September is one of the best months to walk the Camino de Santiago, and Paulo and Patrícia can attest to this statement. With the right gear, not even rain can stop them! In this interview, you’ll discover a shared adventure as a couple.
Why did you decide to do the Camino to Santiago?
Patrícia and Paulo: We both love hiking and had been talking about it for some time. We saw photos and testimonies of people who had already done it and we always thought it was a good challenge for both of us. We also watched history programs about the way, legends.
What was your itinerary?
Patrícia and Paulo:Barcelos, Vitorino de Piaes (Casa Fernanda), Labruja (Casa Conforto), Valença (Hotel Valores), Redondela (private hostel), Pontevedra( private house), Caldas de Reis(Pension Estrela do caminho), Picaranha ,Santiago.
How do you prepare physically for the journey?
Patrícia and Paulo: We didn’t prepare physically with the path in mind. In the previous months we did several hikes, trails, and we also started running once a week. And it was because we felt well physically that we decided it was the ideal time to do the walk. We had always been putting it off for various reasons, including health problems. We felt it was the ideal time, precisely because we were physically well. The trails prepared us in a natural way.
What surprised you the most on the way?
Patrícia and Paulo: The friendliness of everyone! Really, everyone! The pilgrims, the hostels, restaurants, cafes, the places.
What was the most difficult moment?
Patrícia and Paulo:Honestly, it was the first hour on the way! Because of the weight of the backpack! And it happened to both of us! But we didn’t say anything to each other at that time. But, the first hour we were wondering how we were going to make it with that weight! Of course we did! And then it was even stranger when we walked around Santiago without the backpack!
What was the most comfortable hostel you stayed in?
Patrícia and Paulo: The most comfortable place was in Caldas dos Reis at Pensão Estrela.
What was the best meal along the way?
Patrícia and Paulo: It was on the very first day at Casa Fernanda.
Who did youmeet on the road that you will never forget?
Patrícia and Paulo: Fernanda from Casa Fernanda! As well as a pilgrim who stayed overnight there, I don’t remember his name. But what he shared and his way of life made an impression on us!
What should not be missing in a pilgrim’s suitcase?
Patrícia and Paulo: Socks, raincoat and water.
What was your reaction when you arrived in Santiago?
Patrícia and Paulo: When we arrived there were a lot of people! And we were surprised, it was only after a while we were there that it hit us and there was a feeling of gratitude! Grateful for everything we experienced on the way, and grateful because we made it with an open heart and without physical ailments
If you could give only one tip to people who are thinking on walking the path as a couple, what would it be?
Patrícia and Paulo: If you feel like doing it, do it! With an open mind and heart to receive and give what the path has for each one. Either as a couple or in a group.