I’m not sure if it was the alarm chirping or the splattering of the rain pelting our hotel room window that awakened us to day nine, but either way both of us thought the same thing at the same moment. OMG! It’s still raining!
Arcade to Pontevedra
Arcade, was seemingly a nice place to visit and according to our Portugal Green Walks road book we were encouraged to check out the beaches on either the afternoon of our arrival, or the next morning as we walked away from Arcade.
The day before as we walked in to Arcade, even through the gray stormy mist, we could see there was a huge lake and how pretty the lake must be. Alas, there would be absolutely no visiting of beaches for us. That just was not in the cards. Mother Nature was playing a different game and we were about to walk in to the worst of it.
We Had to Stop to Continue
If you’ve been walking along with us via our posts, or if you followed our walk in real time on Facebook and/or Instagram, you may be wondering why we didn’t #1 either stay put and wait out the storm front that was passing over the region, or #2 call for a taxi to drive us to our next destination(s).
To stay put was not an option. We took on the challenge of walking the Camino Portuguese with a limited time frame and Portugal Green Walks had mapped/booked it all out perfectly for us. Calling for a taxi was also not an option because while walking the Camino Francis in 2015, we were forced to take a couple of taxi rides and we had to stop walking for a few days because I was plagued with blisters on both feet. At that time we needed to stop walking in order to continue.
On this our Camino Portuguese, I was determined to walk the entire 145 miles. I’m happy to report there were no blisters on this journey and rain, is far less painful than blisters.
As we walked away from Arcade the rain had momentarily slowed to a drizzle and we were able to take in the charm of the village as we walked across the medieval Sampayo Bridge. While the scene was picturesque and peaceful, apparently it was quite a different story back in the early 1800’s when Napoleon was heading to Portugal.
On to Pontevedra
With only 7.5 miles facing us we set the pace to Pontevedra, determined to get there as early as possible in order to avoid the worst of the storm front. It was a crap shoot. We definitely caught the wrath of the storm, but at the same time we arrived early enough in the afternoon to miss the brunt of it. Not only did it rain and the wind blew, it actually hailed for a few minutes. Hail on the Camino. Who would have thought it possible in April?
It’s at those moments that you either laugh hysterically or vow to never again take a long walk. Fortunately, we kept our sense of humor and got to Pontevedra in just four hours. Pretty good timing considering what we had to walk through to get there.
The silver lining to walking in the rain for three days straight is that the surrounding countryside was green and lush and so pretty you couldn’t really find fault with Mother Nature. Well, you could (and we did) but at the same time it’s just such a beautiful walk.
- Day 9 – April 25
- From Arcade to Pontevedra
- We walked 7.5 miles (12 km)
- Difficulty: Easy
Reflections of Pontevedra
With the forecast finally calling for clear skies, we packed away our rain gear and set off for Caldas de Reis. It would be another fairly long day at just shy of 14 miles, but it wasn’t raining so it was all good.
As we walked away from Pontevedra right around 8:00 a.m. we stopped to capture a few extraordinary reflections. These are the moments that take our breath away and make it all worth while. It’s a time to stop walking and take it all in and just embrace the beauty. After three very long and challenging days of enduring the weather, this was our reward.
Well, actually our reward for enduring the weather is a lifetime of memories and great stories to tell. It was a gift to ourselves to take on another Camino.
Funny, I don’t actually remember too many details of walking on day 10. I think we were so damn happy that it wasn’t raining we just soaked it all in (pun intended) and took very few photos that day. Sometimes, that’s not such a bad thing.
I can tell you that if you want to get to know a country, it’s people and their culture, walk across the country. It is eye-opening and life illuminating. A good long walk offers such a different perspective from zipping by in a car, or staring out the window of a high-speed train. Although, trains are one of our favorite modes of transportation.
A good long walk is an opportunity to get up close and personal with the cats sitting on the farmer’s tractor, or watching the farmer plowing a field.
On to Calda de Reis
Calda de Reis is another lovely little city on the Camino Portuguese with a river flowing through the center. The city is also known for its thermal baths. Lucky us, we stayed at a hotel that was not only right on the Umia River, it had two swimming pools. One of the pools was clearly a kiddie pool but it proved to be just right for two tired pilgrims to soak their aching feet in the warm water. The perfect ending for another stellar day of walking.
- Day 10 – April 26
- From Pontevedra to Caldas de Reis
- We walked 14 miles (22 km)
- Difficulty: Moderate