Day 23, Herbon to Santiago de Compostela, 27.4km

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  • July 3rd, 2014
  • Santiago de Compostela: Last Stamp Hostel, €18 for a dorm
  • Weather: Lovely and sunny, 27 degrees

The convent had a policy of offering breakfast to pilgrims at 7:30am and only after this you were allowed to leave… However as it was just the two of us staying there and we told them we were eager to get to the midday mass in Santiago, they allowed us to leave without breakfast.

It was a lovely cool morning on a trail that weaved through old stone villages and surprisingly no other pilgrims. I thought today would be like the last few days where I had been passing groups of pilgrims but amazingly we didn’t see any other pilgrims until we arrived in Santiago. We arrived just after 11am and made our way to the cathedral.

We had made it!

Through a heat wave, early mornings, long days, blisters, bed bugs and muscle pain… What I remember the most is the generosity of the people I met along the way. And the camaraderie of the pilgrims I met. Pauline in Tomar, Jeanie & Gerry in Rabacal then Coimbra and Barcelos, Gigi & Paulo, Vittorio, Franco & Luiza, Maria… And of course Joanna who I walked with more or less for 2 weeks, sharing stories and beds and making lunch and dinner together and sharing a very special camino friendship.

It’s so nice to be back in Santiago.

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12 responses to “Day 23, Herbon to Santiago de Compostela, 27.4km

  1. Very inspiring. We plan the Camino Frances in 2016 and was looking at walking the section Oporto to Santiago of the Camino Portuguese in Sep 2015 as a warm up so your blog is very interesting to read as research info. Enjoyed looking at your C2C pics as well as we also completed it this year and it was a brilliant walk, around the same time as yourself as arrived RHB on 16 Aug, would recommend to all. My Thames Path ramble needs some infill sections to complete, also a great walk which I do as day returns out of London as time allows rather than one go. Many thanks for your blog.


    • Hi Chris,
      It’s great to hear you’re planning on walking the Portuguese and French ways 🙂
      I really enjoyed the c2c for the scenery, even with the bee sting! I also loved the Thames Path walk, but unfortunately was too tired each day to write in-depth about it, so I think I’ll have to do it again one day 😉
      And I’m in the process of updating my blog with the Shikoku 88 Temple walk and Cinque Terre which I walked last week, so stay tuned!
      Buen Camino!


  2. Thank you for such an inspiring and informative blog of your journey! I am a college student in the states planning on walking the Camino Portuguese in the summer of 2016. This is going to be my first camino experience (although I have done a lot of traveling around the world) so I was wondering if you could give me any essential tips for this particular walk? Again thank you for this blog: it has inspired me to create my own for my walk and has also made me exponentially excited to start this journey!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Ian, thanks for your comment. The one piece of advice I would give you is to write a journal of your experience every night – so many things happen each day and it’s very easy to forget a few days later. And just make the most of every experience that comes your way. Buen Camino!!


  3. Thank you for this well written account of your walk. I would like to walk from Porto to Santiago soon. How many days would that take walking at your pace and distance?
    Thank you


    • Hi Diana,
      I walked the central route from Porto to Santiago in 9 days but 10 or even 11 days would be a little more relaxed. There’s also a coastal route from Porto which looks interesting.
      Buen Camino!


  4. Came across yr blog today & found it very inspiring. As 2 retired Aussies who hv walked both the Spanish & French caminos we know ouw walk from Porto to Santiago is comparatively easy. Currently in beautiful Porto & will begin walk in few days – will take it much slower than u by allowing 13 days with rest day in Ponte de Lima. Loved yr photos as a guide to what we will see (may take metro out of city b4 beginning our walk – seems 2b recommended by many 2 avoid pain of paved roads. Don’t stop walking!


    • Hi Diana & Geoff,
      Apologies for the delay, I’m currently hiking in Japan 🙂 If it’s not too late, I would recommend to spend the first day out of Porto walking along the Douro to the Atlantic (from the Cathedral walk downhill to the river and with the river on your left hand side walk until you reach the sea, then keep the sea on your left hand side and walk until you get tired!) There’s a few albergues along this coastal stretch and from Vila do Conde you can walk inland to Sao Pedro de Rates to rejoin the Central Way or continue along the Coastal.
      I’ve re-walked this Camino three more times but I’m sorry to say I haven’t updated the blog, but there’s many more accommodation options now than when I first did. I hope you both have a wonderful trip. Bom Caminho!


  5. Hello again – I have just been reading your information about the Japanese 88 temple pilgrimage. Sounds amazing.
    Geoff & I completed our Portuguese Camino in the timeframe we allowed but honestly wish we had taken the coastal route for a couple of days. We met a number of people who had done that and it certainly avoided the very very hard surfaces we walked on for several days – for a while we thought that every possible road & path out of Porto and beyond was made of granite paving blocks. It was hot as well so the feet got a pounding. All forgotten, however, once we reached Santiago, having met many wonderful people along the way. The Portuguese are so hospitable and we have vowed to return to learn more about their country.
    You have youth on your side and I wish you many more safe walks in the future – I only wish we had discovered the absolute pleasure of long distance walking before we reached retirement age but having said that we have been inspired by many considerably older than us, so we hope to keep trekking for as long as we can.
    We are about to embark upon a short walk (by comparison) along the Queen Charlotte Track in New Zealand – it is spectacular.
    Best wishes from DownUnder (Australia)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Diana & Geoff,
      I’m glad to hear the Portuguese Camino went well, I know what you mean about the cobbles though! My parents are coming over from Australia this year and I’m taking them to Portugal (not a walking trip I’m afraid) but I’m excited to show them the incredible sights and introduce them to the delicious pastel de natas!
      Enjoy NZ!


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