22km. We were up and out the door before 9am, mainly because it’s rare for breakfast to be included in the price of a hotel room, whereas in Portugal it was almost always included. Doesn’t really matter to us as we usually carry some food that we can eat (this morning it was cupcakes), I just have to walk a few kms to get my first coffee of the day. So we walked through Redondela and its outskirts, plus a smaller village, Cesantes, then stopped at the Jumboli Pension and cafe 5km from where we stayed last night. For anyone wanting to do a longer stage than Porrino – Redondela, the Jumboli would make the Porrino stage an acceptable 19kms.
We spent the morning walking close to the Ria de Vigo inlet, a very picturesque, calm body of water with villages dotted along the other side of the bay. A mix of quiet roads and forest tracks for most of the day, apart from one short stretch along the main road north, the N-550. Our guide book made a big deal out of how dangerous this bit of road was, so we donned our fluoro vests and took a deep breath. Actually, compared with the horror stretches out just before Vilarinho and Barcelos, today’s bit was fine, with at least a metre of margin for us to walk on. We’re a bit puzzled that the guide book doesn’t pay more attention to the dangers of the earlier stages out of Porto.
We reached the town of Arcade at around lunchtime, so even though it has a Michelin recommended restaurant, Restaurant Arcadia, we decided to give it a miss (ha, ha!) and got bread and ham from the local supermarket to eat by the river.
We have seen at least 10 pilgrims today, almost more than we saw the whole time we walked in Portugal.
The most common building material around here is pink granite. Anyone who has either installed or even just priced a granite benchtop in Australia may shed a few tears when they learn that whole houses are built out of it here, together with fences, stone walls, paving and park benches & tables in council picnic areas.
This afternoon we resurrected our practice of soaking our feet. We did it often on our last camino, but this time it hasn’t been as easy to find water. Now that we’re in Spain, there are a lot of water fountains. We’re very wary of drinking from them, but the water is great for a mid-afternoon foot soak. We do usually do it at the end of the day, in our hotel room.
Pontevedra is a large town, population 75,000. We’re staying at the Hotel Ruas in the old section, and just from walking to the hotel, there seems to be plenty to see and do here – lots of history, museums, cafes and a walking tour around the historic centre.