a little bit scrambly on downhill parts, but the cobbles were just unpleasant. We did it fairly easy – our longest day was 22 k, and the shortest about 18. On the last day, which was fairly flat, we could probably have done another 10 without flagging too much.


    • Yes, that’s what we found in Portugal – and we only did sightseeing walking. Lisa calls those cobblestones “vicious”!

      I’m not sure I could do 20kms a day several days in a row. We’ve done 20-22km walks over the years, but as one-offs. When we go to Thredbo each year, we walk every day for the 4-5 days we’re there, but mix up the lengths, and rarely these days do more that 15km walks. My feet aren’t the best – though orthotics help a lot.

      Liked by 1 person

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