Our Portuguese Camino continues from O Mesón to Pontevedra! After the previous long day of 24 km (14.9 miles) of hiking, we were looking forward to a much lighter day of just 11.7 (7.3 miles). This ended up being one of our favorite hiking days because of the perfect weather and scenery of gorgeous vineyards, forested hiking areas, and quaint Spanish towns.
Since we didn’t have as much hiking to do, we woke up later, casually packed, and started hiking well after sunrise. The temperature was nice enough that we hiked comfortably in shorts and a long sleeve t-shirt.
Finding a place to eat breakfast was a bit of a challenge. Although this region of Spain has been open to tourists since July 1st (one month) there just wasn’t enough pilgrims to justify opening restaurants and shops. Fortunately, we packed some energy bars and enjoyed wild black-berries along the trail.
It didn’t take long before we were enjoying vineyards and the forested areas of this wonderful morning.
Horses are amazing animals! We enjoyed a couple minutes of gazing at each other across an electrified fence. We really wished we had an apple or a carrot to share! I wondered if the animals noticed the smaller numbers of pilgrims during the Coronavirus pandemic?
The colors of Spain seemed to call out to us as we walked along this yellow wall and ornate metal fence.
Just a week prior to us, some other pilgrims had passed through, and left a reminder of their trip on the side of this tree.
By lunch time, we were pretty hungry! We searched for a grocery store and found this wonderful place called Supermercado Bonsai. It had a deli where we ordered ”a ham and cheese” sandwich. We expected to get an American style ham and cheese sandwich with mayonnaise, lettuce and tomato. What we got is exactly what we asked for – ham and cheese on a cut loaf of bread. Huh! The watermelon was sweet and delicious though!
Just down the street from the grocery store, is the Capela de Santa Marta, where we got another stamp for our Camino passport book.
Our favorite part of the day was taking a alternate route through a beautiful forested area with a small creek that ran right along the pathway.
The beauty of the Camino is that you’re really not that far away from civilization. It’s a great hiking trail that creates wonderful moments of isolation but without the risk of being too far away from services like grocery stores, hostels, or a hospital.
Taking time to enjoy the beauty of summer flowers and the tall trees that provide wonderful shade along the trail.
By mid afternoon we were reaching the urban jungle of the city of Pontevedra. We found a small Airbnb apartment room with a shared kitchen and bathroom. Under normal circumstances, we would really enjoy this kind of accommodation, because it would give us the chance to talk to locals, share a meal, and experience life as they live. However, with the Coronavirus, I was uneasy about sharing a house with someone I didn’t know. Part of me thought I was being silly for even worrying about it, but a larger part of me was concerned that catching Coronavirus could be disastrous or even deadly.
Our hostess was kind and considerate but we didn’t spend much time together, beyond a welcome and showing us our room. Although the accommodations worked out, from this point on, we avoided renting Airbnbs that didn’t have their own bathrooms. Better safe than sorry, even if it costs us a few more bucks.
Pontevedra is a modern city with high-rise apartments, parks, and many churches to explore. Our plan was to take the next day off, enjoy our sabbath Sunday, and do a little bit of exploring.
Next Blog Post
Join us for a day of exploring in the city of Pontevedra, followed by our fourth leg of our pilgrimage to the town of Caldas de Reis, Spain
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1 Aug 2020