And We’re Back (Home That Is)!

When I left you last, Richard and I had finished our full Camino and had just spent four interesting (and restful) days in Finisterre. Since we had padded this trip with extra days, we had almost two full weeks left before our scheduled flights home from Paris. What to do? Some of you suggested Portugal, others suggested places in France, while still others said that if they were us, they would head home early.

What suggestions did we finally decide upon? A combination of all three! Here, in photo format are our post-Camino adventures.

Porto, Portugal

We arrived at sunset, giving us a spectacular ‘welcoming view’ of the city. For the first night, we stayed at the Miradouro, a hotel that was strangely trapped in the 1950’s. We half expected Carmen Miranda to walk into the bar at any moment! The next morning, we set off on a city-tour bus…which we quickly abandoned, being much more comfortable exploring on foot.  We loved the bright colours, the water views, and the ‘unexpected’ which seemed to appear around every corner.

Food, Drink and Port Wine Tasting

Porto was an amazing place for eating, drinking, and to visit one (or more) of the many famed port houses. While there, we had breakfast at the famous Majestic Cafe. We also took in a tour of Taylor’s, participated in some port wine tastings, and ate…and ate…and ate!

Transportation: The Good, The Bad….and The Cranky

In the past 35 days, our only transportation was by foot. We quickly discovered how advantageous that had been. You get up and go whenever you like, you stop whenever you like, and there is very little ‘hurry up and wait’!! In a few of our travel photos, you are able to see Richard’s rare (but very expressive) cranky face! Totally understandable, as both of our fights were delayed, giving us much airport wait time. Oh, and this is the perfect spot to insert this glimpse that we caught of a girl who had just finished the Camino Trail and was awaiting her bus. I just loved the contrast of her backpack and her handbag….I never could figure out what she did with the handbag during her hike!

We’ll Always Have Paris

For our final stop, we stayed two nights in Paris. As we have visited before, we were able to have a relaxed itinerary of cafes, strolling along the Seine, photo ops at the Eiffel Tower, Champ de Mars, Luxembourg Gardens and Notre Dame. Oh, and it also included Richard demonstrating his ‘modeling’ talents at the outdoor Dalida Photo Exhibit. This was followed by meeting a great friend (who we know from Beijing) for drinks and dinner. It turned out to be an amazing day, and a perfect end to our time away.

We are now back home safe and sound and are looking forward to catching up with family and friends here. Thanks so much for following along. We have greatly appreciated you joining us! Please join us again tomorrow for a special guest post by Hugh from Hugh’s News and Views!

40 Replies to “And We’re Back (Home That Is)!”

    1. Thanks, Kate. It really was an incredible trip from start to finish. Still, we are very happy to be home. And our bed has never felt so comfortable!

  1. Your posts and pictures were great! Looked and sounded like you had an amazing time! As always thoroughly enjoyed reading and following your adventures!! Looking forward to the next post…

    1. Thanks so much, Georgia. I’ve always maintained that there should be special rewards for regular followers. You are definitively on the top of the list! I greatly appreciate you reading, commenting and keeping in touch.

    1. Thanks, Liz – We did LOVE your suggestion of slowly traveling through France. But as soon as we heard that we could change our airline ticket to September 1 at no extra cost…we were sold!

    1. Hi, Janis – We did our first eight-day section of the Camino (in 2010) starting from Portugal. We were very impressed by Portugal then and loved it even more on this trip when we had more time to explore. Richard and I would be happy to share more of our perspectives on Portugal as a travel destination (all positive) when we meet in October/November. In short summary, we HIGHLY recommend it — so much to see and to explore….as well as amazing food and very warm people!

  2. All the photos you and Richad took are so beautiful, really professional. The rabbit art craft looks familiar. You also met Cathrine.
    Enjoy the time you are home from travel.

    1. Thanks so much, Aiqin. Richard took the feature photo – which is my absolute favourite! Please stay in touch and let me know how everything is going for you and your family.

  3. It looks like you had a very fitting end to your big walk, Donna. All of the photos are great, but my absolute favourite is the last one. Although we can only see the back of Richard’s head, it’s easy to see that the two of you are very happy together. That’s saying a lot after so much togetherness on this journey!

    1. You continue to be very perceptive, Karen! Of all of the amazing experiences that we had on this trip, my most favourite of all was the gift of time that Richard and I had together. I was constantly reminded how very fortuante I am.

  4. Hi, Jill – It does feel great to be home. And Richard and I are already enjoying discussing, and laughing over, shared memories. Thanks so much for following!

    1. Hi, Leanne – Richard and I also cannot believe that our trek is over already. Those 44 days sped by very quickly. Thank you so much for coming along. I greatly appreciate it!

  5. Welcome home, Donna! I’ve been back for a week and yet still marvel at the changes in my neighbourhood after away for 16 days. You probably notice more in yours after having been away for 44 days. I just went through my pictures from our trip to Spain and Gibraltar and posted some on my blog. I love being at home but am also thinking of another trip.

    1. Hi, Natalie – Welcome home to you too! I just had a look at the recent photos on your blog…they are truly stunning! Looks like it was a fabulous trip all around! We were away for 44 days, and you’re right, it’s amazing what changes can take place in that short period of time. We love being home, but like you, we are already planning our next trip. You know what they say about ‘itchy feet’! πŸ™‚

  6. Welcome back to this side of the Atlantic πŸ™‚

    Except for the delayed flights, it sounds like everything was relaxing and just what 2 pilgrims needed at the end of long journey!

    It’s nice to go away, but it’s also very nice to walk back in your own front door and sleep in your own bed again πŸ™‚
    Joanne Sisco recently posted…August In The Rearview MirrorMy Profile

    1. Thanks, Joanne – Even with the delayed flights, and Richard’s cranky face, he and I both agree that this trip was amazing from start to finish. Walking the full Camino has been my major ‘bucket list’ item for retirement. I am grateful that it went so well. And am happy that I was able to blog about it and preserve so many memories of this trip. Thanks so much for following. I greatly appreciate it.

    1. Hi, Rens and Cheng – Thanks so much for following and commenting. We have also been following your ‘adventures’ on Facebook. We look forward to getting together sometime soon…either there, here or both!

    1. Hi, Sue – Thank you for your kind comments. Right now, Richard and I are simply chilling out, casually catching up with the ‘business’ of our daily lives. In two weeks time, we have Richard’s milestone birthday — and a backyard gathering with friends and family. I’ve just been catching up on some posts that I had missed while traveling. It looks like your recent milestone birthday was a huge success. I may need to hire Mike, Rachel, and Nathan to help me out here!

    1. Hi, Terri – Thank you for your kind words, support and encouragement. I look forward to meeting you in person soon. Are we still on for November? Fingers crossed!

    1. Thanks so much, Liesbet. Although 278, 232 people received their Compestela Certificates last year, it was an incredible feeling of accomplishment when we received ours! We are loving being back home. But must admit…we do miss the regular walking…and the Spanish coffee!

  7. Hi Donna! Welcome home. So glad to hear that you were able to add in a few extra days just to be a tourist. And thanks for the photos of Porto–it is also on our list ( like Janis) and you’ll have to fill us all in during Oct/Nov. It will be fun to hear some of the back stories of your travel and get your advice for our future trips. Until then! Keep reflecting! ~Kathy
    Kathy @ SMART Living recently posted…Memories of Louise Hay And How You Can Heal Your LifeMy Profile

    1. Hi, Debbie – Thanks so much for following along. Like you, I usually only use an iphone for my photos. I do have two other ‘better quality’ cameras…but there was no way that I was lugging either one in my backpack on my trip!

  8. What a lovely way to end your trip and includes bits of all the suggestions we gave you last time, Donna. I would also like to know what that girl did with her handbag during her hike. Maybe she kept her lipstick and blister pads in there? Both needed quickly, of course. I mean, you never quite know who you’ll bump into and when that first blister might appear.
    Hugh Roberts recently posted…LipstickMy Profile

    1. Enjoy your hike, Lexklein! When you return, if you have any questions on the Camino, just let me know. My husband and I have now been on the Camino three different times.

  9. Your food and drink pictures look most appealing. Is that chicken piri piri that I see in one of the photos? I have fond memories of it in Portugal, and also the lovely port.

    So glad to hear that you’re home, and that you had such a wonderful time on your bucket list trip. I look forward to connecting now that you’re back.

    Dr Sock recently posted…A Day in the Life of a RetireeMy Profile

    1. Hi, Jude – You definitely know your food! That is Chicken Peri Peri in the photos! Thank you so much for stopping by. I look forward to catching up whenever suits your schedule (we leave again for six-weeks at the end of the month).

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