Thursday, July 24, 2008

A brief Introduction

Hi, This is my first post of many hopefully over the next couple of months about walking the Camino Portugues, a 240km walk from Porto in Portugal and finishing in a city called Santiago de Compostala in Spain.
Firstly a little about myself. My name is Greg and I am from New Zealand and I live in the nicest town in NZ called Picton which is in the Marlborough Sounds at the top end of the South Island. I am the owner/operator of a guided walking business called Natural Encounters Guided Walks I organise walking holidays and guide people on the Queen Charlotte Track, a 71km coastal path staying in small boutique lodges. Lots of fun, check it out.
Thats enough business plugging for now, on with the main subject.
At the moment I am in Picton waiting to fly out next week to the UK to catch up with friends and family before flying from Stanstead Airport/UK to Porto/Portugal mid August and staying 2 nights in Porto before setting off walking.
I am doing this on my own by the way and not with a group and have organised it all myself from New Zealand. The flights to Porto and return from Santiago De Compostala are booked as well as the first 2 nights accommodation in Porto but from there I'm on my own armed only with a guide book that was printed in 2006.
There is very little information about this walk out there, whether it is in printed form or on the internet. The guide book I have by John Brierley is probably the best I'm going to get. It contains a lot of information on the history of the walk as well as maps (not particularly detailed) accommodation including prices and detours to sights and places to visit if you have time which I don't. He also gos on about the spiritual and religious side to things which is fair enough I suppose seeing as the walk is an ancient pilgrimage trail, one of many leading to Santiago de Compostala, such as the Camino Frances, a 800km or so walk that gos from France through the Pyreenes and acroos norhtern Spain. Another name for it is The Way of St James. More on him later.
I myself are not doing the walk for any spiritual or religious reasons, it just looks like a nice long distance walk through a country I havn't been to before.
So stay tuned as I will be posting information on: how I organised it all (flights etc) what to expect on the trail, the pilgrim accommodation, clothing and equipment and lots more.