Porto is a major stop on the Camino. Most people contemplating the Camino Portuguese actually complete this section, from Porto to Santiago - about 250kms. We felt we needed a big break, to wash our clothes and chill for a while. We are here for 11 nights. We had a huge day on the bike - 50km with some muddy fields we had to push through and even some time on the side of the train tracks. We've been deviating from the Camino lately to avoid singletrack, and route planning through RidewithGPS.com, generally nice, but sometimes, creates a route through creeks and rivers. In this case, we had about 400m on a train track. Clearly not cool. One train passed us. We were well off to the side, but still, he honked the horn madly for our being near the track. We found a trail eventually that paralleled the track for several kilometres. Happy happy. Compounding matters was Kiki's ear - Meniere's attack looming, so we had to make it to Porto, and pronto.
Getting into Porto from the south means crossing the Duoro River. The famous Ponte Luis bridge is the ticket, which got us downtown and tired. Kiki was cooked. When you're on the Camino, you need to get "carimbos" or stamps, of the places you have been. This is what you present in Santiago as proof that you've done the Camino. For Porto, the place to get that is the Sé do Porto (Porto Cathedral). So once we made it across the river, the next step was up the hill to the Sé. Lief and I made the trek, making it just as they were closing. Jubilation! (at least for one of us). "Robust" family discussions occurred.
Next up was the 8km journey *through* the city to get to our house rental (another booking.com find, awesome site). It was nearly dark, Kiki was cooked (might have mentioned that), the boys were toast. It was late rush hour. We didn't know the way... On to the Metro. More "robust" discussions. This required:
1. figuring out the Metro
2. getting tickets
3. getting through the station to the right platform
4. battling our loaded bikes onto nearly packed metro
5. biking the last 1.2km in the dark to the house, where Fernanda was waiting. Patiently.
We are fortunate to be on Parque do Cidade, a largish park in the western part of the city. Near the beach. Like every house, it is cold in the winter, with condensation on the stone walls and single paned windows. The sun is mostly shining. Life is relaxed. Kiki is nursing her ear, writing and meditating. I'm getting out for a few rides. Boys play soccer. The world turns.