Lisbon to Sacavem (well that was the plan)

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We had a great nights rest in a reasonable good 3 star hotel.  Yesterday when we arrived in Lisbon we got local vodaphone sim cards and I forgot the pin code to mine in the store so we had to schlep back to the airport to see if we could get the pin code.  Luckily a super-efficient young sales consultant who spoke fluent English helped us within seconds and we could finally head to the start of the Camino – The Lisboa Cathedral.  We enquired about the quickest route from the airport however no one could assist us and they had no cooking clue of the Camino or the Cathedral.  (think we were pronouncing it wrong).

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While Sharon embarked on a mission of getting help I opted for a cappuccino and thought I would leave the “find out” to the wedding planner (Sharon has organised weddings for the last few years).

It was not long and we were on a bus to Lisbon. Pleasant enough ride and if we had known we would not have thrown our bus tickets away yesterday as they are valid for 24 hours. Oh well another 3.50 euros (two cappuccino’s dam).  We got off at the recommended bus stop and had to ask several people to point us in the right direction.  Armed with back packs and walking sticks most people ran for their lives as a “peregrino” is unknown of by the locals.  We were all a little surprised as the Portuguese Way is the second most popular Camino.  We found two police men who directed us to the Cathedral.

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The Lisboa Cathedral where the Portuguese Way starts.


A fairly steep climb to the Cathedral, amongst hundreds of tourists and buses and the odd tram trying to motor on through the crowds.

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Hallelujah we had arrived and our journey was about to begin or so we thought.  It took forever to find the place / office to get your first compostela and we eventually found an elderly gentleman tucked away in an office on the right hand side in the cathedral who stamped our Compostela Books.

I lit a few candles before I left the Cathedral and asked for a safe journey as well as a safe and happy time for the girls back home.  First two candles I lit for Cassidy and Tanika (my daughters), 7 x candles lit for all my special sisters, a few extra candles lit for some very dear and special friends.  I went on to light a candle for Alan and Sharon wishing them both the journey of a lifetime filled with loads of laughs and THANKED them both quietly within for joining me on this Camino.

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We left the Cathedral after a photo shoot of note at our first yellow arrow and wound our way through the narrow filthy streets of Lisbon.  Goodness but the litter all over the place was disturbing.  It could have been due to a huge party night the previous evening as the bar counters were all over the narrow roads.  The yellow arrows flowed till the outskirts of Lisbon however seemed to suddenly dry up. This was due to an arrow we missed and cost us a hectic uphill climb of +-1.5km.  Every human soul we stopped to ask about the Camino looked at us as if we had lost our marbles until one dear old Portuguese gentleman took pity on the three lost peregrino’s and directed us back down the steep hill we had just climbed, with trepidation we embarked down the hill concerned we were being led down the garden path.  We watched out for every yellow arrow to see if we perhaps missed a right or left and as true as bob, there was this tiny little f#€£% -ing yellow arrow all three of us missed.

Elated we moved along following the arrows thinking we would be taken to the promenade along the river Tejo all the way to Sacavem.  We did not see any sight of the river for two hours however we knew we were on the right road, the yellow arrows were well signed.  We walked along cobble pavements nowhere near the river with loads of dog shit around.  One landing of my left foot felt way too comfortable and then the shitty smell hit my nostril and I knew exactly what had happened.   This shit followed me for a while and from there on out we had a shit day.

We lost Alan, he missed an arrow and we saw it by chance.  We what’s app’d Alan to let him know and it took Alan a good two hours to find us.

The initial thinking and plan was to tackle the 10km to Sacavem and enjoy some of Lisbon’s tourist highlights.  We were nowhere near Sacavem and had walked 12km.  The walk we understood to by alongside the river Tejo however we did not see the river.  We decided to break away from the yellow arrows and head on down to the river promenade with loads of restaurants etc.   The change of scenery was welcomed.

We took the cable car, one way ticket as we knew at the end we would need to walk a few kilometers to get to Sacavem.  We hopped off the cable car to be directed all the way back (well almost) to where we started, which ended up being Oriente which is +- 7km from Lisbon but by this time we had walked 16 km.  Oh my living, it felt like nothing was going right for us.

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We found our way to the train station which we once again thought was Sacavem however was Oriente and took a train to Santarem.  We did this as the recommendation from the blogs, research and people I know who have walked the Portuguese Way say walking through the industrial area and on the N110 highway is not worth the stress that goes with trucks speeding past one with no shoulder to walk on.

Straight forward trip to Santarem on the train and we took a taxi to the recommended Hostel Santarem.  Mario and Theresa welcomed us and we were fortunate to get a double room with en suite bathroom.  Alan stayed in a 10 euro bunk bed room of which only two beds were occupied.

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We dragged our tired bodies to the shopping mall just around the corner of the hostel to get water and snacks for our journey tomorrow. I left Alan and Sharon to do the shopping while I went looking for a hat as the one I have is too big for me.  I also needed to find a pharmacy as I am not feeling too great, a bit flu-ish.  Sharon and Alan shopped up a storm for dinner, supper, more dinner and supper. Where we were going to pack all this food I have no idea, but these are the Camino lessons we shall learn and deal with one step at a time.

Feet check in – everyone’s feet good! No blisters and no hot spots.

While out shopping for water, Sharon asks Alan how big his bladder is,  Alan pipes up, well that’s rather personal.  All three of us pack up laughing with the local shoppers looking very concerned about these three people with the strange accent.


The bus one takes from the airport to the city center (about 5 minute walk to the cathedral) is bus 1.  Bus station you get off at is Pc. Comercio and the cost is €3.50

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Showing 3 comments
  • Vanita

    Yippee at last the Bogg…….thanks Micky wonderful reading….look forward to more

    • Sparkalot

      Been a bit of a pain trying to blog on my phone, got iPad now so hopefully will start to load the ones I have written xxx

  • Rob Nell

    Wow! Whilst you had a hectic start, still sounds super exciting! It is what it is- right?

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