Day 12: Caldas de Reis

This is still my favorite photo of the day, it goes first! Today was our longest day on the Camino, we have walked more than 27 km for the day, food foraging included.

The day started beautifully, going oit of Pontevedra on this beautiful bridge. DSC_0661.JPG The first half was magical, walking through wooded area with lots of water. It sometimes seems strange that such beauty is for a lot of kilometres just beneath the railway line! DSC_0682.JPG Even the roadsigns carry a lot of wisdom on todays path. DSC_0699.JPG The first coffee stop at nearly 12 km was most welcome! _20180703_201045.JPG The second half changed a lot. Now we were on streets alternating with  walking underneath vineyards..   And yes, we ran across Senor Snail again, but he was busy taking his siesta and we did not had the heart to wake him for a status update.   _20180703_204135.JPG It was a good day on the Camino. We walked across rhis bridge (where is the Roman one, we keep missing it!) DSC_0719.JPG We also came across interesting art on the church yard… DSC_0713.JPG Today was the longest day, but also the most beautiful. We were afraid of today. We did not know if we could do it. Well, asked and answered, yes we can!

 

 

Day 11: Pontevedra

Today when we woke up it was raining. So we walked in the rain. It was still beautiful.

We found Mr Snail again on his way to Santiago. I asked him when he passed us. His answer: “What do you think I have been doing while you were sleeping?” Well, he is going great!

Came across an interesting Camino stall along the Way, the guy seems to speak all languages except Afrikaans…

We are nearing Santiago now, I think just 66 km to go.

Today felt long on the hoof, especially through the outer limits of Pontevedra.

Again you find this city’s beauty in it’s older parts.

Not so much beautiful photos tonight I am afraid., really tired. Tomorrow- Caldas de Reis, another about 22 km day. We are now cooking ravioli, pork and veggies in our guest house.   DSC_0645.JPGWe are staying at Familia Compartir near the Bullring. Very nice people, very good price, look them up on Booking. com

Thats it, over and out for today.

Day 10: Redondela

Today we were really glad that we walked more than 12 km of the route yesterday! We started off 1.3 km before where we stopped yesterday, so we have even more km on our Way to Santiago. But we cheated just a little bit. At the place where you exit Vigo and enter the Redondela municipality, the Camino turns right across the highway, and steep uphill. We started walking that yesterday… we turned around and chose the easier route downhill into Redondela. Underneath the huge Rande bridge…

We are always amazed by the ruins of houses with the nicest views, wish we could buy one and live there!

The views just outside Redondela is stunning, with ua amazed at all the structures in the ocean to produce seafood, I wish I knew how that worked.

We walked downhill into Redondela, through some interesting paths and places along the way… steepest downhill tunnel I ever saw!

In Redondela a huge sporting day was unfolding, we sat at a coffee shop and enjoyed young fit people doing their thing.

Then we walked on. A rain storm caught up with us and we sat it out at a Repsol filling station:

Finally it is good to see some Camino Markers again!

We missed them following our own heads and making our own way .

Tonight we are staying over at O Refuxio de la Jerezana 3km outside Redondela. We have been welcomed like family, and our clothes are being washed, and a Pilgrim’s meal ordered for dinner. Life is good on the Camino!

Ps all my photos are raw, unedited, I just brought my Sony Xperia mobile phone with and none of my better cameras. I hope you can still make something out!

Rest Day: Vigo

Let me start by saying: I live in a rural town in South Africa, one of the best possible locations to raise kids. But we live in a very violent, crime ridden country. If your car breaks down at night on our highways, the chance is good that you get killed for your mobile phone and the contents of your purse. We are very paranoid about safety and security in our part of the world. Now picture this from my context. We are staying in a nice Hotel in Vigo. At half past one I get waken up by a huge noise outside. I gaze out of the window. The pizza place across the road is still open. And a family with toddlers walks out. At half past 1 in the morning! It first got to me, and then I was a little bit jealous of a society where families and single women can walk around in a city at night without any fear. The racket was the garbage trucks collecting all the recycleables at 1 at night.

I fell asleep again. When we woke up, I had an idea. Tomorrow is going to be a long day to the Refugio 3 km on the other side of Redondela. Why don’t we walk most of it today, get stamps for our Pilgrims Passports, catch a bus back and start there again tomorrow. And that is what we did. We started by going down to the Cathedral of Vigo. We had coffee nearby. We loved the public art again: Look at this statue of a hard working fisherman in the park:

Across the road is the statue to his family, anxiously awaiting his return every day:

We really found the beauty of Vigo in its older parts. It sure has some very beautiful streets and sights!DSC_0535.JPGDSC_0528.JPG

We had a really long walk today, but we found unexpected joy along the Way. I told my wife of Cafe Ezequel in Melide and how marvelous Pulpo is. And when we walked past 10 km for the day, across one bridge, I saw the pot outside this Cafe and just knew.

The Camino surprises you every day, when you least expect it. I could bless my wife with the pleasure of Pulpo, a Galicean speciality.

She enjoyed it very much!

We walked on, past some cars we never get to see in South Africa, what om earth is this?

A one seater Renault? We also don’t know the 2 seater Toyota Aygo in our part of the world.

We stood amazed at this enormous bridge, and admired the engineering skills it must take to do this well:

So, today, in stead of resting our feet, we walked more than 14 km again. The fireworks are going off, Portugal is playing at 20h00, I think we shall go watch the game with the public at the square behind the Cathedral. Our feet are HURTING, but man, do we love this journey through Spain and Portugal!

Vigo Day 8- more photos

Today was just one of those days where I did not feel like taking a lot of photos. But here are a few: we had a hard time staying on the Way in Vigo. But I am still amazed by the public art in Spain, be it on buildings:

or statues of the normal working guy at unexpected places:

Vigo surprised me. Where I expected a sleepy fishing village, we found a city of more than half a million people. It is huge!

But on our way to our hotel we found the city fathers (and mothers not to sound patronizing!) put a set of four elevators to the street where we live. Now that is thoughtfull!

We are on a month long journey in a country that is more expensive than ours. So we do cut our expenses where we can. As we are staying in a nice hotel for our rest, we are cutting on mealtimes again. We do not have kitchen facilities for the weekend. My wife said we should avoid another session of bread, cold meats and cheese. When we walked through the small supermarket that has no prepared foods, guess what we had for dinner?

But there is always a light shining in the darkest tunnel. My favorite energy source on the Camino comes at just 70 cents of a Euro for 6…

Today and tomorrow we are trying to rest and heal our feet. We are a little bit scared of the distances and topography of the final 5 days into Santiago, which we foolishly (me, I did that) booked on the John Brierley Scedule. We don’t know yet if we are tough enough for the 25 km days with some climbing involved. But we will soon find out!

Day 8 and 9: Vigo

We have nearly no wifi at our hotel, and I found out it is expensive to blog on mobile data.

We are staying over in Vigo for 2 days, good to rest a while.

So only one photo to sum up the day…

Lots of beach, beautiful country, but very hazy today.

We walked into a Pulperia just now at 17h30 to ask for their menu. (A place specializing in Calamari, but you knew that…) They chased us out and said they are closing, only opening at 21h00 (9 o’clock)… Like Obelix said: These Spanish are crazy. Will blog more when I do get wifi.

 

PS Obelix said that words in the academic work of ancient history: Asterix in Spain…. I think he did. Maybe..

Day 7: Baiona

I really had to think hard to get the days right… We left at 8 this morning at Casa Puertes in Oia, really a good experience to stay there last night!

We waited for the sun to set over the Atlantic last night, it obliged at 22h17! But before that, dear Kenneth, I watched it going down the correct and proper  way…DSC_0430.JPG

We were really hurting bad last night. This morning a new day dawned on our Camino.

When we started walking early it was way cooler, and we enjoyed most of the sights, except the walking alongside the main route… but that is life, you don’t always get to choose the route.

After Mougas Campsite the Camino veers off to the right to go across a mountain. (Ok, maybe not a mountain but remember I live in a flat part of the world…) Look out for this sign on the right and do close the gate!

While you are climbing, do take a moment to enjoy the view!DSC_0474.JPG

When you come down from the first mountain, you will pass through a town again but no open coffee shops! When you are about to expire from thirst, the Camino provides again… in the shade of a house, good water!

The second climb is no fun at all on the July mid day heat. But the good people of Galicea has provided shade and water and rest at the top.

At this park the route is not marked at all, turn downwards between the park and children’s playground across the road.

We were tired and hungry and gatvol. Then we came across this jewel of a restaurant.

We shared a menu of the day and a large beer, it was really good and prepared with love.

We were blown away by Baiona! We across the world has not even heard about it, but it is beautiful!

 DSC_0491.JPG

We love the yaughts (how do you spell really big expensive boats?  and the castle and the small beach… But now we are really tired again and off to bed. Look at what my wife makes me eat tonight!

Day 6: Oia

We found Mario at the mobile home, behind the restaurant, behind the Orbitur Campsite at Caminha. And he asks 5 Euro per pilgrim across the river to Spain. And so we went…

Look out for the purple and red boat, that is the one, got us 4 hours faster into Spain than the ferry!

Across the Minho river you start off with boardwalks. And some spectacular views!

A Guarda first looks a bit disappointing, till you turn the corner and see the harbour.

Enjoy A Guarda, drink your coffee, eat something… for in this stage there are much less opportunities to do so than in Portugal.

In A Guarda the prophets have been busy again…

After quite a lot of km we came across this bar, first one after A Guarda. The only place we found between A Guarda and Oia selling food or drink!

They only had bread for one boggadilo (help with spelling please?) so that was what we shared, our only meal for the day.

The route self goes through different types of scenery, from beautiful, wild coastal to kilometres on the side of the main route. Here are some examples and no, I did not want a highway picture…

There are some nice places to eat and drink your own beverages, if you knew to bring some along…

You will find rest on the Way…

That umbrella is a good idea for the sun, my wife bought it at a Chinashop in Porto, really helps except when it gets windy.

We saw other pilgrims on the Way, this one is not sure when he will reach Santiago, but he is putting in a lot of effort

Ultreia, Senor Snail! Buen Camino!

We were really hungry and thirsty when we reached our destination. We are staying over in Oia, Casa Puertes. Why? Friends of ours walked the Camino in April and really enjoyed this place. We will too, at the top end of our budget but worth the money. I can see the sea from my bed, and that does not often happen to me!

If you stay over here, behind the Casa is a steep small road gong to the main road. At the top, 5 minutes walk away, on the left you will find a Blanco store with everything you need in it. We made our own dinner with bread, salmon paté, mussels, cold smoked chicken and beer. And my wife ate a tin of peas, I don’t like peas…

We were famished! Now we are just laying on the bed, waiting for the sun to set. Oia does have it’s beauty, although it does notvlook like much from a distance…

Tonight our feet are hurting a lot, such a dull thrubbing lot of pain type of hurt. Two more days, then we have a rest day planned at Vigo. We are not measuring distance but my Pedometer app gives in advance of 25000 steps per day these last 8 days. We are off to bed early because of that, really tired. Hope we are feeling better in the morning!

Day 5: Caminha

Today was the type of day I dreamed about when planning a coastal Camino. I don’t have much words today, just pictures to share…

 We reached Caminha, on the border with Spain. And Spain seems so close! But a way is needed across the River Minho into Spain. There is a ferry, but it is subjected to the tides, and leaves tomorrow at 12! DSC_0350.JPG We will seek another way. We enjoyed walking around Caminha, probably having our last Pasteis de Nata… DSC_0353.JPG

We are staying at the Orbitur campside in Caminha, quite a walk to town but beautiful views! DSC_0357.JPGDSC_0352.JPGWe are very tired tonight, and also have some blisters to attend to..

Just a last thought: we sat and ate fresh cherries at this beautiful square. DSC_0356.JPG An ambulance stopped just out of view right of picture, and removed someone’s body in a body bag from a flat. I don’t know anything more about it, but I thought that one day everyone leaves in a body bag… I still hope to do a lot of living before it is my turn to go….

 

Did I mention I love the boats on the river? DSC_0347.JPG I heard these guys can take us across the river in front ouf our camp site for 5 Euros each….DSC_0358.JPG Just info for those planning a Coastal Camino….