CALDAS DE REIS – PADRON
20 APRIL 2018
When we’ve woken up this morning, it was with a heavy heart … it was difficult to even comprehend how far we’ve walked since the 27th of March. And to think that, by tomorrow, this journey will be over …
Normally me and Berto will chat about a whole lot of different things while walking the Camino: How beautiful the road is, the friendly people, our (my 😏) feet, yesterday’s stage, the end of today’s stage, how hungry we are, etc.
But today we hardly spoke to each other and also did not took a lot of photo’s … there was definitely a feeling of melancholy between us …
At least Brierley’s guide book promised that we will walk on natural pathways through woodlands today with the minimum walking on the main road.
And so, with this feeling of sadness, we’ve left Caldas de Reis.
Leaving Caldas de Reis on our 2nd last stage of our Portuguese Camino
It was not long before we’ve came to the promised woodlands. We’ve seen just a couple of pilgrims walking, but otherwise it was quiet on the road.
While walking through these woodlands, we could hear nature – birds chirping, water flowing and our own footsteps …maybe it is good to sometimes just be quiet …
A favourite part of our walk … through the beautiful woodlands
At Café Esperon in Carracedo we’ve stopped for coffee and lemon cake. Suddenly the school group of yesterday storms in … I presume they were also on their way to Santiago.
Amazing how a big group of children can create “noise and chaos” for 10 minutes and when they leave, all goes back to quietness and order as if they were never there 😬… for the past 3 weeks we were so used to quietness and solitariness, that it is understandable that we suddenly felt out of our comfort zone! But this is probably a way of getting us back into the buzzle of everyday life!
We’ve continued our walk on a gravel path parallel to the motorway which we’ve eventually, after about 3km, left to get back into the woodland.
The green fields are still a wonderful sight
We’ve passed the school group slowly – they were now separated, walking in smaller groups, and it took us almost half an hour to get passed every one.
As we’ve walked on a small farm road, a woman came passed us with 5 sheep on a leash … I’ve never seen that sheep are walking so obediently in a group 😁.
Sheep on a leash … maybe they are also on an outing for the day …
After Valga, at the high point of the stage, we’ve descended a steep path through more woodland to the river Valga. This was a beautiful and serene walk – just what we’ve needed on today’s stage.
Berto on a steep descend towards the river Valga
You can never miss a yellow arrow in the woodlands 😊
There were plenty of small water streams in the woods
With about 6km to Padron, we’ve passed one of the many cafés on route today. We’ve seen our French pilgrim friends who called us over to sit at their table. They bought us coffee and while using a lot of hand signals and a few words in French, we had a nice conversation 😅.
As we’ve finished our coffee, the school group arrived once again and we’ve quickly got hold of our backpacks to walk the last few kilometres to Padron.
The school group arrived … by now they were not so loud anymore – must be all that walking 😉
During our Portuguese Camino, we’ve seen many times how the locals worked on their farms. It was interesting to see that they did not always had the most modern equipment, but that the job always got done.
A farmer busy working on his piece of land
The last stretch of today’s stage, was on quiet country lanes. I said to Berto that it was probably my imagination, but it feels as if I can smell Santiago (ok, it WAS my imagination 😌), but that is how close Santiago was!
A few kilometres of country lanes before we’ve reached Padron
When a normal STOP sign turns into a motivational Camino sign!
According to our Brierley guide book, Padron is a town with quite a lot of history. The cover photo of his guide book was taken here at Padron. The cross (Via Crucis to Monte Santiaguino) witnesses the start of St James ministry on the Iberian peninsular initiating the whole Camino de Santiago story.
The town of Padron – 20km south of Santiago
Accommodation – Padron:
We’ve booked into Albergue Pension Flavia – not really an albergue, because we had (once again) our own room.
Albergue Pension Flavia in Padron
We were still in a quiet mood and after drinking a beer at the bar next to our albergue, we went to our room to rest a while. It was almost as if we were in no rush to reach Santiago!
Later that afternoon, we’ve taken a stroll through the town and had something to eat. We’ve only seen a couple of pilgrims also wandering around … tomorrow we will all come together at one spot – in front of the magnificent Santiago cathedral …
These trees are more like decorations in Padron
Back at the albergue, I’ve noticed the small little envelope that you will find at every albergue. This envelope can be used to put your money in (normally €5), should you want a company to transfer your backpack to the next town while you are walking the stage.
Last year, I’ve made use of Jacotrans on the Camino Frances for a couple of days while I’ve given my knee time to recover. And here on the Portuguese Camino, they are known as Tuitrans (probably from Tui to Santiago) … a good option should you need to lighten your load a bit while walking … such a shame I’ve only seen it now ☺️.
Tuitrans is the company that will transport your backpack if you can’t
We’ve ended our day in the adjacent bar of our albergue where we had a few snacks and a beer. Before we went to bed, we’ve looked at the sunset … tomorrow this time, if all goes well, we will sleep in Santiago.
A beer and sunset in Padron