Don’t Worry. Be Happy.

I really hope each of you, your family, and your friends are doing well during these trying times.

Pretty crazy times. huh?  I can’t wait for those murder hornets.  You couldn’t even make this stuff up!!

Things seemed to be much happier a year ago.  We were walking across Spain and Portugal one smile at a time.  Remember?  That was fun.

I put together this video to help you remember to not worry and be happy.  We’ll all get through whatever is thrown at us by sticking together.

Happy trails, buen Camino, and, most importantly. PEACE!

News Updates

We got some exciting news from K9’s For Warriors last month.  You have donated enough for us to sponsor another Warrior and K9.  It was so gratifying to see Adam and Blaze graduate 15 months ago.  We are beyond excited to have this honor once again.  Thanks to all of you for your support.

Now, we just need to come up with a name for this next K9.  Blaze was named for the white blazes which marked the Appalachian Trail.  I’m hoping for something related to the Camino de Santiago.  If you have an idea, please let me know.

I get asked on a frequent basis what my next adventure will be.  My response has been that I have a few things in mind but that I wasn’t ready to commit to anything yet.  Well, I’m ready now.

Get your bike tires inflated and strap on your helmet.  We’re going on a little bike ride.  In the summer of 2021, we’ll hop on a bike and ride from Anacortes, WA (very NW corner of continental US) to Key West, FL.

It’s somewhere around 4,700 miles so should be a challenge.  I have as much cycling experience as I did hiking experience before the AT.  That would be 0.  I have ridden a bike before so it shouldn’t be a problem!!

One of the highlights of this ride will be travelling along Hwy 12 in South Dakota from Mobridge to Ortonville, MN.  I will pass right through my hometown of Bristol, SD!  I’ll also ride right near our current home in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL.

Thanks once again for all the support you have given me in these adventures.  I can never tell each of you how much that means  to me.  I look forward to taking you along once again.

Happy trails.

 

 

Pledges

If you know the amount you pledged and the charity you pledged to, please follow instructions below.

I will follow up with the rest of you (Pete’s Choice or unsure of amount pledged) next week.

For Sun Dial Manor: Make check payable to Sun Dial Manor and mail to me at address below. If you’re in Bristol and just want to drop it off, that’s fine, too!

For K9’s For Warriors: Make check payable to K9’s For Warriors and mail to me at address below.

For the Down Syndrome Program at Boston Children’s Hospital: Make check payable to Boston Children’s Hospital and mail to me at address below. Please put Mae’s Market in memo section.

Send checks to:
Jeff Peterson
189 Laurel Lane
Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082

I’ll pass the checks on to organizations when I get a big batch!!

Thanks once again for your support.

Just Pete

Day 56 Póvoa de Varzim to Labra 10 miles (811 miles total)

That makes 3,001 miles in the past 28 months. That’s really a long way if you think about it.

Walked through Vila do Conde. Made me think of the Conde Spartans!

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This Conde just has nicer beaches than Conde, SD.

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The “Hola” smile of the day. She enjoys working in her garden and it shows.

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I’ve seen several of these portable libraries parked near the beach. What a great idea!

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Labruge was my target destination but the room I booked was actually a mile further south in the small fishing village of Lavre.

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The majority of the walk today was along the beach. You can see the path in left and center of this picture.

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It was a pretty non-eventful end to this hike. Met the lady I’m renting room from at her sister’s restaurant (a block off Camino). Felt a bit like Forrest Gump. Then one day I just stopped walking.

Did celebrate a bit. Had a few beers at a local bar. Bought a round for the house (myself and 2 guys who spoke no English!).

This guying is grilling sardines (right). The kebob is peppers, onion, and octopus. I didn’t try either. I do like hake. It’s a flaky white ocean fish. Very good grilled.

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I am going to just relax in Lavre for 3 days and then Porto for 4 days.

I’ll be in touch regarding your pledges in a couple days.

Thanks to all for your support and encouragement. I appreciate it.

Hope you enjoyed the hike.

Happy trails and buen Camino!

Day 55 Marinhas to Póvoa de Varzim 16 miles (801 miles total)

The mornings have begun with a pretty dense fog in the early AM. Burns off by 11:00. Reminds me of June gloom in San Diego.

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I’m taking every beach route possible so pretty much walking through lots of beach towns. They’re getting closer together as I get closer to Porto.

Lots of fishermen, boats, and seafood.

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Some of the towns along here have the look and feel of an “Old Florida” beach town. Modest sized, nice homes on decent sized lots next to the ocean. Nice! Esposende (Kris notes) seemed particularly nice.

Some of the beaches are getting a bit more crowded. Lots of tour buses bringing people to this wide open stretch of beach for the day.

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The “Hola” smile of the day is me incognito. Well, it could be if I don’t stop walking pretty soon.

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They are big fans of the cabanas on the beach. Cabanas are pretty thick in spots. They also use smaller, very portable ones with no roof for wind protection.

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I’ve eaten quite a few salads but not seen much lettuce growing. Been wondering where that occurred. Found out today.

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The towns are so frequent now that I’m not carrying any water at all anymore. 3 miles is a long stretch between towns.

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Póvoa de Varzim is a fairly large city with a wide beachfront. There are lots of small bars in the sand. By lots, I mean somewhere near 100 in a 3 mile stretch. Small, casual. Most tents. Some more permanent structures. My big question…where are all the bathrooms? There is no plumbing in most, if not all, of them. Things that make you go, hmm?

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9 mile walk tomorrow and then I’m done. Ready to be finished and get home. Missing my wife and my retired bum life!

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Happy trails and buen Camino!

Day 54 Carreço to Marinhas 18 miles (785 miles total)

Your generosity has officially exceeded my expectations. Your pledges to date total $41.61/mile. That means we will have raised more than $33,000 this hike for the charities I’m hiking for. Thank you so much. I am humbled by your support.

This is Aucke Ilff, my host for the past 2 evenings. He is a retired fishing boat captain from Amsterdam and a really nice guy. He has a nice house, too!

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Going to day care during the summer must be pretty fun. You get to see your friends and it’s recess all day long!

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It was a bit foggy along the beach this AM.

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I came across this potential “Funniest Home Video”. Big RV is stuck in sand. Owner recruits guy to drive 4 wheeler to pull him out. I watched recruitee get instructions on how to operate 4 wheeler. He had no clue!

I was expecting something bad to happen. The RV was still stuck when I left but nothing eventful happened. I guess that’s kind of good.

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Saw several of these along coast today. At first thought it was a small lighthouse. No light however! Stone grain bin? They have small doors at ground level but I didn’t notice anything higher up.

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Mussel hunting.

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This bar is right across from the marina in Viana do Castelo. I am guessing this is the spot where the local fishermen meet to discuss the day’s catch.

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I’d much rather take a ferry than walk across this busy bridge on that narrow path. Driving and pedestrian traffic each direction. Got a bit crowded meeting someone walking other direction.

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I thought about using Aucke or the smiley faced rock as “Hola” smile of the day. I’ve got to use this one however. It’s from a week or 2 back but I really got a laugh out of this lady!!

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Portuguese longhorn.

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This tile art of a “Santiago Peregrino” (Pilgrim) was on the gate of a house.

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Pretty dramatic rock mountains right close to coast.

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25 more miles to go.

Happy trails and buen Camino!

Day 53 Carreço 0 miles (767 miles total)

Spent a good portion of the day exploring Caminha. Got a ride into town (10 miles) from a local guy.

Caminha is surrounded by Atlantic Ocean to the west, a river on the north, and another river to east.

This is the “Hola” smile of the day. He had lots of fun chasing the pigeons around the plaza.

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Well, he had lots of fun until he face planted a few minutes after this.

There are some distinct word differences between Spanish and Portuguese. Apparently only the Spanish words I actually know are different. For example, gracias (thank you) is obrigado in Portuguese.

The good news is that more people speak English in Portugal. Students are required to learn a second language (English or French).

Had lunch in the big central plaza area of town.

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Took the train back out to the burbs late in the afternoon.

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Got my plan made up for last 10 days I’m here. Over the next 3 days I will hike to Labruge. That is 43 miles away and will put me at my goal of 810 miles.

I plan to spend 3 nights in Labruge, walk to Porto, spend 4 nights, and then fly home on July 24. Anxious to be heading home.

Happy trails and buen Camino!

Day 52 A Guarda to Carreço 16 miles (767 miles total)

The Camino left A Guarda by going right through the center of Saturday’s swap meet and market. Not my favorite type of scene. I only paused long enough to take this picture. 

Good morning, Portugal!  This river is the border between Spain and Portugal. 

You have to take a boat across the river. There is a large ferry boat that runs a few times per day. That is supplemented by “independent contractors” who operate on their schedule. 
I waited on the Spanish side for about 10 minutes until a boat delivered some bicyclists to this side. He offered me a ride to Portugal for $5. 
He must have been pretty happy about the deal because he gets the “Hola” smile of the day. 

The boat took me to Caminha, Portugal. It is supposed to be a really nice town but I couldn’t find any lodging so will have to walk on through. 
This view is from south of Caminha looking north to Spain. The big mountain is near A Guarda. 

Today’s walk is pretty much entirely right next to ocean. Nice paved pathway for a long stretch. Beautiful place to exercise if you lived here. 

At one point walked through the grazing area for a bunch of goats and sheep. 

OK, OK, I know I’m not technically on the Camino but give me a break. All this little guy wanted to see was me getting gone!!

This is a small coastal town, Vila Praia de Âncora, just south of Caminha.  Very nice, expensive looking, town.  No lodging here, either. 

I found a place to stay thru online booking in Carreço, about 6 miles further south.  
These 6 miles were interesting. Part of it was through a forest trail. You were still close enough to the ocean to hear the waves crashing on the rocks. Sounded like thunder. 

Other parts were board walks on the beach. The walks are really nice in most parts but they are apparently difficult to maintain (loose, broken, missing boards). There were also small areas where vegetation was trying to take over and areas where sand dunes had taken over. Couple areas where sand dunes were like 5’ snow drifts across walkway. 

All that being said, it was still a nice stroll. 
Staying in upstairs of a retired fisherman from Amsterdam. Very nice guy. 
I am a day ahead of where I had thought I’d be. Will take a 0 day tomorrow and try to get into Caminha via train, bus, or taxi for some exploring. 
Happy trails and buen Camino!

Day 51 Villadesuso to A Guarda 10 miles (751 miles total)

The weather the entire time I’ve been along the western coast of Spain has been extremely moderate. Sunny and temperatures in the 70’s. Similar to San Diego except a bit more humidity. 

I guess you would call this a boat house. It’s pretty small but works for someone. 

This guy is putting up hay the old fashioned way. Raking by hand and then pitching it up onto bed. 

Nice pastureland. 

Most of today’s walk was along a paved bike path with a few detours off that to get closer to the ocean or into a forest. 

It’s easy to see why this was referred to as the Coast of Death. It is so rocky that if your boat came close to the coast at the wrong place, you were probably going to be swimming (best case). 

The “Hola” smile of the day. Caught her a little by surprise but I don’t think she minded!

After many years I’ve come to accept and even appreciate traffic circles. Now traffic semicircles?  I don’t get this. 

The building on right looks nice but is abandoned. On the left is a circular structure out in the water. It is built so that water flows in and out and has some protected areas inside. Guessing it was used to raise some sort of fish. 

A Guarda is the southern most Galician port city in Spain. We’re about 4 miles from Portugal here. 

The city is not as well preserved as Baiona. Lots of vacant buildings if you get away from the port.  The port area is very much alive and vibrant. 

There are lots of really old boats tied up in the harbor and being used. Saw a couple sailboats that looked like they were at least 100 years old… and lots of work to sail!

The port area is ringed by about 20 bars and restaurants. There also appear to be small rowboats that are available for people to use. 

We’ll be in Portugal tomorrow!
Happy trails and buen Camino!

Day 50 Baiona to Villadesuso 9 miles (741 miles total)

Tough leaving Baiona this morning. Probably favorite town of those I’ve stopped in. 

That hill in center of the picture is the end of the peninsula which I was walking around yesterday. 

The walk today was primarily along the coast. Usually up on a ridge but parts right along the shoreline. 

The coast through here is extremely rocky so very limited stretches of sand and beach. 

Sometimes I get so mesmerized looking at the coast that I forget to look to my left. That view is sometimes pretty nice as well. 

I guess with such a rocky coastline one should also expect a rocky trail. 

Not sure what the name of this town is but I can tell it’s pretty upscale, even from up here. 

Lots of big houses. Several with pools. Pools aren’t as common at houses here as some places in US. 

A couple commercial fishing boats out today. Haven’t seen lots of them down here. 

The “Hola” smile of the day. This stylish dude was more than willing to pose!

Hadn’t planned on stopping here but saw this small place with a lodging sign. Beach view room for $35. Can’t pass that up!

Happy trails and buen Camino!