Camino Portugues Portugal

Day 17: Pavoa de Varzim to Fao

It rained all night and was still raining when I had finished breakfast. It wasn’t heavy rain, more a heavy drizzle, the kind that soaks you through to the bones. Given the weather, I was lucky that today was a short day, only 18kms to Fao. Tonight I will be sleeping at a camping site, in a hut.

I waited as late as possible in hope that the rain would stop, and I was in luck. I left in dry weather at 10am, and walked towards the coast. It stayed dry for 30 minutes, before the drizzle started again and continued until I arrived at the camp site.

Most of the day I walked on the wooden boardwalks, which were quite slippery in the rain. After the first 5-6kms, the path continued behind the sand dunes, but it didn’t really make much difference, as when I was close to the Atlantic, I couldn’t see the sea anyway due to low-lying cloud. I met a few other walkers today, a couple from Switzerland and a French couple who I walked with for a few kilometers – he had recently walked from Alsace, across France to Santiago for charity.

My rain poncho kept the rain out, but there were puddles along the dirt paths, and it was so damp, that I still managed to get soaked, the damp working its way upwards from my shorts. I think I need a longer poncho.

It took me just over 3 hours to get to the campsite, and I arrived just as the rain stopped. I changed my clothes and had a hot shower. After drying out, I walked down to the beach, where I was alone, except for the surfers.

I walked along the beach into town and looked around, but there wasn’t much to see. There was a nice church which I looked inside.

I noticed a shop with many people coming and going. It turned out to be a pastry shop selling only the local specialty, Clarinhas de Fão. From what I could work out, it is a quickly fried cake with a sweet lemon, cinnamon filling. It tasted excellent.

Back at the campsite, the bar was packed with people watching a football match. I ate at a restaurant opposite the campsite and at the next table a Frenchman was eating dinner. He didn’t speak English, so we managed a conversation with my rusty French. He was married to Portuguese fado singer. They lived in France, but during the summer they travelled from campsite to campsite where she would sing. Fado isn’t really me, but a lot of people were in the bar to listen to her sing.

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