Day 2. Porto to Vilarhino 17 miles

Left Porto this morning in blazing sunshine. Excited to actually start walking. The first day is always a bit of an adjustment. You are telling yourself to just go with the flow, nothing to do all day but walk and enjoy your surroundings. My brain though which is used to juggling all the thoughts we all have at home of kids, home work etc feels the need to fill that void with things like how far have I walked? What time is it? where’s the next coffee stop? Where’s the next loo? Is that a blister forming? As it happens, the answer was yes to that last one, right on the ball of my foot.

All this questioning makes the walking much more tiring than it needs to be, but I know, from walks I’ve done in the past that in a couple of days, my mind will stop whirring and empty itself of all this unnecessary thinking and open up to the wonder of the fact that this is it for 2 weeks, just one foot in front of another and the freedom that that brings.

Today was hard walking. All day on tarmac and cobbles. Not helped by missing a way marker that resulted in our walking down the edge of a Stunning very busy road with no pavement, throwing ourselves into the hedge every time an enormous lorry went past.

We didn’t see another walker all day although there are seven of us in our hostel. The cafe we had supper in was empty too, as per photo below, so not as busy on the trail as we thought.

I wondered if there would be a sense of familiarity from my previous Camino, but like all things, there can only be one first time so the things I marvelled at before, the simplicity, the having everything you need on your back, the liberating feeling of only having yourself to think of are still there but put on like an old familiar coat and not the shiny brand new one of before.

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