Porrino – Redondela

17 April 2018


Yesterday we had a very nice day on our Camino. Maybe it was because we were getting closer to Santiago or that we were just getting used to the long distances on our feet every day. So it was no surprise that we couldn’t wait to get back on the road today!

During last year’s Camino Frances we tasted churros for the first time (those wonderful fried pastry dough sprinkled with sugar) and when we drank our first coffee this morning we couldn’t resist the temptation to eat some freshly baked churros – it was packed in piles on the counter of the café!


Churros – the food on the Camino is just the best!

Maybe all this sugar is needed for today’s walk. Brierley’s guidebook warned us that although the stage was short, there would be challenges in the form of some steep climbs and a very steep descent towards the end of the day.

The walk out of Porrino took us through the small hamlet of Fonte do Chan, after which we crossed the main road and railway a few times.


Walking through the hamlet of Fonte do Chan

The fields in Spain were in beautiful shades of green and are sure to put a smile on your face if you’ve just come 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 few cafés in Veigadana and we saw, actually for the first time, a group of pilgrims enjoying coffee under the umbrellas. We could still taste the sweet churros from earlier, so there was no reason for us to stop for coffee. We just greeted the other pilgrims with “Buen Camino” and walked on.


On our way through the small town of Veigadana

Walking out of Veigadana, we ran into the two French pilgrims who had shared our dormitory with us the night before. We exchanged a few words (meaning we used all the French and English words between us). The one French guy pointed to Berto and said: “Springbok rugby player”. We had a good laugh. During last night’s conversation we talked about rugby and maybe, with the language barrier, they are 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 became pilgrim friends

Just after this, the first steep climb for the day began at the beautiful surroundings on the way to Mos. I took the opportunity to take a few photos – actually more to rest and catch my breath every now and then!


I had to stop and take a photo of this dog – what a cutie


The uphill started slowly and we had to stretch our legs to get to the top

There were now some steep climbs, which Berto walked out with ease. I took it in stride though (I mean, my legs are way shorter than his)!


It doesn’t really look like much, but this is another steep climb passing Fonte Os Cabaleiros


We had to choose our steps carefully … this time is was not for loose rocks, but rather cow droppings


Only 87km to Santiago

Highest point of the day:

Soon we reached the highest point of the day, Parque Alto (an extensive park). The climbs were quite steep, but walking through a beautiful landscape takes your mind off the energy you have to put in to get to the top.

Downhill all the way:

Now for the long descent to the Ria de Vigo with Vigo Airport only about 2km to the west.


Now the pressure was on our knees – downhill

A vertical descent:

I’m not sure which one I prefer: Uphill or downhill? With this steep descent I actually wished it was an uphill. Our Brierley guidebook didn’t lie – at Saxamonde the descent was almost vertical! And once you get going, there’s just no stopping!


Berto taught me to zig-zag down, which made it a little easier

When we reached the valley, I turned to see where we started from. Well, it didn’t seem like a terribly steep hill, but my legs definitely felt a little tired!


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 reached Redondela!


The last 3km was a lovely and level walk – always something to be grateful for


And then, just 16.1km later, we arrived in Redondela

By this time, we had a routine that when we reach our overnight town, we first look for a café before checking into an albergue.

Accommodation – Redondela:

Hospedaje Bahia de San Simon

How to get to our accommodation:

While drinking coffee in a café in Redondela, we tried to figure out how to get to Hospedaje Bahia de San Simon. I walked up to the café owner and showed him the name of the hostel. In turn, he showed that I should go back to our table. It was all a bit confusing, but I went back and waited. After this he made a call, spoke to someone and came back to us and said: “You wait”.

Friendly Jose:

Ten minutes later a very friendly man arrived in his car and greeted us like old friends! Jose is the owner of Hospedaje Bahia de San Simon. He mentioned that there was a very steep hill to get to his hostel and that he realised we had probably had enough of hills today and decided he would take us to the hostel in his car instead! How kind of him! The people of Portugal and Spain continue to surprise us with their kindness!

The hostel is quite new and everything is in perfect condition. We got a room with three beds, but Jose promised it would be just us in the room for the night.


Our room in Hospedaje Bahia de San Simon in Redondela


The size of these pillows were just crazy


A picture on the wall at the reception of the hostel

A local bar in Redondela:

After enjoying a shower we walked down to the center of town for lunch. We arrived at a bar where only the locals hang out. It was quite funny to see how they almost (politely) avoided us – I think they must have heard us talking to each other in Afrikaans! But the service was great nonetheless and the food even better.


Beer and tortilla

After lunch we walked to a local supermercado where we bought a bottle of wine and snacks for the evening. And of course only then remembered that we have to walk up that steep hill again to our hostel.


Hopefully the last uphill for the day – on our way back to our hostel

A visit to Vigo Bay:

Later that afternoon, Jose came to our room and invited us to ride with him. He wanted to show us the beautiful Vigo Bay. There is a lot of history at this bay, one of which 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. Some people believe that there are still Spanish treasures at the bottom of Vigo Bay. He said during the high summer months this beach is packed with people – which I could believe because it was a beautiful beach.


Jose busy explaining the history of Vigo Bay to Berto


Vigo Bay at Redondela


The sunset was beautiful at Vigo Bay

It was such a kind gesture of Jose to show us around. He is very passionate about his hometown and we really enjoyed his company.

It is another day on the Camino that we will always remember.

Click here for Day 23 …


14 thoughts on “CAMINO PORTUGUESE – DAY 22

      1. Probably not. If I ever get the chance again, it will be on the Frances for as much time as I can get.


      2. In that case, I’ve got a solution … read our last 3 days’ (which will soon be uploaded), then you’ll know the rest of the route 😉. I agree, rather put your time into a longer visit on the Camino. Blessings


  1. Another great day to read about, churros for breakfast and tortilla tapas with your Mahou beer, it brought back memories of Madrid which I recently wrote up whilst under house arrest to give me something to do! Another great looking place to stay and Jose looks like a real star. As for hills, give me uphill any day, down puts so much strain on the knees and muscle groups you don’t often use. The zig-zagging is a good trick.

    As for the French guys, I can understand their confusion as Berto looks like he could / should play rugby. He has the build of a loose head prop if you ask me!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I will definitely have a look at your Madrid post!
      To be honest, Berto did play rugby in his younger days – and was quite good and flanker to be reckon with (but these days, he could probably go through as a loose head prop … thanks to all those beers over the years 😅).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think that Berto and I must have bee separated at birth! We both love walking and cooking, were both in the Forces and my preferred position was open-side flanker / number 8. The only appreciable difference is that, even with all the beer (much of it Guinness) I drank over the years I am still as skinny as a rake. He can give me a few pounds any time he likes!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. What a lovely man. It makes me feel good to read about people like him. Those hills are impressive. I agree, coming down is always more difficult because gravity is pulling you forward. Did you ever get leg cramps?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jose went out of his way – nothing was too much for him to make sure we were comfortable. Wonderful people! Uphill for me any day (stopping and resting is so much easier 🙂). No, luckily we never got any cramps … and I’m so glad because I don’t think I could handle it with all my other pains!

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s