So, this was the hardest, longest and most hilly day on the Camino Portuguese but I was determined to get it done to put me back on track for a Tuesday Santiago finish which means I could go to Muxia in a leisurely four days. But now I’m so exhausted and my feet hurt so much I just want to take the next train to Santiago and go hit the hippy beach in Finisterre.
I think it wasn’t the 400 minutes of walking that hurt, it was the 191 floors of climbing that have done me in! Today’s hike included three large hills the last of which was climbed in the 1pm sun from river floor to peak. The final 10kms always hurt on camino but this day was extreme!
Starting out from Mos at 6.30am the gates around the Albergue were closed. This meant in order to get going I needed to scale the walls! Luckily one of the German pilgrims I met this week was the other side of the wall so I was able to throw him my bag and use a chair on chair combo to get over the wall and jump down the other side. I could have waited until 7am when the gates would be opened but where’s the fun in that?
My second crime of the day was about 6kms into the walk when I accidentally left a cafe without paying! Bars in Spain are not consistent. Some want payment up front and some when you leave. I had tried to pay this lady when I ordered but she told me to sit down. I ate my toast and drank my coffee and flat forgot the bill and set off. Now, pilgrims do not get very far on foot and follow one path, she was angry and determined to find me, which must have been pretty simple! She drove out in her car to collect the 2€ I owed her. I had no idea what she wanted at first as I didn’t realise I forgot to pay. But her stern and angry face and rubbing together of thumb and forefinger allowed me to cotton on quickly. Oh dear! I only had a 10€ note – she promptly took that, motioned she had no change and drove off, not acknowledging that it was a genuine mistake and still huffy! Who is the thief in this story?
The town above is Arcade and a complete surprise! The guidebook barely mentions it but it had a beach and really cute old town.
Pontevedra looks a lot like Santiago but worse, it sounds like Santiago. I’m in a hotel just off the central square and for the last hour I had to endure a torture worse than blisters on cobblestones; bagpipes!
Pontevedra is definitely the best town on this camino so far apart from Porto and probably the highlight until Santiago. The similarities between the two though are vast, not only the bagpipes, Pontevedra is a provincial capital in Galicia, has the same architecture note for note, the same green mold on it’s old monuments, and is in Rias Biaxes, home to Albariño and Spain’s best white wine which is everywhere in Santiago also.
It’s easy to be Vegan here too with a handful of dedicated restaurants and one big chain I visited offering vegan options. Pontevedra seems to be at the forefront of Galicia culturally and politically and perhaps more so than Santiago – can you tell I like it here! I’ll check out the property prices later!
Tomorrow – (OMG why) is a comparatively light day with no hills and a 22km stroll ahead (let’s see!). Finger crossed my camino crimewave is now at an end and tomorrow gets done by lunch – it’s an hour later and my feet still ache!
whinge whinge whinge!