California to Jerusalem
Lisbon to O Porto

The Universe guides our way.

After our rest in Brooklyn we flew east on 15 December to Lisbon Portugal, the closest destination in Europe to New York. After resting 11 days we headed north toward Santiago de Compostela along the Camino Portuguese. Rain fell almost daily all the way to O Porto. You see little of it here because my camera remained in its bag while the rain fell. These pictures give you a glimpse of those thirty days.

Everyone walks leisurely along one Lisbon's main shopping streets in a lull in the mid-winter drizzle. 23 Dec 09.

Lisbon in late evening. 21 Dec 09.

The apartment where we stayed six days is at the bottom end of the line here. The dome in the back is on the Pantheon, the house of the tombs of famous Portuguese. 26 Dec 09.

Besides busses and a subway, many clanging and screeching street cars carry people around the city. This is Number 28, one we took often. 26 Dec 09.

As we sat on a large veranda at a café we spotted a mirror on the wall and took advantage of it to take a picture of ourselves. I then turned it around in the computer so we look like we should, not backwards in a mirror. 19 Oct 09.

Petra then sat again on one of the couches you can see behind us in the previous picture. As you can guess, even though the sun is out and bright, the temperatures were not as warm as they are in the summer. 19 Dec 09.

Petra looks a bit warmer sitting here in our apartment on Christmas day. Nonetheless it was not always very warn. In fact at times it was downright cold. 25 Dec 09.

Eventually it came time to move in spite of ever present drizzle and rain. Like on the Camino de Santiago, the route north along the Camino Portuguese is marked with yellow arrows. The first blurry one graces a corner of the cathedral. We walked the first day to get a bit out of the city so the first "real" day would be shorter. 22 Dec 09.

Another arrow directs us as we stop on a city corner to record our first steps toward Santiago. 22 Dec 09.

Another arrow hides on the bottom of a post hidded by café chairs and tables. One learns to keep both eyes open and wandering to spot the arrows as the route wanders through the city. 22 Dec 09.

Here are a few more markers. The upper two appeared only once later along the route. The blue ones point one along the path to Fatima while the yellow ones continue to direct us to Santiago. The arrows in the lower right lasted only a few kilometers out of Lisbon. They were quickly replaced with the cruder painted ones that performed their task as well as the well-made, cast (or carved) ones.

We have now left Lisbon behind and are walking the bank of the Rio Tejo on our second day. Rain drizzled and a cold wind dogged us as we walked with our umbrellas. 28 Dec 09.

As we left town this morning we bought a big piece of plastic to help protect the cart's contents from the rain. It works quite well and easily rolls up for storage between the handle and the cart when it's not raining as you can see in later pictures. 29 Dec 09.

The train station in Vila Franka de Xira is covered with azules, painted ceramic tiles used on buildings throughout Portugal. 29 Dec 09.

As we walked out of town this day our path became wetter and wetter. We had to walk around and through much water. Then when we were too far committed to our path to turn back we were confronted with this flood. After consulting with a bicycle rider and looking around a bit, we walked through the group of apartments at the right. 29 Dec 2009.

The next day the weather was better. Though a storm forced us to hide in a shed for half an hour, later the air cleared and we walked easily. Later we had to hide behind walls a couple times to wait out short downpours. 30 Dec 2009.

We celebrated New Years Eve in Santarim watching a huge fireworks display at midnight. Then on New Years Day we walked through a door in the city wall above and headed north across the broad flood plain of the Tejo River. 1 Jan 2010.

New Years day brought us bright yellow flowers and a rainbow over a sleeping vineyard as drizzle and misty rain played with cottony clouds and bright sun. 1 Jan 2010.

The day remained mostly clear as we walked down quiet country roads. 1 Jan 2010.

The next day we had to wade through 2-inch-deep (5 cm) water a hundred yards (meters) along the road near a river. Not so far down the road we were happy this road was not our intended path. The sign says it's flooded. I wouldn't have known. 2 Jan 2010.

The church of the Knights Templar in Tomar. 3 Jan 2010.

A really fancy tiled pillar in this church. 3 Jan 2010.

Some of the decorations on the outside of this church. The overabundance of moisture has covered most of the carvings with moss. 3 Jan 2010.

Mossy crosses along the bottom edge of the roof. 3 Jan 2010.

Petra walks alone along our forest path. It's my turn to push the cart. We no longer have two. In New York City Petra sent hers back to my brother, Marty. It was basically no longer functional. 8 Jan 2010.

A Roman bridge along a Roman road currently only used as a foot path. It may be only the tenth of January but there are no more pictures before O Porto; it rained the last five days before we arrived there. I didn't take out my camera and expose it to the weather to record what we saw. 10 Jan 2010.

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Copyright © 2010-2012 Mike Metras and Petra Wolf,