The Way – part 2: whirlwind in Porto

It’s nearing supper time in Porto, but Adele’s stomach is upset, likely from something she ate. The most likely suspect is the chicken club toasted sandwich she had for lunch, although I ate about a quarter of it and I’m feeling fine. Mind you, I have an iron gut (and a large one at that), so that doesn’t mean much.

We’ve met with the rep from Portugal Green Walks, and got our Caminho passports and guide books. I’ve rearranged my daypack, and am currently hmm-ing about whether or not to use the hydration pack. Pro: it’s going to be warm tomorrow (30ish Celsius). Con: weight. It might not seem like much to start, but after a while…. Mind you, I’ll be draining it as we go. Well, I’ll decide in the morning.

Happily, water is cheap here. I paid €4 for six litres. That’s about what I’d end up paying for one most places back home.

Prior to all of the foregoing, we spent the day touring Porto on one of those double decker sightseeing buses. Well, two of them actually. Anyway, although you can only skim the surface of a place that way, it showed us enough to think we’d like to come back for a longer visit at some point.

Tomorrow, though, we begin our Caminho. We have so many places to see, so many people to meet over the next couple of weeks, there’s no time to think about what we might do in years to come. We need to stay in the moment.

And at this moment, I’m starting to think about supper.

The way – part 1: Vancouver to Porto

Flying is something to be endured rather than enjoyed. Even on an ostensibly ‘good’ airline it’s an ordeal. The long indignities of the airport, with its random drug screens and ‘place all your belongings in the tray, yes, your belt, too’; the way you Get squeezed into the ever-shrinking confines of increasingly expensive seats, as they cram ever more passengers into each row; the lousy food (its never a good sign if you have to ask, ‘what is that?’, or when you’re told, ‘all we have left is vegetarian pasta’). If only it were possible to drive to Europe.

But here we are, in Porto. Only 24 hours after arriving at the airport in Vancouver. Of course, some of that time – about eight hours – was spent at the airport in Amsterdam. Luckily, we’d had the idea of booking a hotel room for about six of those hours. ‘Room’ might be generous. If was more of a pod, really. But it was perfect for what we wanted: a place to stretch out, have a quick nap and a shower. If you have a longish layover, I highly recommend it.

It’s hard to say what Porto is like yet, as it’s dark. But it’s quiet, and the few people we’ve met so far have been friendly, and enthusiastic about their city and country.

The hotel here is more than acceptable. I’ll write more tomorrow.