Transformation Travel: Porto Camino

The Porto Camino is one of the dozen-ish routes to Santiago, Spain. And, like the Camino de Santiago in Spain, it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is the second of my “Transformation Travel” trips and I will personally lead this excursion.

One of Porto’s colorful streets.

For the foreseeable future, Transformation Travel trips will be Camino based. With so many ways to get to Santiago, it seems like a natural way to assist your transformation.

At some point, I’ll branch out and those future trip ideas include Japan, China, Juneau Bays to Glaciers, Machu Pichu, and one or more of the (US) National Trails. I’ve even scouted a train trip, emulating “ScIreland” in its slow travel approach.

 

The Difference…

Ponte de Lima sunset

This isn’t a typical guided tour. This is personalized and small — it’s limited to five travelers (not counting me) so you can be sure to get the most possible transformational benefit out of it. While we may end up on a bus for a segment of travel with five dozen other people, they aren’t part of our group so we won’t be herded around with them. You won’t be rushed around the country, only moved from one spot to another so we can enjoy our walk. The Porto Camino will have you experiencing a different location and bed each night, but the process will be slow and personal. The trip is a slow-travel, deep dive approach, as promoted by Jen Sparks in her book, Slow Travel.

This trip is personalized to the cities, villages, experiences, and events that will create the best Transformation Travel trip you can imagine. It’s designed to you give the time and space for the transformations I know are possible.

Beyond Sightseeing

You’ll enjoy the cultural and natural sites, as well as experience social interactions with others on their travels or with locals. You also will be guided through a carefully and scientifically designed curriculum each day to help you move forward into the life you want. It’s all intended to help you replace old bad habits with new, supporting habits, and to shift your mindset for more resilience and joy.

Bridge across the Minho River, connecting Valenca, Portugal, and Tui. Spain

The group coaching, combined with the travel elements, will help you transform your life from adequate to excellent — to experience more joy, clarity, and energy. I’ll give you the opportunity and tools to grow with; you have to do the work.

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The Specifics

Intrigued? This trip starts with arrival in Porto, Portugal, October 16, 2019, and finishes in Santiago, Spain, October 30, 2019. We’ll walk out of Porto to access Santiago and take the roughly 240km (149 miles) in a dozen days. That means we will have an easy walk. I chose this trail for my first walking Transformation Travel because Camino friends who have done both trails say this is an easier walk than the French Way. It’s beautiful and wonderful, and we’ll be doing the second half of the route, which is more than enough for you to get your Compostela in Santiago.

And no trip to Santiago along the Camino is complete without a trip out to the End of the Earth, so busing there to enjoy the beautiful scenery for a night is an option for you. The optional trip dates are October 30-31, 2019, arriving back in Santiago on October 31, 2019, and then you’ll head home.

Average temperatures range from 54F (12C) to 69F (21C) during this time of year. Chances for rain and clouds is about 35% at this time of year — unless I successfully bring my Colorado sunshine with me, then we’ll rarely see rain.

Here’s the general itinerary:

Portuguese vineyards & countryside
  • Porto, Portugal
  • Villa do Conde OR Villarinho, Portugal
  • Esposende OR Barcelos, Portugal
  • Ponte de Lima, Portugal
  • Rubiaes, Portugal
  • Valenca, Portugal
  • O Porrino, Spain
  • Redondela, Spain
  • Pontevedra, Spain
  • Caldas de Reis, Spain
  • Padron, Spain
  • Santiago, Spain

We’ll stay in hotels, alburgues, and municipals along the way, giving you a range of lodging styles. What delights and experiences await you! We’ll eat in cafes, bars, and restaurants.

Included: lodging in Porto, Valenca, and Santiago.

Excluded: Travel to and from Porto and Santiago, lodging beyond the 3 cities above, meals, beverages/alcohol, snacks, entry fees, luggage transport between villages, and incidentals.

The pilgrimage with coaching costs US$1,200. A deposit by check of $600 per person will be required once you’re accepted for this trip.

Optional Trip Extension

If you want to put a finale onto this trip, join me for the one-night, 2-day excursion out to the End of the Earth, aka Finisterre, Spain. We’ll take the bus straight to the Santiago airport on October 31, 2019.

  • Finisterre, Spain

The cost for the additional excursion, US$150, will include round-trip transportation and one night’s lodging.

Packing List

This is a backpacking trip and I highly recommend traveling lightly. You’ll be carrying your clothes and toiletries in a 30-40 liter backpack. Given the changing weather patterns during this time of year, plan on layers, and make one of them a waterproof cover. If you want to walk but can’t (or don’t want to) carry your pack, there are services to deliver it to the village you want to stay in. In that case, have a light day pack for things you’ll need along the trail.

  • hiking or walking boots
  • wool or synthetic clothes to include underwear, 2 sets of clothes (long pants, short-sleeved shirt, and long-sleeved shirt)
  • 3 pair of socks, wool and/or a synthetic fabric designed specifically for outdoor activities like CoolMax
  • fleece jacket, fleece vest, or lightweight down jacket
  • rain jacket (or poncho) and pants
  • hat for sun and/or rain protection
  • warm hat and gloves (gloves should also be windproof and rain resistant)
  • rubber-tipped walking poles
  • sunglasses
  • water bottle or water bladder
  • first aid kit of at least blister pads, tape, an antiseptic lotion, and painkillers if you suffer headaches or the like; I will have more extended blister-care supplies, though you should be responsible for yourself as much as possible.
  • toiletries
  • Euros — start with about US$300 worth in euros. Plan on spending about 30-40/day (as of May 29, 2019, the exchange rate was .9 euros to 1 US dollar) — and bring a credit card with no foreign transaction fees to use for larger purchase where credit cards are accepted.
  • SIM card for your phone so you can use it without being in a wifi zone.
  • Travel insurance, especially with medical coverage.
The Santiago Cathedral
photo by Kathrin P.

This list gives you the clothes on your back and a fresh set, plus an extra pair of socks for when your feet get wet. To pack light you want clothes to do double duty as much as possible. Even with multiple layers you can be dressed appropriately and have less than 20 pounds on your back, the pack included — though not counting water.

When I was preparing for my original Camino de Santiago pilgrimage I read lots about footwear. I opted for minimalist shoes (I went with the Prio, but you might like the TerraFlex or Daylight Hiker) and did very well. They are not waterproof but they are comfortable and I didn’t get even one blister — score! If you feel you need arch support, shop carefully for your shoes now and get them broken in thoroughly before starting for Portugal.

Please be sure to read My Trip Policies.

Before a new chapter is begun, the old one has to be finished.
Stop being who you were and change into who You are.
~Paul Coelho

That’s what this trip is all about: step into who you are. And there’s hardly a better way than walking a distance — guided by an expert in transformation — to make that change.

Next Steps

If you’re as excited to be “in” as I am, please give us some information so I can call and tell you more on the phone. I’ll offer more packing suggestions for those going on the trip, based on my Camino experience and information I learn from our guide. Remember, only five guests can come, so part of the call will be to tell you if you’re “in,” or on the waiting list.

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