Camino Day 4: Cafe Oases

Today was a loooong hot day on the Camino, so vamos lets step out some miles!

The clockwork morning routine

The morning routine has been becoming more and more seamless – 6:45 and 7am alarms followed by packing up the remaining items into our bags and heading down for breakfast, which will consist of slices of ham sandwich meat and cheese (jamón y queso).

After the standard breakfast, I went to check us out and asked the receptionist Cómo se dice…. followed by a few commons words for checking in and out and giving the number of our room. For example, we were in room 601 and I didn’t know the word for zero, so after saying 6-oh-1, I asked! She was also kind enough to point out I was mispronouncing 6, I was saying it in French…

It’s really made a huge difference to learn and use a little bit of Spanish through this trip, not only for ease when we go places where people speak little to no English, but it also seems to be appreciated by the locals who are no doubt frustrated by people who instead just say English louder in hopes they’ll then understand?

Through the streets of Pontevedra as the sun is coming up!

Leaving Pontevedra

Once we were out of the hotel and back on the Camino, we got to walk back through the city center we had dinner in the night before. This has been our favorite town so far, and this would be a great place to come back to, should we ever find ourselves in Galicia again (the region of Spain we are in).

Through the walk

Today was… hotter than hell, it was inescapable by the afternoon. Even though it was a normal sized day for us (13.5 miles) and based on time it went quickly, the heat made it feel like the city of Caldas de Reis would never materialize. Fortunately, there were several cafes along the way that we made a point to stop at an enjoy the shade. One was duly named “Cafe Oasis”, which was the inspiration for today’s post title.

My favorite sign on trail, plus the 700m were all on trail – no bonus miles!

During this long death march through the heat, my brain decided to make up a little rhyme that I now play on constant repeat. I’ll share it with y’all, so you can enjoy the madness:

One Camino. Two Camino. You Camino. Me Camino. One Camino. Two Camino…. And on and on again.

While it was really hot, it was pretty neat to get to walk through little vineyards with grape vines overhead on the trail! Don’t be fooled, it provided near zero protection from the sun, but still neat!

A note on ham

The Spanish in Galicia LOVE ham (and other pork varieties). We eat ham at least 2-3 time per day. The madness needs to stop when the only chips available are ham flavored chips. I don’t even eat pork in my day-to-day existence, but when in Rome🐷

Arriving in Caldas de Reis

This is becoming a trend where we walk and walk near urban areas and near N-550 (the major highway in the area), but it then takes another hour once we think we’re in the city to actually be in the city.

Once into finally into town, we followed the Camino to our hotel that is right on the trail – Hotel Balneario Acuña. To really drive home the point that today was ungodly hot, when we went to check into our hotel and produced our passports, the woman at the front desk literally gasped and continued to point out how hot our passports were from our bags🥲

The city has several public areas where you can put your feet into naturally heated thermal water, but the best kept secret in town is that anyone can come and use this hotel’s pool. Do it, it’s awesome. Yesterday in Pontevedra we made sure to buy swimsuits so that we could enjoy the naturally heated thermal pool😮‍💨 After the day that we had just endured, it was so worth it.

A night on the town

Caldas de Reis is a really cute town with a river running through the city center with thick, beautiful marsh banks. Plus being right on the Camino as we stepped out of our hotel gave us a great path to follow to get right to the city center.

We decided to head out to find dinner around 6:30 pm and saw a few places in town were open. What we didn’t realize was every place in town (not exaggerating) closes between lunch and dinner, and the Spanish like to eat LATE, so no place was open for anything other than drink until at least 7:30. The earliest was 7:30 at Hotel Pousada Real. Would not recommend, at all. However, dinner did give us an opportunity to brainstorm our tattoo ideas – I was already set on mine, a simple Camino symbol with an arrow, but we’re still thinking through Mary’s general design and placement. So in case it was ever a question – we’re definitely still set on using our appointments.

View of the river from our hotel room.

Spanish words I learned today:

  • Prohibito – forbidden/prohibited
  • Cero – zero
  • Para – for (I will be adding this in with ‘con’ and ‘y’ to piece more words together)
  • Cena – dinner
  • Raxo – pork loin (a hold over from day two)
  • Jamón – ham

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