Camino Day 3: Short Walk to Pontevedra
It’s day three, and our shortest day of the trip with 13 km / 8.1 mi to step out, so let’s get to it!
Logistics back to Arcade and starting our morning walk
Today was our final morning at Hostal Expo in O Porriño, and our taxi was a few minutes early! So after breakfast and the taxi pulled up just before 8:15am, we were well on our way back to Arcade. This wasn’t without a bit of anxiety as the taxi had the meter running the whole way, and our ride was supposed to be included in our stay… We arrived around 8:45 and thankfully the driver said the ride was covered by the hotel. We started our journey from Hotel Duarte, going along the water in Arcade, and then in the woods.
The trail was a nice break from the more urban ones we’ve been walking through. The Camino for me as begun to feel pretty monotonous. I want no part of this to come off as not enjoying our walk, but my usual hiking trips are in the backcountry where you’re navigating trail and going through varying natural landscapes, but on the Camino, it’s largely hard packed gravel and asphalt and walking through urban landscapes in cities or countryside villages. As I wrote in yesterday’s entry, it’s been a great insight to Spanish life, but boy are my feet feeling it when every step is the same on my feet.
While in the woods, protected from the heat under pine trees, there were a number of temporary cafes set up to give pilgrims credencial stamps, and sell bottles of water, freshly squeezed, and Camino keychains.
Early in the day, I also decided to act on something I’d been toying with the past few weeks – setting up a tattoo appointment for when we arrive in Santiago 👀 There was one artist who was recommended in the FB group I’m in more than anyone else, and he had done a lot of Camino tattoos which were featured on his IG. I reached out on WhatsApp, set an appointment for myself, and Mary chimed in that she was also interested. So stay tuned for our first tattoos each🤠
The Second Complementario
After about halfway through our walk, we came to our second complementario route (aka the alternate route). We were advised by Portugal Green Walks to not take this route if it was wet as it’s a lower route following the river. It was also mentioned that it’s not well marked.
Well today was dry, with no rain on the forecast and no rain in the past 48+ hours, so off we went! If I haven’t mentioned it before, the Camino is an incredibly well marked route – if you get lost, you have much bigger problems that need to be sorted before you take off for a week to go walking… So by comparison, yes, this route is not as well marked, but you are in a wide trail in the woods with no side trails or forks in the road, it’s still impossible to get lost.
Arriving in Pontevedra
Before we knew it, we were happening upon our destination city of Pontevedra! Our hotel – Hotel Room, aptly named – is right off the Camino, so we took it into town and stopped by to see if our room was ready. It was only 1:45pm and check in is at 3pm, so we dropped our heavy bags and hit the town to find a lunch spot.
On the way to lunch, we found an underwear store that sold swimsuits – a key piece of gear we were missing as the next town would be thermal hot springs! We lucked into some for about 20 Euros each.
We ended up at a really great Spanish burger bar! I cannot recall the name of the restaurant because while we did get stamps there, the name on the stamp is completely different from the name of the place… Nonetheless, ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.
After lunch, Mary and I split up – Mary hitting the town’s historic sites, and myself heading back to the hotel to check in and take a siesta. This was a MUCH needed shower and nap on my part, plus I got to get a bit of trail laundry done.
Later in the evening, we met back up for dinner (tapas) and watched the sunset in the most quintessential Western European town square😍
Spanish words I learned today:
I’m introducing a new segment where I brag on my growing Spanish vocabulary, and document the random things I learn each day.
- Buenos tardes – good afternoon
- Aseos – toilets/bathroom (also, baño which was already in the repertoire)
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