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The Camino Portugues Coastal Route – Part 1

The Camino Portugues Coastal Route

It all started on… The Camino Portugues Coastal Route!

We had this wild idea of emigrating to Spain. We planned to walk about 100 km on the Portugues Way simply because that area of Galicia appealed to us. You get to know the locals and the area better if you walk around instead of speeding through several areas with a car…

That’s how it started. Little did we know of the so-called ‘call’ of the Camino that keeps calling you back…

Here’s a transcript of the blog article we published back in April 2014. Knowing what we know now, we think it is valuable for first-time pilgrims to get a glimpse of our own learning curve. Here’s part 1 of the Camino Portugues series. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

7 April 2014

Our Way of St. James, our Camino de Santiago, starts here. This summer, we will be walking the part that starts in Tui, at the Portuguese border. Just 113 km or so until arriving at Santiago de Compostela. It will not take a lot of preparation. Our goal is to meet as many people as possible with as many different points of view as possible on a dozen topics… With (plenty) of days of rest included, it will take us about 2 weeks.
However, this blog will be much more than a journal ranging from our preparations for the trip to the actual walking and arriving at one of the most beautiful cities in Galicia. We’ll be spending 2 months in Galicia…
The walk itself is just one of the things we will be doing to prepare for something much bigger. A life-changing event. A new direction. The blog? A way to organize our thoughts and share them with all who care about us.

It would be so much clearer, we sometimes say, if our lives would provide us with a clear map. You are born, you get a user manual, a nice road map, and a road that identifies clearly the way you should be following. Piece of cake!
Well, there’s no user manual all right. We all write one along the way though. And the signs? Well, no literal signs but enough signals along the road that can influence your course.
My user manual contains 38 years worth of pages. Joyce’s contains 37. Feeling optimistic, we could say that we are about half way of completing the user manuals.
Half way. A great moment to stop and think about where we are actually heading and if it is still the appropriate way according to our user manual.
Most people don’t stop or are simply not able to stop half way. We were lucky enough to be stopped (big stop sign, believe me).

We decided to take a look at the map. We learned a lot from the road we traveled and left behind us. Not an inch of regret, honestly. We did not enjoy the thought of sticking to that road however. We decided to take a turn. We said to ourselves: ‘let’s try this other road’. If it doesn’t work we can track-back or find a new road – but we’ll at least know for sure that this is not the right one. If we don’t try it, we’ll never know, and that’s the part that we will regret when we get to the end of our user manual.

So here’s the thing:
We both like to help people. We love nature. We always had the dream of being self-sufficient. I am Spanish, Joyce loves Spain. We need more SUN :-). We need more balance. We want to have a user manual in the end, that will be worth reading for others.
Tons of ideas to incorporate in the user manual – we will be revealing them along the way (if we dump them all on you at once you will probably think we’ve totally gone crazy – if you’re not thinking that already).

Buen Camino!

Joyce & Luisa

This post is also available in: Dutch

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