With two days to spend in Pontevedra before we bustled to Caldas de Reis, we explored every nook and cranny.
Pontevedra has traditionally been a trading city, a Galician port that was the hub of sea-trading activity.
It’s lively with so many places to see including the gorgeous Parador Pontevedra; a haven that felt like an estate out of Game of Thrones. They do, by the way, amazing hot chocolate.
We ate in the Praza da Leña area which was the old firewood marketplace, in the old quarter now known for its quality of tapas!
While our Spanish was rusty, we made good use of Google Translate to get by (highly recommend by the way!).
Waving “goodbye” to Pontevedra, we packed everything up for Tuitrans to collect and hauled our backpacks on again.
Following the yellow arrows out of the city, we soon made our way over Burgo Bridge that was built near the former site of a Roman bridge, the “old bridge” that gave the city its name.
It was around 22km or so to get to Caldas de Reis and while the sunny weather had now turned overcast it was still very muggy and hot.
It was along this route that we met the three Italians.
- Stollo (not his real name but a combination of “solo” and strolling), took things at his own pace while his companions charged ahead. Mom and I often were just a few metres behind him, admiring how he simply took the route as it came.
- Suspendo (another Italian) was so called due to his tendency to hike his white socks way too high up his legs making them look like suspenders! It was quite the sight.
- Valentino (the final Italian) took a shine to Mom as he sauntered by practically winking as he lugged a massive backpack on his shoulders. Though initially, Mom found him annoying she eventually warmed to him – hence, Mr. Valentino!
After a few hours, the weather changed and it started to absolutely lash out of the heavens – so much so that it was seeping through our ponchos.
It eventually got to a stage where we were like “f&!% it” we’re going to get wet anyway and we embraced the rain with our fellow pilgrims.
Sogging, squidging and absolutely exhausted, seeing the sign finally for Caldas de Reis almost brought tears to my eyes.
EXCEPT WE THEN REALISED THAT OUR HOTEL WASN’T IN THE CENTRE OF THE TOWN AND WE HAD ANOTHER 1KM TO GO TO GET THERE.
I know the capital letters seem rather dramatic but can you imagine how we felt?
Cursing the Camino again, we dragged our way to the hotel (Hotel Sena) and flung ourselves into the bedroom.
After a short rest in our hotel, we went on the hunt for somewhere to eat but not before stopping by at the long-awaiting hot springs.
Caldas de Reis’ hot springs are said to have healing properties for tired feet but it’s not uncommon to see people doing their washing in them either!
Imagine getting the most amazing foot massage in the world; that was what this hot spring felt like. It covered our limbs with soothing water that eased away the tension of the day.
While there isn’t a lot to do in Caldas the Reis, the springs are a magical thing to experience after walking with grubby feet stuffed into your shoes. HEAVEN.
Popping into a pharmacy to grab some muscle cream we were pointed in the direction of a pokey little restaurant on the riverbank for dinner.
It was in this spot O Muino, that we met our Aussie quartet who greatly enhanced our food with their company. More on them later!
We spent just one in Caldas de Reis for the next day we were etching even closer to Santiago, to Padrón.
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