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!

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  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

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  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.

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  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?

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  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.

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    • 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.

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