CP14 Day 1 – by the beach

We were all a little anxious this morning I think – about heading off on our pilgrimage.

I wanted a group shot out front of the hotel, in the middle of the street. The street had train lines which made it great photographically – the lines drawing your eye into the group –

But the reason the street had train lines was because the street had trains – and just when I had a great shot lined up we had to scamper over to the sidelines, to let a train through.

group shot

Trains have no respect for pilgrims that get in their way.

We then set off – crossing a massive drawbridge over the main channel feeding the port, then we headed to the coast. It was overcast, but soon the clouds would burn off leaving the day sunny and perfect for walking.

sitting by trash

lighthouse

Peter and Julie, experienced pilgrims that they are, were out of the gates like two sleek greyhounds, bounding ahead – their friends Ken and Angie (their first Camino) doing well to keep up with them.

foursome by industrial

Jennifer and I stayed back, to help the last of the group get on their way. We then set off at a leisurely pace – knowing that Caterina would and could handle any immediate exigency should it arise.

Jen walking rv

We do have some elderly walkers on this tour…

Steve with Van

The first part of the day’s route took us past a large industrial complex- startling in its brazen hideousness.

kid on bike

The way then wound through fishing villages and past newly built holiday apartment blocks – all the time on boardwalks which were reminiscent of Santa Monica or Venice in the US.

Jen LS memorial sand fg

I was pleased today that I’d brought the 55-200mm zoom (35mm equivalent 87-300mm). This part of the Camino cried out for a telephoto lens.

steve & arlene rv Marie rv (shell)

 

scallop shell on maries pack

donna and greg fv

As we moved further north each of us splintered off to walk our own walk. I stayed with Jennifer, who was not feeling well. We soon dropped to the back of the pack.

We walked through fishing villages operating like they must have a hundred years ago.

Undies on line fishing net

We passed a couple having sex on the beach…

making out

I moved on quickly after taking this shot. The bloke saw me with the long telephoto and thought I must have been a pervert.

Oi mate, I’m not the one having sex on a pubic beach.

The walk ended in Vila do Conde, the path opening out suddenly to reveal the town’s ancient monastery on a hill overlooking the river.

monastery

I walked nine hours today with 2 x 20 min breaks. We figure it must have been a 25-26km walk. We all got a little lost – especially Greg and Donna. They got a little lost in a bar.

donna and greg closer

 

 

26 thoughts on “CP14 Day 1 – by the beach

  1. Sounds like you all are having a Hooly Dooly Blast! The pictures are absolutely spectacular. You need a name! Since there are 12 of you – “The Dirty Dozen” came to mind but since you’re staying in luxury hotels that probably isn’t appropriate. We, left behind, will have to come up with a name for the group. Good for Greg and Debbie. Tee Hee They could maybe do a blog on the bars long the way. Leave it to Bill to take photos of someone’s undies hanging out All of your phoots are top notch
    Lynda

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  2. Magnificent photography, Bill! I bet you are really pleased with some of these shots. Is the dog with you on the Camino? Looks like a golden retriever. My favorite, so glad s/he made the photo opportunity. I loved seeing the fishing villages, and the couple having sex on the beach. No, I’m not a pervert either, but it is reminiscent of the scene in “From Here to Eternity.” It is splendid — not to mention impressive — that you all log 26 km your first day. Bravo! Especially since you are traveling with elderly walkers! Sorry, Steve, I could not help myself! I hope Jennifer is feeling better now. Hugs to all! Julie

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    • Thanks Julie. Yes, some of the shots yesterday were quite nice. I like the one with the cyclist and the industrial zone behind. And yes, I did think of From Here to Eternity too – although they were chaste in that movie compared to those two yesterday! Jen has slept about 14 hours, and is still asleep as I write thing, so hopefully she will wake up feeling better.

      Bill

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  3. Hey Bill,
    Great to hear that all is well with the crew and also their famous leader!

    Trust that GD to find the watering hole. I’m surprised he only found one!
    Though I taught him better than that.
    Keep the wonderful story going and the photos are stunning. Hope the students are alert of an evening for the photography sessions.

    Cheers from down under to you all

    Barry. (Greg’ old man)

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  4. …and hi! I too – like Lynda – am a leave-behind. But I absolutely cannot think of a snazzy name for the dozen. I did however notice that there were exactly half a dozen undies on the line. I do love an undie owner that knows how to hang nice! And on an angle! Although the inter-clothing-peg-sharing was initially upsetting to me. Love that pic.

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    • Hey Shazza – great to see you here!! Yes, I like that undies shot too. Notice that the top of the house is level (which I made sure of in Lightroom) yet the ground is sloping… And I know how fastidious and colour conscious you are with your washing pegs… 🙂

      Bill

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  5. Hi Bill !

    Buen Camino for, you and all the group !
    I start my second way on 30 april from St. Jean again.
    When I read the blog, and see your photos I’m almost there.

    Laszlo

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    • Dear Laszlo – so great to hear from you!! My goodness you’re remarkable – doing a second Camino from St. Jean again? You are incredible! I hope it all goes well. Please keep in touch and let me know how you go.

      Bill

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  6. Fabulous post and photos Bill !
    Are you sure that the guy and girl on the beach weren’t just a personal trainer and his client working on their core strength?!
    I hope that Jen is feeling 100% again now –
    Cheers and best wishes to all the PGS pilgrims –
    Jenny

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  7. The monastery looks like the Grand Budapest! In fact there’s a bit of Wes Anderson in several of today’s pix.

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  8. WOW, I’m so impressed with the 26 km on the first day, and that you (I presume) managed to get in before midnight, Bill, with taking so many photos. I know that that’s what part of this walk is about, but as you’ve mentioned before, it takes time to take even ‘ordinary’ photos (knowing the perfectionist you like to be and not wanting to inflate your ego!). I too hope that Jennifer is much better and able to enjoy the stunning landscape (man-made or otherwise), the locals (engaged in beach gymnastics or otherwise) and so importantly, the food, which of course, we’re still waiting to hear about. So, as I write this, I raise my glass (a nice, velvety smooth, deeply red, Drayton’s shiraz) in the hope that your days just get better and better! 🙂 Britta

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    • Hi Britta,

      Yes I’m always the last to get in because I’m so slow, stopping to take photos all the time. That said, I’ve only taken two good shots so far, I think.

      Taking photos for me is time consuming – even a regular shot takes me about 90 seconds – to compose, check all the settings, check focus, recompose, then take the shot.

      What takes the time then is post production, when I get to the hotel. I put all my shots through Lightroom, which speeds things up a bit, but then I have to make selections, tweek them in Lightroom, crop them sometimes, etc…

      For me, it’s a time consuming business!

      Bill

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  9. Crikey Mate – 26 kilometres on the first day. I thought this pilgrimage was a bit more relaxed than that. Sure that there will be time to wash away the dust and sand tonight however, no doubt with a magnificent meal.
    The coastal shots are great. Loved them all, but not sure about the beach gymnastics!! Our beautiful coast is still coming to terms with the loss of a local last week to a shark attack. Just horrific. One never knows the time or the hour….
    Bill, continue to enjoy the Camino experience. Hope Jennifer is much better and able to continue.
    Blessings to all
    Anne

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    • Hi Anne,

      Brierley has in his guide that the first day is 21kms. But he includes a short cut over some dunes, which we didn’t want to do. We went around by the road, which increased the mileage.

      The Portuguese Camino doesn’t offer the same kind of choices as the Camino Frances -particularly when you need three star accommodation for 12 people.

      Luckily though I chose the coastal route for the first day, which was spectacular. Some people we met who’d walked the regular route pit of Porto said it was horrible – a lot of traffic, walking through industrial zones etc.

      We had a glorious walk that first day.

      Heard about the shark attack. Tragic.

      Bill

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