We have started our Camino! Day 1 is what I’m calling a ‘soft start’ as we’ve completed 12km along the Portuguese coastal route to Santiago de Compostela. Dave and I were going to start our trek tomorrow but the short walk from Porto to Matosinhos was appealing in its brevity. Dave flew in from Sydney only yesterday.
We actually ended up walking a lot further than 12 km as we spent the morning wandering about Porto, finding the best coffee shops /pastelarias. I do love a good pastel de nata.
Our start to the Camino has been quite leisurely. We departed from Porto Cathedral (Sé do Porto) around 1pm. The path from the Cathedral winds down through the town and then along the river. Most of it is cobble stones which are quite hard on the feet. I’m looking forward to some softer ground in the coming days.
While both Dave and I have trained with our packs (he in Sydney, me in Scotland) we were both surprised at how heavy the packs were when we first set off from our AirBnB this morning! Mine has some terribly non-pilgrim items like my laptop and camera. Dave gained a bottle of Pinot Noir from the port cave we visited last evening (Quinta de Cidro from Real Companhia Velha) which added some extra weight to his pack 🙂 I’m sipping on some this as I type 🙂
We made it a whole 6km before deciding it was lunch time and stopped at a fantastic little restaurant, Bar Tolo. It’s not exactly a traditional pilgrim venue – more funky tapas-style cafe. The food was excellent and just what we needed. Dave ordered the Francesinha (steak sandwich with ham and sausage, topped with melted cheese, served in a pool of slightly spicy tomato sauce). I ordered a salad, steak tartare (so good) and my favourite Padrón peppers.
Tomorrow we’re off to Vila do Conde! A short walk of about 20km or so along the coast, mostly via boardwalks according to the Brierley guidebook.