Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Mealhada End of day 1

It was great catching up with my old walking mate Steve last night, 3 years on and it was like ysterday. Well folks, my nerves settled after 1 hour of walking. We made Mealhada late in the afternoon after a late departure about 9:30. We started from the Church of San Tiago in Coimbra, then headed out past the train station and along the river after some helpful directions from a Policeman. We have seen no other pilgrims. The way marking has been good with the yellow arrows generally frequent, and the blue arrows pointed opposite for the Pilgrimage to Fatima (another project?). We have taken it slowly, with plenty of breaks, but still very sore and aching. I have blisters on both feet. At this stage manageable, and cleaned up and treated. After a couple of cervejas and a shower the world is much better. I think sleep will be welcome tonight.
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Monday, August 30, 2010

Later that day in Coimbra

Caught the train from Lisbon, sat next to an aussie as luck would have it. This is strange trip for meeting people, as I was sat across from Louise B and hubby from work on the flight to Singapore. It is a hot 37C today in Coimbra, though cooling a little tomorrow to 32C, and then 26 for a couple of days. It will be a hot walk to Mealhada tomorrow, might try to leave early.
Staying at Casa Pombal in Coimbra, nice atmospheric guest house run by a lovely Dutch lady. I had a look this afternoon at the University of Coimbra (dates back to 1290 I think), also some sort of Royal Palace at one point (Later edit: Coimbra was the capital of Portugal 1139-1260). This is a lovely town, but would be lovelier if cooler. Cannot upload pictures at this time, maybe later, or maybe just work pictures. My prose matches my photography ... sorry.

In Lisboa

Arrived Lisbon yesterday. It is now 0845 Monday morning. Heaps tired and worried. I am much more stressed about this Camino, but hopefully that passes in a day or two. The physicalities are very worrying. It is quite warm, high 20's and muggy. Did not sleep well.
I catch the train to Coimbra in about 2 1/2 hours, and meet Steve about 1800.
Tomorrow it starts for real. Being away from family this time is really hard. This will be my last without them.
Hope to be more cheerful tomorrow.
I am leaving a bag with travelling clothes and books for the flight home at the Pensao I am staying at, and will pick them up on the homeward journey in about 3 weeks.
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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Final Preparations.

I looked back to my blog of 2007, and the Camino Frances. The feelings are so similar. The same self doubts and worries, and the wondering, but in reality I think it is all set.
Walked Sunday and Monday, but both short. Sunday was special, as before, a walk with the boys. This time up past the Newmans Nursery ruins. We had quite a chat and saw 15 (I counted 8) roos. The boys counted them up as well as down. The boys are feeling the coming seperation, with many requests for 'lie-down hugs'. I look forward to the time we travel on the Camino together.
We have just been for a blessing of my journey with Father George. Exactly as before, except
with Father Pat then. We had a great chat about the meaning of it all. It sets the scene and the mood.
The weather here is 11C, and in Coimbra today 31C. I think a shock is in store.
I arrive Lisboa on Sunday morning, train to Coimbra on Monday and meet Steve, and then Tuesday we head North.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Camino Portugues Sept 2010

The walk continues with a return to Santiago, starting this time in Coimbra, Portugal. I hope to update the blog as I go, as I was so encouraged by the interest and comments last time.

This Camino is about half the distance 370kms, and is the 2nd most popular after the Camino Frances (CF) I walked last time. If you look to the right you will see links to 2007, and can re-read that journey.

A google map of the planned route this time is

I start from Coimbra on August 31 with my mate Steve, who I met on the CF. I am nowhere as well prepared mentally or physically this time around, but I hope with encouragement to make it.

This year is special, a Holy year of Saint James (when July 25 is on a Sunday). The number of pilgrims are boosted by this, as it is the last Holy year until 2021.