Porrino – Redondela
17 April 2018
We’ve really had a great day on our Camino yesterday … it might be because we are getting closer to Santiago, or maybe we are now just getting used to be on our feet for most of the day 😄. And we can’t wait to get on the road today …
On last year’s Camino Frances, we’ve tasted churros for the first time (that amazing fried-dough pastry sprinkled with sugar) and when we’ve had our first coffee this morning, we could not resist the temptation of the fresh churros that were packed out in the café!
Churros – yum! The food on the Camino is just the best!
Maybe all this sugar is needed for today’s walk – Brierley’s guide book warned us that although the stage is short, there will be a few challenges in the form of a few steep up hills and a very steep climb down towards the end of the day’s stage.
The walk out of Porrino took us through the small hamlet of Fonte do Chan and then we’ve crossed the main road and rail line a couple of times.
Walking through the hamlet of Fonte do Chan
The fields in Spain were beautifully green and will surely put a smile on your face if you just came from a drought stricken and hot South Africa! After weeks of walking in these green fields and woodlands, I still can’t get enough of this!
The green fields between Porrino and Veigadana
There were a couple of cafés in Veigadana and we’ve seen, for the first time really, a group of pilgrims enjoying coffee under the umbrellas. We could still taste the sugary churros of earlier, so there was no reason for us to stop for coffee. We’ve just greeted the other pilgrims with “Buen Camino” and walked on.
On our way through the small town of Veigadana
As we’ve walked out of Veigadana, we came across the two French pilgrims that shared our dorm with us last night. We’ve exchanged a few words (used all the French & English words between us 😁). The one French guy pointed at Berto and said “Springbok rugby player” … we’ve just laughed … we did had a discussion last night about rugby and maybe, with the language barrier, they might be under the impression that Berto played rugby for South Africa 😅.
A glimpse of the French pilgrims in front of us – although we could not really communicate, we’ve became good pilgrim friends
And then, our first steep up hill for the day started as we’ve continued in beautiful surroundings on our way to Mos. I took the chance of taking a few photo’s … actually more to rest every now and then and to catch my breath!
I had to stop and take a photo of this lovely dog – he/she had such an adorable little face 😊
The up hill started slowly and we had to stretch our legs to get to the top
There were now a couple of steep up hills and we’ve taken it easy (or rather, I’ve taken it easy … Berto had no difficulty walking these hills). But in my defence, my legs are much shorter than my husband’s!
It doesn’t really look like much, but this is another steep uphill passing Fonte Os Cabaleiros
We had to choose our steps carefully … not for loose rocks, but rather for cow droppings😉
Only 87km to Santiago …
Soon, we’ve reached the highest point of the day, Parque Alto (an extensive park). The up hills were quite steep, but when walking through a beautiful landscape, it takes your mind off the energy you had to put in to get to the top.
Now for the long decent towards the Ria Vigo (the Vigo airport is only about 2km to the West).
Now the pressure was on our knees … all the way down hill!
I’m not sure which one I prefer … up- or down hill? With this steep descent, I would definitely say give me an up hill any day 😳. Our Brierley guide book did not lie – at Saxamonde, the descent was almost vertically! And once you’re on the go, there’s just no stopping!
Berto taught me to descent zig-zag, which made it a little bit easier!
Once we’ve reached the bottom, I’ve turned around to see where we came from … it did not look like much of a hill, but my legs were jelly!
We came over THAT hill …
Fortunately the road then levelled out and the rest of the walk gave me enough time to recover before we’ve reached Redondela!
The last 3km was a nice (and more importantly) level walk – always something to be grateful for 😊
And then, just 16.1km later, we’ve arrived in Redondela
We’ve became accustomed to first go to a café before checking into an albergue in order to get our “bearings” together and to find our way to the albergue or hostel.
Accommodation – Redondela:
So, while drinking coffee in a café here in Redondela, we’ve tried to figure out how to get to Hospedaje Bahia de San Simon. I’ve walked over to the café owner and showed him the name of the hostel … he in returned showed I must go and sit down again … a bit confused, I’ve done so. He then picked up the phone, talked to someone and came back to us – indicating we must wait …
Ten minutes later, a very friendly gentleman arrived in his car and greeted us like old friends! His name was Jose and he’s the owner of Hospedaje Bahia de San Simon. He mentioned that there is a very steep hill to his hostel and that he realised that we’ve probably had enough of hills today … therefore, he came to pick us up and take us to the hostel! How kind of him! The people of Portugal and Spain keep on surprising us with their kindness!
The hostel is fairly new and everything is in mint condition. We had a room with three beds, but Jose promised it will only be me and Berto in the room for the night 😉.
Our room in Hospedaje Bahia de San Simon in Redondela
The size of these pillows were just crazy!
On the wall at the reception of the hostel … so true!
After we’ve showered, we took a walk down to the centre of the town for lunch. We’ve ended up in a bar where only the locals hanged out … it was funny to see how they’ve tried and almost (politely) avoided us – I think they must have heard us speaking in Afrikaans to each other! But the service was nonetheless great and the food even better 😄.
In Spain, you always get a “snack” with your beer – and how could you say “no thank you” to tortilla!
After lunch, we’ve found a local supermercado where we’ve bought a bottle of wine and snacks for the evening … and only then remembered that we have to walk up that steep hill to our hostel …
Hopefully the last up hill for the day – on our way back to our hostel
Jose came to our room later that afternoon and invited us to take a ride with him. He wanted to show us the beauty of Vigo Bay. There is a lot of history at this bay, of which one is the “Battle of Vigo Bay”, which was a naval engagement fought on 23 October 1702 during the opening years of the War of the Spanish Succession. It is believed by some people that there are still Spanish treasure at the bottom of Vigo Bay. He said that during the high Summer months, this beach is packed with people – which I could believe, because it was just a stunning sight.
Jose busy explaining the history of Vigo Bay to Berto
Vigo Bay at Redondela
The sunset was spectacular at Vigo Bay
It was such a kind gesture of Jose to show as around. He’s very passionate about his hometown and we’ve enjoyed his company tremendously.
Another day on the Camino which we’ll always remember …