You have made it to Spain!
Once you arrive in Spain, there are subtle changes. Eventually it will feel a lot like the Camino Frances, but when you first arrive in A Guarda the changes are less pronounced. Also, you’re still walking mostly alongside the ocean.
Should I stop and reflect on my Caminho thus far?
Not when you first get to Spain and wave goodbye to the boat driver. First, just get up into the path and be on your way. After about an hour–give or take (it might be 1/2 an hour and it might be 2 hours)–you will come across this monument…
This is a perfect resting spot to contemplate the journey behind you, to contemplate the Portugal you have just left behind!
Should you be constantly alert on this stretch?
The answer is yes. There is quite a lot of highway walking on this day. Not only should you always be on the alert for motor vehicle traffic when walking this way, but we also encountered a LOT of bikes this day. I don’t know if we didn’t notice them on other days, or if they’re just so much more noticeable when you’re walking in a straight line alongside the highway. We encountered a few on the boardwalks previous to this day, but today was the BIKE day. We even saw one group of about 30 bikes travelling together…electric bikes. Just be aware of your surroundings both ahead and behind you.
Should I be prepared for a mountainous climb at this point in the Caminho?
The answer is YES.
Once you complete that dijon mustard yellow walking track, be prepared for a climb. It’s not insanely high…but it’s one of the first big climbs you’ll face. You should be prepared.
Should you stop near the top and celebrate your victory with a selfie or two?
If I’m staying in Baiona, Spain, should I stay in Apartamento Vila do Mar?
Again, I can only recommend the places that we stayed. This apartment was found on Booking Dot Com, and it’s in an awesome location and it’s very spacious. 3 bedrooms…book it with friends or fellow pilgrims!
This one is a no-brainer. If you need a bigger place for more pilgrims than just yourself, this is the place. It even has a clothes washer.
Should I even bother trying Padrón peppers?
Maybe the reason I keep going back to the Camino is to eat more Padrón peppers. Find them. Eat them. Repeat!
Should I start to call the café com leite its Spanish equivalent of café con leche?
Should I be prepared for a little big city culture shock when I hit Vigo, Spain?
It’s big, but if you’re from a big city it’s not overwhelming. You’ll enjoy being out in the city in the evening. Lots of restaurants, shops, etc. It is a bit of a shock after walking through small towns and nature, but I also found it welcoming.
Should I eat at Peregrinus Vigo Pulperia/Restaurant?
We really enjoyed our meal at this restaurant! The waiter was a bit standoffish, but if you’ve ever eaten in a Paris restaurant you won’t notice.
The food was terrific and it was a great night out on the town! The street it was on was quite lively and filled with shops. A stroll in the neighbourhood wouldn’t hurt, if you’re up to walking in the evenings.
I could also picture Vigo being a Rest Day stop, if you have any days worked into your schedule for this.
FYI: The morning you’re leaving VIGO, you will have an uphill journey for a bit as you leave the hustle and bustle of the town. But the views once you’re in the higher ground make the climb well worth it!
Should I eat lunch at Don Vinarius cafe in Redondela, Spain?
We enjoyed it. Sometimes the simplest meals are the best meals. We had some great sandwiches here that made us ready for the rest of our walk to Ponte Sampaio!
And BEER always tastes better on the Caminho/Camino! I swear!
Should I find the Instagram places IRL and get the photo ops?
I did! 🙂
Should I stay at Hostel Albergue O Mesón in Ponte Sampaio?
This one’s a no-brainer. IF you happen to end up in Ponte Sampaio at the end of your day’s walk, this albergue is FANTASTIC. Whether you’re a lone walker or a group. I saw the single dorm spaces and they were super clean and nice. We stayed in an apartment on the top floor and it was exceptional! And there’s a kitchen on the ground level with communal spaces and coin laundry facilities. CLICK HERE. Here’s pics of our quarters for 3 people:
This one comes HIGHLY recommended. Even though there is a communal kitchen downstairs and a kitchen in the upstairs private apartment that we had, there is an excellent restaurant on the same street that is affiliated with the albergue. About a block down on the same side. I recommend it as well. The restaurant has its own page on the same website as the albergue. There is also a fairly large market attached to the restaurant. CLICK HERE FOR RESTAURANT.
Should I stop at Igrexa da Virxe Peregrina in Pontevedra for a pilgrim stamp?
Translated from Galician, this becomes Church of the Pilgrim Virgin. This is a scallop shaped chapel! I won’t get into the history of this church, but it has a storied past that connects it deeply to the Portuguese Way. Construction began in 1778 and is houses an image of the Virgin Pilgrim, who is the patron saint of both the province of Pontevedra and the Portuguese Way. Here’s the Wiki. You should pay it a visit. Be forewarned, this is a stop for tour buses filled with tourists who just may stampede the chapel at the same time as your arrival. Have patience, it’s busy.
This ends Part Two. CLICK HERE TO JUMP TO PART THREE.
If you want to see our 10 day journey in full, here is the link to DAY ONE. At the end of every day, you will find a link to the next day. After those, you will also find a couple of posts on what to do in Porto before and after the Caminho.
I’m also an author. One of my novels, a young adult story, is set on the Camino Frances route of the Camino de Santiago. THE CAMINO CLUB. It follows six teens on their journey from Ponferrada to Santiago de Compostela. The teens walk with court appointed counselors in a juvenile delinquent program that will see them free of their records once they make the journey to Santiago…a clean slate. Think of a more diverse The Breakfast Club, but on the Camino de Santiago over two weeks instead of in a school library on a Saturday. Give it a look! It’s available wherever books are sold. Here’s the Amazon USA link.