On the seventh day of our Camino Portuguese pilgrimage, we covered 13 miles between Redondela and Pontevedra. This day started out along the Ría Vigo with some amazing views of the Rande Bridge off in the foggy distance. We then completed two seperate climbs totaling more than 1400 ft, with a stop in the beautiful city of Arcade in between. Our day finished at an albergue on the outskirts of Pontevedra, where we got to watch Spain take on Portugal in the group stages of the World Cup!
Stage Map And Overview
- Distance: 13 miles
- Elevation Gain: 1417 ft
- Minimum Elevation: 10 ft
- Maximum Elevation: 457 ft
- Time: 8 hours
- Stage Overview: Lots of asphalt mixed in with natural dirt paths and major highway crossings
Camino Portuguese Day 7: Redondela to Pontevedra
It was hard to wake up and leave the city of Redondela, as we were really enjoying our beautiful room with a balcony. After a quick breakfast, we made our way out of town along Rua Picota.
On the outskirts of Redondela, The Way consists of a dirt pathway that cuts through a residential area. We made passed by a horse that seemed to really be enjoying the cool morning air.
We made our first stop of the day fairly early on in near the town of Cesantes after just 2 miles of walking. Cafe Bar Jumboli sits right along the Camino here, and provides some spectacular views of the Rande Bridge out on the horizon. This is also the last spot to stop before embarking on the first uphill hiking of the day.
After enjoying some coffee and a morning bocadillo, we made our way up the dirt path towards Alto da Lomba. The path is smooth and well graded, so although it’s steep, it never really feels that difficult.
When we reached Alto da Lomba, we saw a wall of Camino shells lining a wall. There were also a few photos and handwritten notes. It’s always special to see the handiwork of the many pilgrims that have passed through on this very same trail.
The downhill stretch from Alto da Lomba opened up with some jaw dropping views of the Ría Vigo before crossing over onto the busy N-550 highway. This is probably the most dangerous stretch of walking along the entire Camino Portuguese. For a few hundred feet, we walked on the shoulder of a busy highway with semi-trucks flying by. I could feel the draft pushing us away from the road and sucking us back in with every pass.
The stretch of walking alongside N-550 finally came to an end as we entered the city of Arcade. My nerves were frayed, and my cortisol levels were sky high. What else was I to do but indulge in massive amounts of sugar and caffeine! I ordered two coffees, cookies, a pastry plate, and what I thought were donut holes (turned out to be black licorice tasting abominations). Julia and Owen were looking at me like I was a little crazy when I walked out to join them on the patio.
After enjoying our snack and settling our nerves, we walked through Arcade towards the scenic town bridge. The bridge consists of a series of arches much like the iconic bridge in Puente La Reina along the Camino Frances.
As we reached the other side of the bridge, we entered the small town of A Ponte and began our second climb of the day. Just as we were starting to get into the uphill, a man named Peter stopped to say hello. He had seen my YouTube documentary about the Camino Frances! We spoke with Peter and his Camino buddy Felix for a while, and saw each other each day all the way from here to Santiago.
The final miles of walking into Pontevedra are mostly on asphalt and largely uneventful. We stopped to have a late lunch before entering town, and after eating, stumbled upon a large vending machine station. Vending machines are nothing special along the Camino, but some of the products being sold at this one left me speechless. I’ll let the photo below explain.
We made it to our albergue, Hostal Peregrino, after our 13 mile day and settled in for a shower and some rest. After a short nap, we got up and got ready for dinner. This albergue had a downstairs restaurant with a very nice pilgrim’s menu and a nice TV to show the World Cup. We made our way downstairs and were happy to see there were already around 10 pilgrims watching the pre-game. It was pretty cool to see Spain play Portugal in a room full of Spaniards and Portuguese.
After dinner, we settled in for the night and went to bed. We only had three days left on the Camino and were drawing ever nearer to Santiago.
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