Pontevedra – Caldas de Reis
19 April 2018
We had a good night’s rest – amazing what your own little room and bathroom can do for your morale!
The cherry on the cake this morning: To receive our clean laundry from the friendly staff of Casa Maruja. And then, on the way out, them waving us off with “Buen Camino” … yes, that has surely put a spring in our step (or in my case, in my blistered feet) 😁.
Beautiful Burgo bridge:
The first magnificent sight came within 1km after we left Casa Maruja … the stunning Ponte do Burgo. Close to the bridge we could see the excavations of the foundations of the original Roman bridge, but it was so closed off with barriers that we could not really took any photo’s. But the Burgo Bridge was picture perfect in the glory of the morning sun!
The Ponte do Burgo in Pontevedra was built in the 12th century near the former site of a Roman bridge
From here we had to negotiated our way through Pontevedra and its suburbs until we came to a quiet road that took us pass a bird observatory and wetland sanctuary.
Just follow the yellow arrows pass the wetland sanctuary … on our way to Santiago!
A group of school children:
At a wide road, which fortunately did not deliver too much traffic (in terms of cars), we saw a big group of school children! They were probably on a school outing and it seemed they were very happy not to be in school! They had two teachers that accompanied them (and did a great job must be said, to keep them together).
A big group of school children walking in front of us
It took us some time to pass them all, but they politely let us through and greeted us with a cheerful “Buen Camino”. On the Camino, the road belongs to everyone and we were not disturbed by them in any way.
In the woodlands:
We continued close to the rail line for some time before we walked into the hamlet of Pontecabras. From here, we crossed the busy main road until we reached a great path that took us through dense woodlands.
A scenic route through woodlands
As we were getting closer to Santiago, we saw more and more pilgrims
A short stop at Café do Peregrino:
Close to 10km, after we started walking from Pontevedra, we reached San Amaro where the popular Café do Peregrino are situated. We stopped for coffee and rested a while outside under the umbrellas.
The school group also came through during this time and suddenly the café got as busy as a railway station! We waited patiently for them to finish their purchases before getting our backpacks and started to walk again.
Walking past the school group (again):
It was however not long before we got back with the school group … this time the children at the back had some Spanish pop music on a speaker system and we quickly passed them – on the rhythm of their music 😉.
Back with the school group … but only for a while before we passed them for the second and last time today
We passed through another woodland area and it was now just me and Berto (and the occasional pilgrim) on the road.
A tranquil walk through a woodland
Although we enjoyed the company of the children on the way, it was now great to have some quietness again … and the road to ourselves! The Camino now took us on wonderful country lanes and dirt roads … great paths to reflect on our Camino thus far!
Walking was blissful on the quiet country roads
The soldiers (again):
We also came across the soldiers that we saw two days ago. They were resting in the shade of big trees when we walked passed them.
The soldiers’ ambulance truck
Meeting our French pilgrim friends (again):
We saw a small café on our left, Café Muinada de Barosa and decided it was a good time to enjoy some freshly squeezed orange juice. While we were sitting outside, our pilgrim friends from France also walked in. It was great to see them again and we took the opportunity of taking photo’s of each other 😃.
Berto enjoying a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice
Our pilgrim friends from France whom we’ve met in Porrino
Is this a wine area?
From here, we walked next to short stretches of vineyards that run parallel to the road. I said to Berto that this means we must certainly be in a wine area and that we surely must have a glass of wine tonight!
Beautiful stretches of paths through vineyards awaited us on our way to Caldas de Reis
The soldiers (again)!
It was not long before we saw to the soldiers again … they have not passed us, which mean there must be either more than one group or they are following a different route than us. But they greeted us in such a familiar way, I’m sure it must be the same group!
Our “soldier-pilgrim friends”
That ambulance looked very inviting for my blistered feet …
We continued walking on the quiet country lanes and every now and then we would join the main road before veering off to dirt roads again.
We saw many horses during our Camino
Welcome to Caldas de Reis:
After a delightful walk, we finally reached Caldas de Reis … a day filled with school children, soldiers, a reunion with our French pilgrim friends, as well as some tranquillity wood walks … now, this is the Camino for you!
Crossing the medieval stone bridge over the rio Bermana into Caldas de Reis
Time for a beer:
As we crossed the bridge, we saw several cafés and decided that, of course, we first need to stop for that “welcoming drink” into our overnight town 🤗.
My two favourites on the Camino … my husband and a cerveza 😊
As we were enjoying a cold beer at the café, the soldiers came marching over the bridge … at least we can say that we won them today … yeah right, if only!
The soldiers marching over the medieval stone bridge
Accommodation – Caldas de Reis:
We checked into another Pension for the night (that spoil of last night was just amazing) and we were welcomed in a beautiful room at Pension As Burgas.
What a room for a (spoiled) pilgrim!
After we finished our laundry, we explored more of Caldas de Reis. We read in our Brierley guide book that Caldas de Reis has thermal waters that have gushed from its ground source at a constant 40 degrees for hundreds of years and that they continue to benefit from its waters as a major health spa … just what a tired pilgrim need!
But instead, we walked over to a street restaurant where we enjoyed a nice meal.
Yippee, lunch time!
Lovely Botanical Gardens:
After we enjoyed our late lunch, we found our way to the beautiful botanical gardens next to the shaded banks of the river Umia. This is such a lovely place to just sit and relax after a hard day’s walk.
A view over the Umia river in the botanical gardens
The promised glass of wine:
We bought a few snacks to nibble on before we went to bed, as well as for the road tomorrow. And then I remembered my words earlier today to Berto about a “glass of wine tonight” … we immediately returned to a café next to the river and ended the day with a glass of cold white wine from the region we walked through today 😃.
That promised glass of wine to end yet another day on the Camino
Now, it is less than 50km to Santiago – only 2 more days of walking …
Click here for Day 25 …