DAY 21


TUI – PORRINO

16 APRIL 2018

18.4km

It was not so easy to rise and shine! That 44km of yesterday kept us in bed until 7:00 this morning … we knew that today’s stage is not a long one (if we follow the correct arrows 😊), so we’ve really taken it easy.

We were excited to walk in Spain again, but with that we also became aware that our Camino will soon be ending … we were excited to see Santiago again, but will make the most of the next 5 or 6 days of hiking!

But first things first! We’ve walked to the first open café we could find and ordered “café con leche” with a piece of lemon cake (oh, how I’ve missed the taste of Spanish lemon cake!)

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Spanish lemon cake – love, love, love these!

We also got a small glass of freshly squeezed orange juice with our order … a good Vitamin C shot for a cold that was threatening us for a couple of days now (probably thanks to those days we were walking in the rain).

And then 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 a couple of locals showed us in the right direction ☺️, we’ve left the town behind.

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Walking along the ancient Via Romana XIX

We’ve seen a couple of pilgrims when we’ve left Tui, but we were mostly on our own – so much different than our Camino Frances of last year – but still a wonderful experience!

Just after Capela da Virxe do Camino, we’ve walked on the dedicated pilgrim track next to the A-55. Fortunately, there is a barrier between us and the road and the oncoming traffic did not bother us.

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A walk next to the A-55 – but safely guarded with a barrier between us and the road

It must have been almost 2km that we’ve walked next to the road before we’ve turned off into a wood.

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A quiet walk amongst old trees in a wooded section of the day’s stage

We came across the Cruceiro San Telmo where the spot is marked with a cross. According to our Brierley guide book it is here that San Telmo fell sick and died of a fever in 1251 on his way back from a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela.

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

While we were standing still for a moment at the cross, we’ve heard a noise behind us … it was a group of soldiers and they’ve passed us quickly. We were wondering what they were up to … hopefully just training and nothing for us to worry about 🤨.

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

It was really a great day to be out and about – the sun was shining and we’ve been surrounded by nature.

As we’ve walked into Ribadelouro, I’ve once again saw a bag of bread by the front gate of a house … as I’ve seen so many times in Portugal … and I always smile upon seeing this – I’m not so sure that a bag of bread will be at a house’s gate for that long back in South Africa 😉.

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

We’ve 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!

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Spanish tortilla – lovely!

We’ve heard of some pilgrims mentioning that the stage between Tui and Porrino was not such a nice walk, but we’ve enjoyed the day thus far. It might be that some detours were added in the meantime to avoid busy road ways and industrial areas.

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More pathways through the woodlands

At a beautiful medieval stone bridge (puente Orbenlle) we’ve stopped for a moment to take photo’s.

Medieval stone bridge after the small hamlet of A Magdalena

And then we saw the reason why some pilgrims mentioned that it might not be such a nice stage. After we’ve been through the woodlands, we saw the open cast mines of Porrino on the horizon – this might be the industrial area they were referring to.

But we’ve read in our Brierley guide book that we will see a mural of the Portico de Gloria in front of us and that this will be the only waymark for the new scenic route in order to avoid the industrial area.

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

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A steep up hill back into the woodland following the new scenic route

It was a beautiful scenic route. At first we did not see any yellow arrows and we were hoping we are going on the right paths. But then, suddenly, yellow arrows appear literally at every corner as we’ve walked through the country lanes.

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Beautiful new scenic route on our way to Porrino

We did not see any other pilgrims (or the soldiers of earlier) and hoped we were still on track … at least, the yellow arrows gave us piece of mind!

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A lovely horse in a piece of grassland on our scenic route

For the last 3km to Porrino, we’ve kept our eyes on the arrows – there were a couple of different options and we wanted to make sure we stay on track (that 44km of yesterday is not forgotten yet 😬).

In Capilla San Campio we saw a woman busy feeding the pigs in the front yard. They were so adorable and I took a couple of photo’s … I suddenly remembered that night in Mealhada in Portugal where we had that pig dish … maybe I will not eat pig for a while …

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Adorable pigs in the front yard in Capilla San Campio

And then we’ve walked into Porrino. It’s not a big town, but there live about 18,500 people and there are a few beautiful buildings.

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

Accommodation – Porrino:

We’ve booked into Sendasur Albergue. Once again, a beautiful albergue and fairly new I would say. We got our bunk beds – this time with a curtain that gives you more privacy and your only little reading light above your bed. A really nice albergue with very friendly staff.

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Our bunk beds in Sendasur Albergue

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A wooden pilgrim in the communal area of Sendasur Albergue

We’ve done our laundry and finished early enough to go out for lunch. We’ve noticed a couple of pilgrims in the town centre and when we’ve got back to our albergue, two pilgrims from France also checked in. It was nice to share our dorm with other pilgrims.

We also had dinner at a small café later that evening and I’ve decided to end it off with hot chocholate. The hot chocholate that we are served back home in South Africa is a little thicker than coffee, but the hot chocholate that I had here in Porrino was almost a chocholate syrup – yummy! And it was served with a lollipop … or as we say in Afrikaans, a “stokkielekker” – such a beautiful word and literally means “a sweet on a stick” 😋.

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My thick hot chocholate and “stokkielekker” for desert

Back at our albergue, we were sitting in the communal area for a while and talking about the day … one of French pilgrims was listening to us and later asked from where we are. 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 at least talk about our Camino and a little bit about our country’s rugby teams. I sometimes wish I could speak other languages in order to better communicate with pilgrims!

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

It was a great day on the Camino and one we’ve thoroughly enjoyed!

Categories: Portuguese Camino (April 2018)

2 comments

  1. Beautiful reading.
    Thank you for sharing.
    We will embark on our first Camino 2020 0/05

    Liked by 1 person

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