CP14 Recce D5

statue at BJ

It just hit me today.

I’ve got to start walking in less than five days! I’m not prepared. My back is sore and my knee is sore and my teeth are sore and my head is sore.

I’m sore.

And I haven’t even started yet!

All these other people who are coming on this tour – they’ve been out climbing mountains and lifting weights in gyms and walking unbelievable miles through the desert each day.

Me? I’ve toodled off on jaunts through the Mudgee vineyards now and then, stopped to gawk at kangaroos, and generally done bugger all.

The day of reckoning is fast approaching. Soon I’ll have to don a backpack – yes, a backpack – and get out there and hoof it all the way to Santiago.

I’m just getting nervous, that’s all – like I did this time last year.

Last year though I was nervous because of the enormity of the challenge ahead of me. This time I’m nervous because I feel I’ve not approached my training seriously enough. After all, it’s only 240kms, and hey, there’s no Pyrenees to climb.

Oh yeah? 240kms in less than two weeks is still a hell of a walk – if I can use that term in the context of a pilgrimage – and there are still some big mountains to get over. Not the Pyrenees, no, but they’re still gnarly.

We’ll see soon enough…

Okay – today.

The highlight of today was going to a toy museum at Ponte de Lima.

Jennifer and I had some time to spare waiting for a meeting so we checked out the museum on the other side of the old Roman bridge.

Rio Lima

The museum was surreal. At least, I found it surreal. Toys freak me out. They come alive at night and make toy noises and play with each other in seriously sick ways and when they get bored with that they try to kill you in your sleep.

Piochio & friend Donald Duck & friend Doll1 Doll2

For me the highlight of the toy museum was the display of Nazi soldiers. They were marching towards Hitler and Goebbels, giving the Heil Hitler salute.

hitler soldiers1 hitler soldiers2

I wondered about all the little children who used to play with these toys. I wondered if they had tanks and Messerschmitts too, and death camps and gas ovens. It would have been fun to collect the whole Auschwitz set, wouldn’t it…

i couldn’t get out of that toy museum fast enough.

On the way back over the bridge I saw this bloke in a boat spearing eels from the bottom of the river. Very cool. The eels were the size of pythons.

eel fisherman

Lunch was in a nondescript joint in Braga. I always put my PGS to work when I look around for a place to eat. it never steers me wrong. This place looked very unprepossessing from the outside, but we walked in and couldn’t find a spare table, the place was so packed.

braga chicken joint

Ordered a full serving of grilled Frango – chicken – the birds from nearby Barcelos, famous for it’s super delicious poultry.

braga chicken dish

This photo is like one of those military photos taken from a satellite which shows just a normal town, and doesn’t show the huge bunker of weapons of mass destruction hidden underneath.

I might be a little florid here with my analogy, but basically what I’m trying to say is that all the chicken is buried under the salad and chips. With a little excavation, the scrumptious grilled chicken was brought out into the open and was quickly devoured.

Full grilled chicken, chips and salad – enough for two hungry people – €9.

After lunch we drove to Bom Jesus, the spectacular religious site on a mountain overlooking Braga. Checked out the hotel where we’ll all be staying – right beside the huge church on the hill. Here is the view out of my bedroom window –

Church outside window

Then went traipsing down all the stairs to get the picture post card shot looking back up at the church – but this couple spoilt my shot.

Bom Jesus taking photo

On the way back up I photographed all the little fountains which represented the five senses –


Bom Jesus eyes


Bom Jesus ears


Bom Jesus taste


Bom Jesus touch


Bom Jesus nose

Tomorrow we meet up with our local liaison lass – Catarina. We’ll stay overnight at her parents beautiful hotel, Villa d’Arcos – and then the next day, we all meet up!


Here below is Jennifer taking a photo –

Jennifer taking photo

31 thoughts on “CP14 Recce D5

  1. Ahoy Mate,

    Will be seeing you in a couple of days, assuming the Lufthansa pilots strike indeed ends on Friday. Otherwise, we may be doing a German Camino Is Frankfurt too far to walk to Portugal????? Looking forward to our formal meeting. How cool that will be after this last year of lots of contact across the globe.

    I revised my own blog today, and for anyone who has an interest, it can be followed at steve2013dotnet.wordpress.com. Follow me and you can tell the difference in a professional photographer, Bill Bennett, and a very amateur one like me. Gosh, I hope there is a difference for Bill’s professional sake. Ah, there will be. Won’t there???? 🙂

    Your buddy, Steve

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Bill,
    Your photos are even better than last year if that is possible. The colors are striking. So looking forward to the pics and thoughts for each day. Beautiful, beautiful pics. Really helps to make us left behind like we are there too. Someday I’m going to climb those stairs, too. The food pics make one drool. The food in Portugal and Spain doesn’t have the toxins and growth hormones that almost all of our food here has and therefore is so much more flavorful.
    If you run thosr stairs a few times a day you’d be in shape in no time! Holy Moly!


  3. Ok Bill, I’ve refrained from commenting so far. But the camino doesn’t let go that easily. We are seriously jealous and wish you, collectively, a fantastic camino. Buen camino, Peter

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Bill,

    Isn’t it ironic – the photographer’s wife shooting pictures with her tablet? I love that shot in particular.

    I’m so looking forward to Saturday, finally getting to say “HEY” and hug all my old, yet first time seen, friends.

    High 5 and a great big HOOLY DOOLY!!!


    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Julie, thank you so much. As for setting an impossible standard for future posts, well on this trip so far, I have yet to take a REALLY good photo, in my view.

      On the last Camino, out of roughly 3000 shots I took, I was only really happy with about five. I’m not sure what that percentage is, but if I get three or four really knockout shots from this trip, I’ll be happy.

      My favourite shot so far? The girl taking the photo of her boyfriend on stairs of Bom Jesus. I like that shot.


      Liked by 2 people

  5. Hooly Dooly and Holy Moly – all HAVE ONE HECK OF A FANTASTIC TIME !
    The best of vibes are being sent from Australia – we’re with you all in spirit !
    Please, please, please – Arlene and Steve – take a photo of the contents of those pilgrim packs! I’d love to see what Aussie goodies Bill and Jen have included !
    Buen Camino to all –
    Jenny xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


  6. Looking at these wonderful pictures I’m excited to hear all about your Portugal Camino. My husband and I will be leaving for England, Ireland and Germany for three weeks this Monday. We will be walking part of the Camino in Germany with our good friend that we met last year on our Camino in Spain. We will starting in Cologne and ending in Aachen. I’m sure you will meet many lifelong friends as we did. Keep the pictures coming! Safe walking.



    • Hi Nancy – Jennifer and I found ourselves on the German Camino last year – driving, not walking! – and it looked wonderful. I’m sure you and your husband will have a great time. The history of the Camino in that part of the world is fascinating. Let us know how you go! Bill


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