Caldas de Reis – Padron
20 April 2018
A heavy heart:
When we woke up this morning, it was with a heavy heart. It was difficult to even comprehend how far we walked since the 27th of March. And to think that, by tomorrow, this journey will be over …
Normally, the two of us will chat about a whole lot of different things while walking the Camino: The beauty on the road, the friendly people, our (my 😏) feet, yesterday’s stage, the end of today’s stage, how hungry we are, etc.
But today we hardly spoken to each other and also did not took a lot of photo’s … there was definitely a feeling of melancholy between us …
Leaving Caldas de Reis:
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 – that’s always good news!
And so, with this feeling of sadness, we left Caldas de Reis.
Leaving Caldas de Reis on our 2nd last day of our Portuguese Camino
Ah, the woodlands:
It was not long before we reached the promised woodlands. We saw 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 and breath …
A favourite part of our walk … through the beautiful woodlands
Café Esperon (and the school group):
At Café Esperon in Carracedo we stopped for our first morning coffee and lemon cake. Suddenly the school group of yesterday stormed in … it seemed now that they were also on their way to Santiago.
Isn’t it amazing how a 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 – it is understandable that we suddenly felt out of our comfort zone! But this is probably just the way of the Camino to get us back into the hustle and bustle of everyday life!
We continued our walk on a gravel path parallel to the motorway which we eventually, after about 3km, left to get back into the woodland.
The green fields are still a wonderful sight
We passed the school group slowly – they were now walking in smaller groups and it took us almost half an hour to get passed every one.
Sheep on a leash:
As we walked on a small farm road, a woman came passed us with 5 sheep on a leash … I have never seen that sheep can walk so obediently in a group 😁.
Sheep on a leash … maybe they are also on an outing for the day
A scenic walk:
After Valga, at the high point of the stage, we descended a steep path through more woodland to the Valga river. This was a beautiful and serene walk – just what we needed on today’s stage.
Berto on a steep descend towards the Valga river
You can never miss a yellow arrow in the woodlands
There were plenty of small water streams in the woods
Coffee break (meeting our French pilgrim friends again … AND the school group):
With about 6km left to Padron, we noticed one of the many cafés on our route. We saw 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/English, we had a nice conversation.
As we finished our coffee, the school group arrived once again and we 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
Hard working farmers:
During our Portuguese Camino, we saw many times how the locals worked on their farms. It was interesting to see that, though they did not always had the most modern equipment, they got the job done perfectly.
A farmer working on his piece of land
Close to Padron:
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 now!
A few kilometres of country lanes before we reached Padron
When a normal STOP sign turns into a motivational Camino sign
Brierly guide book & Padron:
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:
Albergue Pension Flavia
We booked into Albergue Pension Flavia – not really an albergue, because we had (once again) our own room.
Albergue Pension Flavia in Padron
The last afternoon on the Camino:
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 strolled through the town and had something to eat. We only saw a couple of pilgrims also wandering around … tomorrow we all will come together in one spot, at the beautiful Santiago cathedral …
These trees are more like decorations in Padron
Tuitrans will “carry” your backpack for you:
Back at the albergue, I noticed a small envelope – available at every albergue. This envelope can be used to put your money in (normally €5), should you want a company to courier your backpack to the next town while you are walking the stage.
Last year, I made use of Jacotrans on the Camino Frances for a couple of days while my knee needed time to recover. And here on the Portuguese Camino, the transport company are known as Tuitrans (probably from Tui to Santiago). This is a good option should you need to lighten your load a bit while walking … such a shame I only saw them now ☺️.
Tuitrans is the company that will transport your backpack if you can’t
A last beer:
We 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 enjoyed a beautiful sunset … tomorrow, if all goes well, we will sleep in Santiago.
A beer and sunset in Padron
Click here for Day 26 (our final day) …