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The Camino de Santiago doesn’t mean that you have to walk all of it. Some people walk just some parts of it.
This is the case of Marta Lopez, from La Coruña, and her friends. Last weekend, instead of staying in their home town they decided that it could be a great idea to walk some of the Camino. Years ago, most of them had already done the last stage of the French Way (From Sarria to Santiago de Compostela in 5 days). This time they only had a 2 days (1 overnight) weekend, so they thought that the Portuguese Way could be interesting. Moreover, it would give them the opportunity to discover parts of the peninsula that, even if close to their home town, they still didn’t know.
“We drove from La Coruña to Tui, (Pontevedra). There, at the cathedral, we got the passport for 1 Euro (You can get it for free if you ask for it in advance)” Marta said. One of the friends came from Madrid for the Pilgrimage weekend. She got her passport in the Calle del Sol of Madrid for free.
“After getting our passport, we continued the drive until Ponte de Lima (Portugal), a market town on the south bank of the Lima River facing a magnificent Roman bridge. There, we started our walk. We got the first stamp in a Restaurant in Ponte de lima” Sandra, another member of the group mentioned. “The truth is that we could have got the passport at Ponte de Lima as well”.
“We started our walk at around 1 pm and by 7.30 pm we arrived to our first destination: Rubiaes, where we slept. The difficulty of this section was medium, with some up hills, but it wasn’t hard at all” Marta says.
Some people have doubts about when to walk. Generally it is advised to walk during the months of April, May, June, September and October. As a Galician myself, I think July and August are really nice months to do the Galician part too. Galicia is not as warm as other areas of Spain. And you never know what the weather is going to be like anyway. “We walked on the weekend of October 13th and we had really nice weather. Blue skies and sunny but not very hot at all. But we were really lucky because the previous week it had been raining everyday… you know… the weather in Galicia varies a lot!” – Marta.
The second day, the group continued the Camino towards Tui. “It was really easy. It took us only 5 hours to get there” – Marta.
The Camino Portugues is not as frequented by pilgrims as the famous French Way, but still, many people walk it every day. “During the weekend we have met 1 Canadian from Toronto, and a man from Pamplona (Spain). Both were walking the Camino on their own. Then we met a group of 8 cyclists, 3 french walkers and a couple more people.”
One of the reasons why people jump into the adventure of the Camino, is the gastronomy. ” In Portugal food was good and cheap. With 10 Euros you can get a meal with drink, bread, desert and coffee included.”
Marta -“The Camino was amazing, there is a variation among trails following a river, walking through the mountain, roads, villages… etc”
If you are visiting in Spain, and you are close from any of the Caminos, we fully recommend that you try, even if is just for one day, to get immersed in the Pilgrim Experience.