Last Row – Sept. 28, 2022

  • Portuguese Camino: Day 15 / Albergaria-a-Nova to São João
  • Distance: 15.7 miles / Total 220.5 miles
  • Time: 8 hours
  • Ascent: 1,792’ Decent: 1,527’
  • Weather: 55-71 degrees / partly cloudy

Last row to hoe. Whether it’s 5, 10, or 15 miles to walk, the last miles are the hardest. Towards the end, my thinking isn’t as sharp. I see way marking signs but I don’t really look at them. Was it “right,” “left,” or “straight on?” Retracing my steps, I actually look at the sign. My body is saying break time.

Pre-dawn bread delivery is common. Slipping away from my hostel at 5:30am, I asked to buy bread from the delivery man. Smiling he offered me a roll and good journey.
As a scallop shells was on his pack, could he be returning from Santiago de Compostelle?
I will follow you anywhere.
Urban living in a green tiled house.

She’s Everywhere – Sept. 27, 2022

  • Portuguese Camino: Day 14 / Águeda to Albergaria-a-Nova
  • Distance: 13.7 miles / Total 204.8 miles
  • Time: 7 hours 30 minutes
  • Ascent: 1,052’ Decent: 724’
  • Weather: 55-75 degrees / sunny, cloudless & breezy. Started out in down jacket.

Images of Fátima are everywhere. She is Portugal.

Fátima
Most popular tile image on homes.
Fátima
Fátima
Pilgrims to Fátima. We are now going in opposite directions.
Fátima pilgrims light backpacks and high spirits.

Hold On – Sept. 27, 2022

  • Portuguese Camino: Day 14 / Águeda to Albergaria-a-Nova
  • Distance: 13.7 miles / Total 204.8 miles
  • Time: 7 hours 30 minutes
  • Ascent: 1,052’ Decent: 724’
  • Weather: 55-75 degrees / sunny, cloudless & breezy. Started the day in my down coat.

Hold on to the morning light. Colors are saturated and the sharpest.

Contrasting colors.
Color reflections.
Colors

Colors becoming warmer.

“Santiago” – Sept. 26, 2022

  • Portuguese Camino: Day 13 / Mealhada to Águeda
  • Distance: 16.6 miles / Total 191.1 miles
  • Time: 8 hours 30 minutes
  • Ascent: 1,035’ Decent: 1,006’
  • Weather: 55-75 degrees / sunny & breezy…cool enough for SmartWool shirt in the evening

My energy is fast fading when a car pulled over. The driver enthusiastically said, “Santiago!” He handed me a bag with a bottle of cold water and 2 chilled apples. Just what I needed. Just what a dozen other pilgrims needed today and also received.

Águeda
Águeda
Águeda art instillation.

Bits and Pieces – Sept. 26, 2022

  • Portuguese Camino: Day 13 / Mealhada to Águeda
  • Distance: 16.6 miles / Total 191.1 miles
  • Time: 8 hours 30 minutes
  • Ascent: 1,035’ / Decent: 1,006’
  • Weather: 55-75 degrees / sunny & breezy…evening cool enough for SmartWool shirt

When the scenery is dull, bits and pieces become notable. I walk zig-zag to claim patches of shadow. Weaving along provides different perspectives.

Bits
Pieces from other places.
Today’s bloom.

Solo – Sept. 25, 2022

  • Portuguese Camino: Day 12 / Coimbra to Mealhada
  • Distance: 15.9 miles / Total 174.5 miles
  • Time: 9 hours Ascent: 834’ Decent: 777’
  • Weather: 55-75 degrees / sunny & breezy

Walking by yourself has a freedom of spirit. There is spontaneity in each step. How I need and enjoy walking solo.

5:00am pre-dawn start. GPS is a wonderful thing.
Hostel’s tile work.
Capturing the warm color.
Rose, the bloom of the day.

Grief – Sept. 24, 2022

  • Portuguese Camino: Day 11 / Conimbriga to Coimbra
  • Distance: 12.5 miles 😊 / Total 158.6 miles
  • Time: 6 hours 15 minutes
  • Ascent: 1,057’ Decent: 1,373’
  • Weather: 60-75 degrees / sunny & breezy.

An unexpected death in Christian’s family brings grief and a sorrowful interruption to his Camino. Today we speak of our new memories. Tomorrow he begins his journey home to be with family.

Sunrise start.
Overlooking Coimbra
Capturing the two of us before we go separate ways.
Coimbra’s street action.
Old Coimbra church situated on a hill…but of course.

Resist? – Sept. 23, 2022

  • Portuguese Camino: Day 10 / Coimbra to Conimbriga
  • Distance: 17.9 miles 🥾 / Total 146.1 miles
  • Time: 8 hours 15 minutes
  • Ascent: 1,083’ Decent: 2,030’
  • Weather: 60-75 degrees / sunny

What pilgrim can resist a swimming pool? The perfect end for a walk began two hours before sunrise. Opting to walk on asphalt roads shaved distance. It is the first day without vacancies at a shorter distance.

Albergue in background. Tonight we are four women plus Christian.
Typical of the dirt paths.
With little rain, no water under the bridge. This is the bridge Martin Sheen should have had his backpack accident
Today’s bloom.

Olive Oil – Sept. 23, 2022

  • Portuguese Camino: Day 10 / Coimbra to Conimbriga
  • Distance: 17.9 miles 🥾 / Total 146.1 miles
  • Time: 8 hours 15 minutes
  • Ascent: 1,083’ Decent: 2,030’
  • Weather: 60-75 degrees / sunny

The smell of olive oil hangs in the air. Olive oil factories with their huge barrels and vats dot the road. Here the people hand-pick the olives.

Toting pickers.
Wildflowers in an olive orchard.
In the wild.