Main Line Homes Blog


One year ago today 10/7 Tui, Spain

At about 4.30 am the large Portuguese group who were in the same room as us, decided to get up, alarms were going off, people were talking and one person turned the lights on in the room. Everyone else in the room was upset. And once you are awake, it is hard to go back to sleep with so much noise going on. So my group and several others who I had not met yey, decided to just get up and get going, so we were on the road by 5.00 am, walking in the dark.Roman bridge

The photo above is of a Roman bridge, it became a joke as all our guidebooks mention it, but we only saw it in the pitch black because of the Portuguese group.

After walking for two hours we came into this small village, where this church was and found a cafe open to have breakfast. That first coffee of the day is always glorious, especially when you have already walked several miles. Kirsten, Ulrika and myself are walking together.

It was dry, but obviously at times when it rains this system allows you to keep your feet dry, we see this several times as we walk for the remainder of the journey, a path, next to a creek bed.

After breakfast Ulrika takes off, she is in pain and rather than go slowly, she walks very fast and leaves us behind.

We walk along lovely lanes today, up and down hills, mainly going down during the day.

This was a Camino marker placed right in the cobblestones. We were heading towards Valenca and Tui, the border between Portugal and Spain. Portugal and Spain have different time zones, so we would lose an hour going into Spain as we cross the river. We all decided to stay in Tui, in the hope that the Portuguese group would stay in Valenca.

ValencaThis is a view from the castle atop the hill at Valenca. Across the river is Tui where we will stay tonight. This was an easy 15 miles of lovely walking along country lanes.

I left Kirsten behind at some stage as she was admiring the flowers and listening to the birds and I sensed she wanted to be alone.

I meet up with the young Hungarian man who was in the photo with the Koreans in Valenca, he is walking on beyond Tui.

ChapelThere is a beautiful church in the castle, plus a hotel, and several shops and restaurants plus homes as well.

Valenca castleAs I walk down from the castle this shows a view below the walls.

It is very impressive and I literally walk down inside the walls to a small gate.

Bridge at ValencaI walk down to the bridge, the border is in the middle of the river and I will walk along the side of the bridge.

the border There is a marker, and I stand with a foot in each country. I have reached Spain, another milestone in my journey.




 This being Europe there is no actual, physical border crossing. The E stands for Espana, Spain and the P is Portugal.

I walk down to the base of the bridge as my guidebook recommends and catch this gentleman fishing. It is only 10.45, or 11.45 as I lose an hour, and realize that the sun will now come up an hour later, so we will be starting even more mornings in the dark.

I have walked 361 miles from Lisbon so far to Tui. The Albergue sits behind a Cathedral and across from the cathedral is a cafe. We sit in the square outside the cafe most of the afternoon talking among different pilgrims.

I meet a Danish couple, who I have seen before, he is a chef, now retired, but still young, and they now own a boat in Southern Portugal and rent it out to tourists. There is another German woman, Kristina who worked for the UN in refugee situations around the world, she has some amazing stories, very interesting woman, who ends up getting a call offering her a job and she needs to break off her Camino to go for the interview.

Tui CathedralTui is another medieval city, I feel at times with the walking that we have time traveled and dropped down in another age. 

As I approach Santiago, the end is in sight I realize I need to walk to Muxi and Finisterra, I left my self time to do this but was not sure if I would. That has now been decided. I spend some of the afternoon finding a bank ATM, and a pharmacy to replenish my pain killing supplies, I get some arnica spray for my shin which spent the day taped up again. Still swollen and it worries me as it is also painful, may be just shin splints, or a strained muscle,but the going down and up hills hurts. But, another short day so that helps and the Albergue is very clean and pleasant.

Till tomorrow.

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Comment balloon 11 commentsNick Vandekar, 610-203-4543 • October 07 2019 10:32AM


Hi Nick - I didn't remember the difference in time zones between Portugal and Spain.  More pieces of your trip come together in this delightful puzzle where real world meets imaginary.  

Posted by Michael Jacobs, Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393 16 days ago

That is a major reason why I never enjoy community sleeping arrangements, unless everyone is in complete agreement as to when lights are off and people go to sleep and when lights come on and everyone wakes up, haha.

Posted by Brian England, MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ (Arizona Focus Realty) 16 days ago

Michael Jacobs this was a delightful day, beautiful views, lovely trails, fun afternoon.

Brian England this was unusual, most people along the camino were very considerate and used head lamps witha red lens in the evening and morning. This group were different and upset a lot of people.

Posted by Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543, Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line (Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400) 16 days ago

Wow Nick,  I would of got upset with the person turning on the light that early.  Not a fan of walking in the dark and missing some of the sides.


Posted by Will Hamm, "Where There's a Will, There's a Way!" (Hamm Homes) 16 days ago

Will Hamm we were upset, and they were told in various languages to turn the lights off and to shut up. But it was all fine, just part of the adventure.

Posted by Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543, Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line (Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400) 16 days ago


As you published these posts, do you find yourself missing being there?  There is so much beauty and history to explore in Europe.  A

Posted by Ron and Alexandra Seigel, Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy (Napa Consultants) 16 days ago

Ron and Alexandra Seigel I have actually enjoyed writing the series, lots of people read them even if they don't comment. I did the series for two reasons, one I really wanted to revisit and consider what I had done. Secondly, I had had a hard time writing a post on a regular basis and I thought doing the series would encourage me to sit down every day and write something. Doing that might allow me to be a little inspired to write other posts as well. Yes, I do miss it, but I realized when I got back that I really miss Europe and that is why i am looking at a way to be back in Europe and still be involved here at the same time. Finding that route slowly as it reveals itself.

Posted by Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543, Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line (Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400) 16 days ago

One of the things I have learned about taking loads of pictures on my adventures, is the ability to go back and reflect on the journeys.  Sometimes perspective changes, or some element of truth that wasn't available at the time comes through later.

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) 16 days ago

It's all very fascinating and each stop along the way offers a world of history.

Posted by Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089, Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info (Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers) 15 days ago

Morning Nick.

Love seeing the photos and reading about your adventure.  

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty) 15 days ago

Myrl Jeffcoat I also have seen how this trip prepared me for the coming year as hard as it has been I realize I am following a path here as well.

Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089 there is so much history around you that some days you miss some of it due to tiredness, but you might meet a fascinating new person.

James Dray glad you are enjoying it, that is the purpose partly of sharing, to allow others to enjoy the journey and potentially inspire someone to make a camino themselves.

Posted by Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543, Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line (Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400) 15 days ago

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