You’ve made it to Pontevedra! And, yes…it does have a city sign like most of the city signs peppering the world today awaiting Instagram fame!
Should I watch my step when walking the trails between towns?
Only if you care about wildlife in all its forms. Yes, please watch your step! Our little friends are down there…
Should I stop at A Pousada do Peregrino for a snack and a drink?
You’ll come by this little oasis shortly after leaving the town of Pontevedra. Click Link for their website.
We stopped here and you can’t go wrong in doing so. It has a lovely outdoor patio with a pergola trellis. Grapes hang above your head, offering a cool relief from the sun on a hot day. The food was good and there’s always cafe con leche!
You will walk through a lot of vineyards at this point of the day. There are even quite a few places where you’ll need to duck to avoid grapes. Very picturesque day…
Should I stay in Caldas de Reis?
Now, obviously this all depends on your schedule. Caldas de Reis may be a halfway point to a day. In our schedule, it was at the end of our day. We felt it a good place to stop in case we needed any supplies at this point in our journey, as it was a bigger town and they would have more amenities. I would say AIM FOR IT. It was a lovely town.
It actually saved me a little. Once we settled into our home for the night, we went out and found me some sandals. At this point in our journey, my blisters were bad and my toes were bad. My feet were just completely breaking down and I knew if I didn’t find sandals I’d be in trouble. I never once had blisters on the Camino Frances. This Portuguese way was murdering my feet in every way possible. I found a nice man at a shoe shop who dug through boxes and found me the perfect pair of sandals that would save the trip for me. Another trail angel came through for me!
This is a good town for stocking up on whatever you need.
Should I eat at O Encontro Gastrobar in Caldas de Reis?
I REALLY enjoyed the food here. They were one of the first places we found with a pilgrim menu, and they were almost next door to where we were staying. At the end of the day, proximity has a lot to do with where you decide to eat. But also, it was good food! The service was a bit slow, but they could have just been having a bad day. Otherwise, I’d recommend this place. It hit the spot after a long day. My first Caldo Gallego (Galician Soup)!
Should I set out before on my walk in the dark?
I am of two minds on this one. Ultimately, my answer would be YES, sometimes. It is the only true way to get to see the perfection of a sunrise…when you are well and truly in it. To be walking when it happens assures that you will not miss it. And the sunrise in Spain is a thing of beauty. So, if you don’t want to (or won’t) do it for the sake of the bed-race…do it at least once to enjoy being inside the sunrise.
Scenes from a September Spanish Sunrise…
Should I stay in Pensión Glorioso II in A Picaraña?
This might be the only time I suggest the answer as a NO. I wouldn’t even stay in this town, if I were to do the Portuguese again. Not that it’s a terrible town, but there were few options. It was just kind of along the highway. It’s a place you would only stop for gas if you were driving through.
Does it have what you need? Mostly. Were the rooms clean? Yeah. Did the WiFi work in the pension? NO. The food options nearby were very limited and you had to navigate the highway outside the pension. We went from one side to the other, hoping to find other food options. I just wasn’t happy with this night’s location or lodgings. You might find it’s what you need. I was looking for more.
This was our last stay before Santiago de Compostela, and my least favourite.
We walked in darkness on our last morning. As the sun came up, it all began to feel a little like we were walking to OZ.
Should I stop walking now?
No…you’re almost there!
Even though I’m almost there, should I have a break before reaching the Praza do Obradoiro where the cathedral is?
Yes. Don’t lose sight of the fact that you need stamps on your last day! Stop for a cafe con leche on your way into town and grab a stamp!
Should I be prepared to be amazed?!
Should we take selfies of the cathedral once we arrive? Yes, after you celebrate, dance, laugh, cry, etc…
Should I go directly to the pilgrim’s office and sign in for my spot in line to get my compostela certificate?
If this matters to you, then absolutely yes! This process is changing ALL the time. I’ve been to this point 3 times now, and it’s been different every time. Last time, we scanned a QR code at the office and were given a number in the line. We came back when we were close to our numbers and then went inside and lined up. Please look into how it is when you’re going, because they streamline the process all the time.
One more SHOULD to go.
Should I do the rooftop tour of the cathedral?
Absolutely yes. If you have fear of height issues, maybe sit this one out…but it’s fabulous!
DON’T MISS THE ROOFTOP TOUR OF THE CATHEDRAL!
This concludes the Shoulds and Shouldn’ts of the Caminho Português Senda Litoral Route. Hopefully you find some helpful information in these posts.
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.