My heart skipped a beat this afternoon.
After the flight from London, picking up the rental, driving in the rain out of Porto, and trying to find the hotel in Arcos, I saw a series of yellow arrows.
markings on an old stone wall…
I can’t begin to describe to you what it meant – something as simple as seeing several yellow arrows pointing The Way.
It felt… right.
It felt like I’d never been away.
It felt like I was reconnecting with something that was innately familiar.
The hotel we’re staying in tonight is smack bang on the Portuguese Camino. Anyone coming from Porto would walk straight past.
The people who run this place – a delightful couple named Mira (who cooks) and Alfred (who knows his Portuguese wines like no other) and their daughter Christina, all made us feel immediately at home.
The food was magnificent – I’ll detail that more in the Road Food blog in the next day or so. But there aren’t many times when you have a meal and there’s not one thing you can point to that’s in any way deficient.
Tomorrow Jennifer and I start charting the tour.
And great news – Steve has decided to join us! I’m over the moon about that. We’re going to have a very cool bunch of people on this tour!
Mira walked from Porto to Santiago in five days, she said. She told me she averaged fifty kms a day. That’s Herculean. She looks very fit and strong though. It wouldn’t surprise me.
it’s great to be back and talking to people who share a similar obsession…
The Way of St. James.
(the church at Arcos, approx 20kms N of Porto.)
Bill so happy for you and Jennifer, I can just imagine how wonderful it feels to be back on the Camino. Soak it all in. Bom Caminho pilgrims… looking forward to your food blog entries.
p.s. not sure if my answer about Jose got to you, yes he lives in Lisbon. I was well aware that you were starting from Porto. Jose and his wife, eat, sleep, breath, dream Camino and he is only a phone call away. Also he goes to Santiago a lot. So no worries about calling on him.
Hi Ingrid –
Yes, it’s good to be back on the Camino, albeit this time in a car. But it’s good just talking to pilgrims, and hearing their stories.
I will follow up with jose. We are now friends on FB – but would you mind sending me his phone number again please? I know you’ve sent it before, but can’t locate it. Please send to –
Many thanks Bill
Now it is my turn to be envious, I wish I was still there and following those yellow arrows with you and Jennifer!
You are so right, the feeling of home, the sense of belonging, that sense of never having left. The Camino I guess has that way of getting into our blood. Like I always say Once Bitten!
Enjoy and remember we are looking forward to explicit details of the food.
Thanks Arlene –
We kicked off with an exquisite home cooked meal last night at the place where we’re staying in Arcos – Villa do Arcos. More like fine dining, it was. But details coming up in the Road Food blog!
Oh those arrows!! I am having a very difficult time concentrating on work. I finally figured out how to post the pics on my blog and saw several pics of the arrows while uploading the first 40 yesterday. I have the Camino bug!!! Would love to just drop everything and get back to following those arrows!. Vacations will never be the same again. Oh how I envy you!
Yes Lynda –
Fortunately I have never had any kind of addiction in my life: alcoholism, drugs, watching daytime tv – however I suspect these yellow arrows might be becoming an addiction…
Maybe you should look into YAAA…………..
Hi Lynda and Bill –
There’s a group out there who can help all of us – “Pilgrims Anonymous” (PA) … the first step in their 12-step program is to recognize and accept that you will NEVER overcome your Camino addiction!
Cheers – Jenny
I must be weird. I am content to wait until next April to see more yellow arrows. Maybe I was only partially bitten. Perhaps you guys can finish the job in April. I am a blank canvas waiting to be painted :-), but without expectation (had to add that) :-). I am sure I will be in good hands and you can show me the “light’.
Nibble, Nibble Steve… 😉
If you are a blank canvas waiting to be painted, then what kind of painting would you be Steve?
Matisse? Kandinsky? Andy Warhol? Miro? Banksy?
With your physique, I suspect something classical – da Vinci perhaps.
More like the sculpture David.
You will have to make sure you’re wearing clothes though on the tour…
Hey, you never said that when you asked me to join…………
The canvas is just a canvas. The artist is the creator.
Er, I mean Steve…
Steve, the way you talk about God and spirit makes me think if you were a painting, you’d be Adam in the Cistine Chapel, reaching out to touch the Hand of God. 🙂
Wow. Hey you dont have to do that. I have already agreed to go. 🙂
Hah! 🙂 I speak true, Kimosabe
Hi Bill and Jennifer –
‘Glad to see that all’s working out so well for you. Those Camino arrows … be still my beating heart!
My pilgrim friend David from the UK (David on Ivar’s Forum) has a quote by Matsuo Basho (the 17th Century Japanese Zen Master) as a tagline which I think would really resonate with you now that you are back in that wonderful ‘Camino Zone’ … it goes like this :
“Every day is a journey and the journey itself is home” …
To return to a place you feel so familiar with and have a love for, and to journey through it, is a real connection to “home”.
Cheers – Jenny
Thank you Sister Clare! ‘Hoping all is well with you –
I consider myself to be very lucky with the life I have and yet, just now, I’m so very jealous, not just of you there in Portugal following the food and the additive arrows, but that I can’t go on the April tour … GRRRRR!! I’ve just finished a really nice meditation, sitting in the sun, and now all that equilibrium is gone 🙂
Britta, when that happens to me the only thing that gets me back on track is taking out my gratitude journal, where lately most lines start with : “Bill…….
🙂 🙂 🙂
I really like your photo of the church, Bill. To an untutored eye like mine, the walls almost look like tiles. You wouldn’t be going back for a close-up, would you? I’d love to see more detail.
I’m looking forward to following your travels through Portugal.
Thank you Elizabeth –
Unfortunately I’ve moved on now, but I will be going back in April!
I’ll begin to post daily now that I’ve settled into a routine.
You might be correct Elizabeth, given that in Portugal you will see a lot of tile work. Some houses are covered with artwork that way. I have some magnificent work in blue and white tile. Just amazing. I tried to enlarge the picture, and I can see why you wonder if it is tile. Ingrid
/… have SEEN some….. whish I had some.. sorry, just to quick to hit the post comment button.