Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Camino Portuguese - Day 13 - Porto

35 km (but a non walking day). Ricardo and Lucia left for a short 20 km day and 15 km tomorrow to Porto, leaving Carolina and me to take a bus to Porto. And then there were two....
My plan was to be in Porto today. So I either do a longer stretch a few days back (too late now and also I want to stay with my camino family for a long as I can) or a long stretch today which leaves me no time to see Porto. Third option is to follow Carolina and take a bus to Porto. Have to be with my camino family for as long as I can so joining Carolina is the other option. She has a friend coming to Porto and they will walk the coastal route in 2 days, hence her reason for the bus trip today.
Porto is a very touristy city. Not many cheap accommodation. One of them on my map overlay did not exist (became a tourist booth instead). Porto being hilly and I didn't want to spend too much time looking with my backpack, I just settled on the 'Yes!' chain of hostel, one of those high tech hostel found in big cities, 4 to a room (early bird, got a lower bunk, yes!) for 20 euros + 2 for city tax. Breakfast option is an extra 2 euros but from 8 am is a bit too late for me. The cafe downstairs with lots of sandwiches opens earlier in the morning at 7 am.
At least the place is along the central Camino route. There is an alternative coastal route that was created a few years back and many people chose that route. I rather like countryside, feels more like the Camino for me so I will be walking the old central route tomorrow. The coast is also slightly longer (additional day or two) before converging with the central route in Redondela.
I also took the opportunity to recharged the data on my local SIM data (already 14 out of the 15 days limit). Just 1 GB for 15 days is more than enough now considering most albergue has wifi. No need for packages like unlimited social media, YouTube, etc that is so common here. I guess this is what happens when we loose net neutrality. At the small phone shop (mostly run by Indians) I was told it's easier to get just another SIM card instead of recharging. Fine. The total without all that additional packages? 2.5 euros for 1 GB (15 days) with SIM card!!! I felt ripped off paying 10 euros 2 weeks ago in Lisbon. It's like paying extra for cable channels you don't watch.
Tried the cod fish croquet with strong cheese (blue?). Not bad, but expensive at 4 euros. Would be cheaper at a sandwich shop, too late.
Like in Lisbon there is a place (Oriental house) where they sell canned sardines with your birth year. I saw mine at the window. Not sure I even want to get it assuming it was canned on the year of my birth. They are probably expensive too, and may not even be edible.
Carolina's lodging is further away in the city (nearer the coastal route). She took the subway and drops her backpack and then back to the central. We spent some time in the afternoon around the bridge and the central. After a late lunch we had to say goodbye. 😭
And now there is only one (me). I just lost my camino family.
Glad to know that Lucia and Ricardo will still be walking together to Santiago.
An early rest and tomorrow I may find myself another family. 😁
I had some pain on the left heel after yesterday's walk on the hard surface so the hope that with more rest today (the slopes in Porto not helping) it will get better by tomorrow. As many pilgrim starts their walk from Porto instead of from Lisbon, I expect to see more people on the central route (coastal too) tomorrow. Going to be a change for me in more ways than one....

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