The Camino Diaries – The Long Slog to Pontevedra



After a much-needed siesta and shower in our hostel in Redondela, we managed to drag ourselves to the local supermarket to grab supplies.

Our goal was to pre-make our lunches in advance of each walk so that we could snack along the way; something I’d recommend for future travellers!

We spent the night in A Casa da Herba (which by the way is in the direct pathway of flights overhead) and rising incredibly early to beat the morning heat, we set off.

By early, I mean early, up before sunrise we were out of the hostel by 6am. It was forecast to be over 30 degrees come midday and we certainly didn’t want to be around for that.

In good spirits and with the stillness of Redondela surrounding us, we weaved our way through the streets and out back into the countryside.

When your body isn’t used to walking long distances, every step can seem like a hurdle.

Getting to Pontevedra in truth was an absolute chore (though admittedly the scenery along the way was spectacular). It was meant to be 25km to the city but it felt like it was double that length.

One of the places we passed through was Arcade, a small village pronounced Ar-ca-day). The town serves as a stopping point along the Portuguese Way with a population of under 5000 inhabitants. The nice thing about it is that it’s a place that has not yet really been influenced by tourism so you can really experience the real rural Spanish lifestyle.

The entry to Arcade wasn’t the most attractive but once you moved across the bridge and into the stone houses that’re clinging to the hillsides it’s like a whole new world.

Cobblestone streets, beautiful gardens laden with growth, Roman bridges; it’s fabulous.

After a while and reluctantly looking at Google Maps, our hearts began to fall. The enthusiasm wore off and we got to a stage where yelling expletives wasn’t in humour anymore.  It was meant to be 25km to the city but it felt like it was double that length.

I know I mentioned this before but Pontevedra and many of the Camino’s towns and cities have HUGE outskirts.

Seeing the sign for Pontevedra should have been a relief but instead, it brought on, even more, expletives and jelly legs. It was an extra 2km to the centre.

Finally, and after much dragging, we arrived at our hotel, Hotel Apartamentos Dabarca (an apartment style suite in a hotel).

We decided to take two days in Pontevedra and believe me, it was a very, very wise decision.

The next leg of the journey would take us inland to the hot spring’s town of Caldas de Reis, a place our feet were very much looking forward to!

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Hello! Úna-Minh is a journalist, social media consultant and virtual assistant who loves (you guessed it) TRAVEL. She also feels a bit strange writing in the third person so she'll stop that now. You can find out more about me and my Mammy in the about section of this blog!

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  1. Hello you two,

    this seems like a great trip you did there. Its always amazing to discover untouched/not touristic spaces. Arcade surely sounds like a great place to visit.
    I already wish you endurance (and happy feet) for your trip to Caldas de Reis.


    1. Thank you so much Amelie! Arcade was indeed beautiful – I wish we had had more time there. Your feet start to get into a rhythm after a while so it’s not so bad (except the last few KMs are torturous!)

  2. Great blog. I had never heard of these places before but they do sound fun. Great tip on packing lunch during long days, I don’t do it that often and end up wasting some time scavenging for food 🙂 Will do that for our next trip to Norway

  3. Wow your photos of Arcade look beautiful. I would love to visit there someday. What season did you go?

    1. During the start of summer! Was very hot some days

  4. Cobblestone streets and beautiful bridges..I’m sold! It looks absolutely peaceful here!

  5. Wow! Good for you, that’s one long walk. I’d be up early too if it was going to be that hot! Arcade sounds like a lovely place. Love that it’s unspoiled.

    1. Thanks Debra! Was a long walk for sure. You’re so tired after it but also you get a rush from it too!

  6. The roman bridges make Arcade looks so beautiful. And amazing you walked all the way! What better way to experience rural Spain than walking?

  7. Three things: 1. That bridge in Arcade is gorgeous, I love it. 2. Your mom is so cute 🙂 3. Epsom salt is liiiiiife when I’m doing a lot of hiking and trekking!

    1. Aw thank you so much! We had a great time – epsom salt FTW!

  8. It seems you guys had a great trip to Pontevedra. It looks gorgeous! And Arcade is even breathtaking!!

    1. Pontevedra was fabulous – so much to see there too. Really lovely atmosphere.

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