Day 1 – Porto to Povoa de Varzim

Just finished my 27km / 17 mile day 1 walk.  I think it was John Candy in Planes, Trains & Automobiles who claimed “man, my dogs are barking” after pulling his shoes and socks off.  Yeah, that about sums up my feet.  That’s always the biggest challenge on the Camino…keeping your feet dry & blister free.  Hoping walking every day for about 3 weeks will work them into getting used to boots and long walks.

What can I say about today that the photos won’t explain?   It’s a good thing they’re worth 1,000 words each.  Remarkable, incredible, awesome…that’s what I viewed all day today.  99% of my walk was on a wooden or paved boardwalk overlooking the sea.  The weather was clear, low 70’s and the sun was shining on the Atlantic and her waves that crashed against a rocky coastline.  As it was Sunday, lots of locals and tourists were out enjoying the glorious day, many sipping coffee at street side cafes or sunning on the beach.  I was amazed at how active all ages of Portuguese folks were, from elderly couples slowing strolling arm n’ arm, to families on bikes, joggers, lovers sneaking a kiss…even a couple of us peregrinos.

Today I offered up my prayers and focus on my Mom & Dad.  Mom is 90 and Dad, God willing, catches her briefly on Sept 22.  They’re struggling mightily with their health and finances.  I prayed for God to grant my Dad his wish to pass in his own home, and for my Mom to give up her aches, pains and worries to the Lord she’s so anxious to meet.  Oh merciful Lord, please bless your servants until your will takes them home.

I’m looking forward to a shower, an early dinner and a good nights sleep in preparation of tomorrow.  Until then, ate’ logo family and friends.

Chapel Capela da Boa

A rocky but powerful coastline

A lone pilgrim deep in thought while looking out over the sea

My Portuguese Coastal Way Camino officially begins…Bom Caminho!

Very cool…water boarders surfing in…2 sports in 1

Only in Europe can you get oceanfront land for a futbol stadium!

One of many monuments along the beach boardwalk

Waiting for the days catch to come in!

One of the small fishing villages I passed through

Fishing markers ready to be taken to mark spots

The water was crystal clear at beaches edge

A view along the coastline

I stopped at this church to say a prayer and light some votive candles, but it was locked.  All the bars & restaurants are open on Sunday but the church is locked.  What’s wrong with this picture…literally?

A stained glass window of the locked church.  San Pedro looking after the fishermen?

This cutaway in the rocks was extraordinarily beautiful

People out enjoying the weather and beautiful coastline

A very cool hostel along the way.  Mosaic tiles adorned much of the building.

The natural sand dunes were massive and reminded me of the Highlands region of Scotland.  Hard not to think about the Open Championship in July!


Sounds of the Atlantic on the Portuguese coast

Hey, my hotel is waaaay down there about another 10 miles!

I stopped along the tree lined Rio Onda to kick off my boots and eat some lunch

More of the beautiful dunes along the boardwalk

Ah, Spring has sprung!  Wildflowers everywhere.  God sure is a good gardener, yes?

I thought this monument was really beautiful.  A local told me it was crosses to signify all the lost souls of fishermen to the sea.

San Pedro…he has to be the Saint of the Fishermen.

A bottle brush tree in spring bloom.  Incredibly beautiful.

Dune daisies adorn the ground of many open spaces

A memorial to the fishermen’s wives…who look to be saying ‘stay safe and bring back some dinner!’…

Cafe’s and locals outside my hotel room balcony

Across the pavilion to the sea from my hotel balcony

Author: jtcaminoblog

A husband of 38 years, a father of 3, a Christian man and pilgrim on this earth. I am a devout Roman Catholic whose purpose in life is to love our Lord above all else and our neighbors as ourselves. I struggle with the latter but walk these pilgrimages for both atonement and guidance from the Lord to be the best version of myself.

5 thoughts on “Day 1 – Porto to Povoa de Varzim”

  1. Wow Dad these pictures are stunning. Can’t think of a better setting to let go of stressors and anxiety here at home, and to allow yourself to reflect and prepare for a new approach to happiness when you return. Love you boss!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello JT! Oh my goodness, I can’t believe how beautiful it is on your first day of walking. I do believe you have missed your calling and should think about writing travel blogs for a living. Buen Camino! ❤️❤️❤️


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