Tui – Porrino

16 April 2018


It wasn’t so easy to rise and shine this morning! That brutal 44km from yesterday made us sleep until 7:00. We knew that today’s stage wasn’t long (if we followed the right arrows of course) so we didn’t rush to get going.

It was lovely to walk in Spain again, but it was also a reminder that our Camino would soon come to an end. We were excited to see Santiago again, but decided to just enjoy the next 5 or 6 days of walking in the meantime!

Delicious lemon cake:

But first things first! We found our way to the first open café and ordered “café con leche” with a piece of lemon cake. Oh, how I missed the taste of Spanish lemon cake!


Love, love, love Spanish lemon cake

We each got a small glass of freshly squeezed orange juice with our order. It was a good Vitamin C shot for a cold that has been bothering us for a few days now (the cause of this is most likely all those days we’ve been walking in the rain).

The walk out of Tui:

After this we were ready for our walk, but first we had to navigate our way out of Tui – always a challenge in the bigger cities! After some locals pointed us in the right direction, we left the town behind.


Walking on the ancient Via Romana XIX

We saw a few pilgrims as we left Tui, but we were really on our own most of the time. It was so different from our Camino Frances from last year, but it was still an amazing experience without a doubt!

Road walking:

Just after Capela da Virxe do Camino we walked on the dedicated pilgrim path along the A-55. Fortunately, there is a barrier between the pilgrim path and the main road. So the oncoming traffic was not as bad as we expected.


Walk along the A-55 – but safely guarded with a barrier

We walked about 2km along the main road before we found the turn that took us into the woods.


A quiet walk among old trees in a wooded part of today’s stage

Cruceiro San Telmo:

We came across Cruceiro San Telmo which is marked with a cross. According to our Brierley guidebook, this is where San Telmo fell ill and died of a fever in 1251 on his way back from his pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela.


Cruceiro San Telmo – also known as the bridge of Fevers (“Ponte das Febres”)

Military guys … on the Camino?

As we stood still for a moment at the cross, we heard loud footsteps behind us. We were surprised to see that it was a group of soldiers who quickly walked past us. We wondered why they would be here in the forest. Hopefully it was just part of their training and nothing for us to worry about.


We did not see many pilgrims today, but we did see a group of soldiers

It really was a wonderful day to be outside – the sun was shining and we were surrounded by the beauty of nature.

It’s those bread bags again!

As we walked into Ribadelouro, I noticed another bag of bread at the front gate of a house. We saw it so many times in Portugal and it always brought a smile. It blew my mind that no one even thought about taking just one loaf of bread out of the bag.


A familiar sight by now – a bag of bread by the front gate of a house

Tortilla time:

We stopped at a café in Ribadelouro for a quick break … and knew we were back in Spain when there was Spanish potato tortilla on the menu!


Spanish tortilla – delicious!

We heard from quite a few pilgrims that the stage between Tui and Porrino is not such a scenic route, but so far we were enjoying the day. It may be that some detours have been added in the meantime to avoid busy roads and industrial areas.


Pathways through the woodlands

At a beautiful medieval stone bridge (puente Orbenlle) we stopped for a moment to take photos.

Medieval stone bridge after the small hamlet of A Magdalena

Make sure you choose the scenic way:

And then we saw why some pilgrims mentioned that it might not be such a lovely stage. After leaving the woodland behind, we saw the open cast mines of Porrino on the horizon – this may be the industrial area they were referring to.

But we had read earlier in our Brierley guidebook that we would see a mural of the Portico de Gloria ahead of us and that this would be the only waymark for the new scenic route and thus avoid the industrial area.


Not a yellow arrow, but the mural of the Portico de Gloria to indicate the new scenic route


With a steep climb back into the woodland, we now followed the new scenic route

And wasn’t it a scenic route! At first we didn’t see any yellow arrows and hoped we were walking on the right path. But then, suddenly, yellow arrows literally appeared around every corner as we walked through the country lanes.


Beautiful new scenic route on our way to Porrino

We saw no other pilgrims (or the soldiers from earlier) and hoped we were still on course. At least the presence of the yellow arrows gave us peace of mind!


A horse in a piece of grassland on our scenic route

Almost in Porrino:

For the last 3km to Porrino we kept our eyes on the arrows – there were a few different options and we wanted to make sure we stayed on track (that 44km from yesterday is still not forgotten).

In Capilla San Campio we saw a woman in her front yard feeding the pigs. They were so cute and I took some pictures. Oh, and then I suddenly remembered that night in Mealhada in Portugal where we had that pork dish … maybe I won’t eat pork for a while.


Pigs in the front yard in Capilla San Campio

And then we walked into Porrino. It is not a big town, but has some beautiful buildings (and about 18,500 inhabitants).


We arrived in Porrino just after lunch time – a short day comparing to yesterday

Accommodation – Porrino:

Great accommodation:

We checked into Sendasur Albergue. It was again a beautiful albergue and looked fairly new. We got our bunk beds – this time with a curtain giving you more privacy with your own little reading light above your bed. A very nice albergue with friendly staff.


Our bunk beds in Sendasur Albergue


A wooden pilgrim in the communal area of Sendasur Albergue

Time to relax:

After we finished doing our laundry, it was still early enough to go out for lunch. We noticed some pilgrims in the town center and when we got back to our albergue, two pilgrims from France also checked in. It was nice to share our dormitory with other pilgrims.

Yummy hot chocolate:

We also enjoyed dinner at a small café later that evening and I decided to finish it off with hot chocolate. The hot chocolate served in South Africa is a bit thicker than coffee, but the hot chocolate I had here in Porrino was almost a chocolate syrup – delicious! And it was served with a lollipop … or as we call it in Afrikaans, a “stokkielekker” – such a beautiful word and literally means “a sweet on a stick”.


My thick hot chocolate and “stokkielekker”

How to communicate (when you don’t speak the language):

Back at our albergue we sat in the communal area for a while and talked about our day. The one French guy listened to us and later asked what country we were from. He could not place our language (Afrikaans) and at first thought we were from the Netherlands. He could speak a few sentences in English and we could talk a bit about our Camino and about our country’s rugby teams. Sometimes I wish I could speak other languages ​​to communicate better with pilgrims!

But it is also true that you don’t have to speak the same language when you want to have a conversation about the Camino.

It was a great day on the Camino and one we really enjoyed!

Click here for Day 22 …


8 thoughts on “CAMINO PORTUGUESE – DAY 21

  1. A half day! Sleeping till 0700. What next! The bread bags reminded me of the Falkland Islands were everyone eats lamb. In those days, the butcher would do his daily route checking little blackboard signs that everyone had outside. They would just say “Leg”, “Rib”, or whatever cut they fancied that day. Life was so simple and so wholesome! Your “short walk” here looks very pleasant.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I loved these short and easy days of walking! How wonderful is your story about the meat delivery in the Falkland Islands many years ago! I also grew up in a town where we left empty milk bottles and a notebook with the order for milk and bread for the next day. And before we even got up every morning, the full bottles of milk and fresh bread were delivered next to the front door – what a wonderful time.

      Liked by 1 person

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