We arrived in Porto just in time to head out to the only Irish bar in the city to celebrate St Paddy's day (which was basically the perfect day to end the road trip on). We got some Guinness hats for drinking pints of Guinness (apparently we were special, or maybe just early, because we got a hat per pint, but later on people needed two pints per hat). For some strange reason this pub seemed to specialise in belgian beer, so we had a pint of that too. The girls actually had several pints of it, which at 12% got the night going. The food in the place was really weird too. They advertised hamburgers and hotdogs. But what they really ended up having were these weird hamburger and hotdog panini type things. They actually weren't that bad. We had several of them. We learned that an Irish band was going to be playing upstairs so we headed on up there. The band was late but the night kicked on a bit anyway more due to the company than the band I think. Gabrielle had been talking in fake Irish accent all night which I gotta admit was getting on my nerves somewhat, it was a horrible accent. So when it came time to leave I was kinda hoping it would be an end to that. It wasn't. In fact she was still speaking in that accent the next morning. On the plus side though it would seem that our transition from the ground floor to the second had caused enough confusion for us to exit the bar without actually paying for most of what we drank (quite by accident I assure you).
After leaving me and Ness felt like we needed something proper to eat. So of course we headed to the McDonald's on the way home… only to find that it was closed (what kind of Maccas closes just past midnight on St Paddy's Day?!?). Anyway, we managed to lose Gabrielle at some point and then after fruitlessly searching for a kebab joint we eventually found one bar/cafe still open and got something to eat. I can't remember exactly what it was, but I do remember that Ness though it was the best thing she had ever eaten.
Day 13: Gabrielle left this morning. Perhaps signalling the official end to the road trip. It had been an absolute blast. Me and Ness decided we would see what Porto had to offer. We headed for the main shopping street and didn't get particularly far down it before we discovered a shop advertising Ginjinha shots for a euro. The girl working there was super nice (or perhaps just super bored) because she started offering us free shots of just about everything they had in the shop. Of particular note were some nut liqueurs, the best being a hazelnut one. Another we tried she told use was made by monks using a hundred odd herbs. Apparently only two of the monks ever know the recipe and when one dies the other teaches it to a new one (hopefully both never die at the same time). We had enough to have a few mouthfuls of this and honestly the flavour was different every time. It was impossible to pinpoint what it tastes like, it was amazing. The store also had a Port which I can't quite remember but was something like 200 years old and cost somewhere in the realm of my entire travel budget. I think the girl said only something like two barrels were discovered in some basement during some excavations or something like that. On top of the alcohol they also had some amazing honeys (bees included in jar) and jams. We left that shop with a huge smile and a bit of a buzz.
After this we visited a few churches in the town which are all famous for having amazing blue tiled murals on the exteriors. Then we walked up to the cathedral to admire the view and get out official Camino de Santiago pilgrim passports (first two stamps included). Then as always we went down to the river, found a pub and had some beers. Then there was one last sight-seeing stop on this tour; a famous bookshop. Basically it's famous for the building it's in. A great old building with an awesome staircase in the middle. So awesome that they don't even let you take photos. Then to change things up a bit for dinner we went to a Chinese restaurant down the road from the hostel. Normally this wouldn't really be of any note, but holy crap if the the almonds in the almond chicken hasn't ruined almonds for me for the rest of my life. If I ever again have an almond which tastes even half as good I'll be happy.
Day 14: Basically the only thing we did today was return the car and then chill out. There was some uploading of photos and writing stuff. And a little bit of research into our walk. But mostly just relaxing getting ready to start the Camino tomorrow.