It’s been over two years since I cycled the French route! It’ll be nearly three years by September, but that’s when the flights are booked to Lisbon, Portugal and it’s time to kick-start the blog and create some more memories! Thank you for visiting!
There’s a number of reasons I’ve settled this time on the Portuguese route. I like the history behind the route so I’ll be following as closely as I can the footsteps of Queen Isabel (1271-1336). This is also the area (Monte Santiaguiño) in which St James originally preached before returning to have his head cut off (I’m sure that wasn’t his chosen itinerary on his return). There are also a number of diversions available such as the pilgrimage to Fatima, but to do this will mean cutting out a very picturesque section of the route northwards. The jury is out on this at the moment. I’ve not read about any water fountains also offering wine on tap this time either. If I do hear of it I’ll be sure not to cycle straight passed like last time.
Information on this route for the cyclist isn’t jumping out at me the same way it was for the French route. Even the Confraternity of St James‘ website which is an amazing resource seems to have a little black hole when it comes to a cyclists version of the route. It states:
Cyclists. Possible with detours around the forested areas. No dedicated cyclist’s maps are currently available. However, I have met cyclists along the camino and have been told that it is a straightforward journey. More information would be appreciated.
Good old csj though has a rare document for walkers online detailing the first part of my route from Lisbon to Porto to be found here. I say “rare” because this first section has long stretches of walking between hostels and so maybe pilgrims on foot are put off a little, which in turn explains the lack of blogs from pilgrims doing this section of the route. If I find any other resources or accounts I’ll link them in this blog.
One things for sure, I’ll be starting with one of John Brierley’s guides and a set of maps for the area like last time. Brierley includes contour guides, 14 town plans and cultural information in his guides so I’m hoping that this will provide lots of answers to questions I haven’t got yet.
There’s also a pdf file with the details of all the Albergues and Lodges available courtesy of the American Pilgrims. here’s a link.
Well that’s it. as far as I’ve got and I haven’t even looked in-depth at most of this, but I will. I’ll try to make this blog a journey of preparation and planning with my feelings and thoughts about packing and perspiration. In the meantime here’s a picture. Of me.