Category Archives: Portugal

Best of the Best Camino Attire – Shoes and Clothing

One of the hardest decisions to make about walking the Camino is what shoes to buy.

I have had the privilege and honor of first walking the Camino de Santiago Frances (all 800 kilometers of it) in September and then the Portugues route (616 kilometers – minus a bit for flooding and adding some for getting super lost) in May.

So.. with some authority I will tell you about the hands down primo shoes to walk in and then share what clothing worked best for me and what I would change in the future.

Altra Lone Peak 2.5Shoes: Altra Footwear Lone Peak 2.5  For men and women, without question these are BEST, most comfy and light weight shoes (the 3.0 is out now).  You do not need hiking boots!!! My Camino buddy and I both wore these and did not get blisters.  Why? The size of the toe box.  It’s large and roomy. Your feet will swell so it is important to buy 1/2 size larger than what you normally wear.   Click on Altra Running for technical information. Altra Lone PeakAfter reading about these and other top recommended shoes I ordered 24 pairs from Zappos and returned 23.  Zappos rocks – delivery and returns are free!

It wasn’t until after our first Camino Frances that I learned how many people agonize about what socks to buy – some spending a fortune. I bought thin, cheap Hanes socks – thinking less was more – less to rub.  For fun and warmth I wore Bad Ass knee socks from Sock it to Me – made of cotton, polyester and spandex – more proof that socks don’t matter.Bad AssImportant factors in choosing what clothes to pack: comfort, weight and quick drying.

Since we were traveling through Europe before this last Camino I needed clothing that would work for travel as well as the walk. My wardrobe dictated what kind of trip it would be – no fine dining or theaters for us!

So here are the clothing items that I had in my pack:

  • Target  tank top – great for sleeping, layering or when it’s hot
  • Prana short sleeved t-shirt
  • Lululemon short sleeved shirt
  • REI’s Smart Wool Mid-Weight Long Sleeve Crew
  • Icebreaker BodyfitZONE Zone Long Sleeve Half Zip
  • Lululemon Studio Pant – love the versatility of the drawcord hem
  • Nike Rival 6″ short – getting harder and harder to find the 6″ length
  • Patagonia Tech Fishing Skort
  • Eddie Bauer Micro Therm Down Jacket (ultralight)
  • Icebreaker Flexi Chute – neck thingy
  • Crocs backup shoe for the end of the day, shower, etc.
  • leggings, undies, bras, merino wool glove, hat and a cheap rain poncho

What would I change? Probably the Studio Pants by Lululemon.  They were perfectly comfortable for both Caminos but this time we experienced lots of rain.  UGH!  The bottom of the pants got in the way (too wide and quasi heavy when wet) and the fabric absorbed the water all the way up to my bum. Two of our Camino buddies had lightweight rain pants that they wore in lieu of regular pants on rainy days.  Depending on the time of the year I would consider those, ditch the Studio Pants and figure out an alternate super lightweight pant.Chilling with my CrocsNext, a better rain poncho since the cheap one allowed the rain to soak through.  Lastly, a better neck buff – one that fit tighter.  The Icebreaker model was too loose and didn’t do its job – it was more like bling but did not provide warmth.

That’s it – no more changes.  Super easy.

OR easier yet – you can pack like my husband.  He walked into REI – picked out t-shirts, shorts and a pair of pants off the clearance rack without trying them on.  Went to Goodwill and bought  a $5.00 sports coat (he said we all look like we stepped out of some sporting goods catalog and refused to fit the mold) and 2 pairs of Nike flip flops. YUP – he walked the Camino in flip flops!

 

Camino de Santiago Portugues Day 12

Bill and I opted out today. Severe thunderstorms and an inch of rain was predicted as well as the steepest climb of the Camino. This equals mud and running water under foot.

It poured throughout the night and was raining when we started out. 250 yards later  – the puddles were turning into mini lakes (fun for passing cars) – our shoes were already sopping wet. 

We had already discussed our options over breakfast. Our egos wanted to walk but our worry for the other wanted to put that person in a taxi.

It minutes we ate ego soup – bailed on our amigos and headed for a taxi stand.

Our destination doesn’t qualify to be called a town. The Alburgue doesn’t open until 1 and there are no nearby restaurants. We fortunately found a old coffee bar with basic groceries shelved behind a counter – without heat or lights and it’s 55 degrees. 

We planted ourselves at a table much to the chagrin of the mother in charge. The daughter yelled something to her in Portugues that I assume was “get over it – let them sit”. 

* Darrell, Roxanne and Chappy walked 11.2 miles today and looked like drowned rats when they showed up. All of them had smiles on theirs faces and had nothing but positive comments – no regrets! 

Roxanne did take an hour long bath and used 1,000 gallons of hot water but it was well deserved!

Cheers to TSB!

 


Camino de Santiago Portugues Day 11

Bill made it to 70 today! He said we were either going to have a celebration of life or a parrrtay! He is the first male in his family in generations to live this long. Something that can’t be topped since he is the last male Shaw.

Bill, feeling more alive than ever stepped out in front of all us. We struggled to keep up!

It was supposed to rain today but the skies parted and stayed clear as we walked through acres upon acres of vineyards and rose bushes galore! 27,279 steps and 11.55 miles later we rolled into Ponte de Lima – the oldest in Portugal.

Bill got to choose where we sleep tonight and it’s the Municipal Albergue. He wanted Chappy to have a real taste of Camino living. Chappy couldn’t be happier – he gets to sleep with 9 women at the same time.Tomorrow 1 inch of rain is predicted – 100% – all day! On a good day the path is muddy and the steepest climb of the whole Camino….  Here’s hoping for the best.

Corn dryer


From yesterday’s Corpus Christi Day



Washing laudry at the river

Poop patrol

Photo of the Day 147

A gathering place. Tonight – Bill’s birthday eve dinner in the kitchen of our Casa on the Camino. 

#billsgoingtobe70in4hours #surroundedbylove #breakingbread #caminobuddies 

Balugâes, Portugal

May 26, 2016

Camino de Santiago Portugues Day 10

It’s the first day that we started with blue skies! We relished in the day knowing that tomorrow and the following 2 days will bring rain. Saturday it is predicted to rain up to 2 inches!

Today we walked a quick 8.9 miles with about 20 other pilgrims. It’s like an accordion – you bunch up and expand – bunch up and expand.

We took our last “vacation” day yesterday to visit the town of Braga – rich in history and known to have the first cathedral in Portugal. Originally, we were supposed to celebrate Bill’s birthday on this vacation day but like the weather (literally and figuratively) plans  change….

We are now luxuriating at the magnificent Quinta da Cancela in Balugâes – built in 1736.  We have it all to ourselves – the owner is having dinner ordered in and we will begin to celebrate Bill’s impending 70th birthday – 4 hours and counting.

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The market in Barcelos

Coke Zero in a glass bottle

Long Horned Cows

Roxanne stole my phito and took a photo

You decide.

Wild Calla Lillies

 

The entry to Quinta da Cancela

The surrounding of our casa

 

Playing a round of golf

 

Bill’s birthday eve dinner