We were looking forward to a day of rest! Three days ago we had started our Camino from the border of Portugal and hiked 52.7 km (32.8 miles) to the city of Pontevedra. Since it was a Sunday, we took the day off to enjoy the sabbath, discover a few churches, and explore a little bit of Pontevedra.
Capela da Peregrina (Chapel of the Pilgrims)
The Chapel of the Pilgrims was built in 1778, and is positioned right on the main pilgrim’s route.
It is said that pilgrims traveling this route will only be successful if they stop at this Chapel. Good thing we stopped! We can only wonder what would have happened to us, had we not paid a visit to this small but lovely chapel: Rabid dogs chewing us to pieces? Food poisoning from moldy meat sticks? Massive, pus-filled, blisters covering our feet?!
Convento e Igrexa de San Francisco (Convent and Church of San Francisco)
This 14th century church overlooks a nice garden area. We enjoyed walking among the fragrances from the variety of flowers, feeling the warm summer breeze, and listening to the sounds of children playing in the main square.
Inside there are five stained glass windows and a rose window that are particularly nice.
There is also a nice collection of statues dedicated to Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ.
We enjoyed a couple hours of walking around Pontevedra without any real agenda. Just wandering among the streets and letting our curiosity determine the way.
We always enjoy looking for unique street art when we visit a city. Pontevedra didn’t have a large collection, but it was there if you looked hard enough. Many of the small shops would spray-paint art on the metal shutters that cover their doors and windows.
Brightening up the boring grey alcoves of a stone wall with some color.
Although there wasn’t a lot of street murals, there are some really nice public sculptures including this one of a woman feeding chickens and rooster. The sculpture is located at the Municipal Market area.
Ponte dos Tirantes (Tirantes Bridge)
In addition to public murals and sculptures, there is another form of public art – Architecture. As a fan of modern architecture, I was drawn to the Tirantes Bridge.
This cable-stayed bridge, designed by Leonardo Fernandez Troyano and Francisco Javier Manterola Armisen, crosses the Lérez River.
Portuguese Camino from Pontevedra to Caldas de Reis, Spain
We woke up and were on the trail before sunrise once again, since today was going to be one of the longer days of hiking.
As we walked through the city of Pontevedra, the darkness and streetlights created a whole new city that we didn’t see the previous day.
The morning ended up being some of my favorite photographs of Pontevedra.
I don’t often get the chance to enjoy a sunrise, but when I do, I am often in awe of the wonderful colors of the sky and clouds. This morning was no exception!
There’s a sunrise and a sunset every single day,Jo Walton
and they’re absolutely free. Don’t miss so many of them.
One of the highlights of our hike was coming across this huge Stag Beetle! We poked at it a bit with the hiking stick and he decided to climb aboard.
It turns out that these beetles spend most of their life underground and only emerge for a few weeks in the summer to find a mate and reproduce. After taking these pictures we put him back into the grass so he could get back to the business of finding a mate. Good luck mate! I hope the ‘she beetle’ is as impressed with your mandibles as we were.
Along the trail there are numerous reminders, and some motivational messages, that you are on the Camino.
The STOP sign reminded me of a curiosity… When we visited Mexico, the STOP signs all read “ALTO” but here in Spain they all read “STOP”. Alto in Spanish means ‘high’ or ‘loud’ which doesn’t make any sense!? Stop in Spanish is pare, so why don’t the STOP signs read “PARE” in Spanish speaking countries?
Walking through the quiet forested portions of the Camino gives you a lot of time to think about the important things in life – like why Spanish STOP signs don’t read PARE? Why are wise men and wise guys opposites? Why do your feet smell and your nose runs?…
Why are boxing rings square? Why is it called a “building” when it is already built? Why is there no egg in eggplant, no ham in hamburger, an neither apple or pine in pineapple?…
Why do overlook and oversee mean opposite things? Why do we park in driveways, and drive on parkways? Why is it that when I transport something by car it’s called a shipment, but when I transport something by ship it’s called cargo?…
Why does this cat think its hiding from me when it’s clearly not camouflaged that well?
While my mind was busy thinking about all of these things, I still managed to capture some of the oddities and unique things about hiking on the Camino.
Before long we had reached the city of Caldas de Reis, Spain.
Caldas de Reis, Spain
As we walked around, we noticed quite a bit of street-art with muralists painting their unique style on many of the buildings.
Motorcycle touring in 2020 feels a bit like this snail – We have our home and belongings attached to us, and we don’t travel that far. In fact, we only rode 18,185 km (11,300 miles) last year. This was due to a three month travel ban, and much of Europe closing around us. However, we’re still grateful that we could at least travel – even if it was at a snail’s pace sometimes.
I thought a mural of a wild-west cowboy and Native American to be interesting, especially in another continent so far away from the American west.
After walking around a bit, we found a place to stay for the night. It ended up being a wonderful room with a shared kitchen that we had all to ourselves. Although we were in the summer season, there just wasn’t that many tourists due to the Coronavirus.
Next Blog Post
Our Camino continues into the fifth day of hiking and it’s our longest day of the pilgrimage at 29.1 km (18.1 miles)!
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3 Aug 2020