Leaving the city of Pontevedra behind, we hiked 14 miles on our eighth day of the Camino Portuguese. Most of this stage takes place on asphalt and cobblestone, but there were a few natural pathways mixed in to keep our legs from feeling too beat up. As we approached Caldas de Reis, we walked alongside a little farm where Owen got to befriend a horse and a few sheep. We took our time walking on this stage, as we knew there were only two days left before reaching Santiago.
Stage Map And Overview
- Distance: 14 miles
- Elevation Gain: 732 ft
- Minimum Elevation: 42 ft
- Maximum Elevation: 422 ft
- Time: 7 hours
- Stage Overview: A dangerous road stretch followed by natural paths and asphalt
Camino Portuguese Day 8: Pontevedra to Caldas de Reis
We began our eighth day on the Camino Portuguese with a long walk through Pontevedra. Our accomodation the night before was at the entrance of town, and we had a two mile walk through Pontevedra to cross the Rio Lerez and leave the city.
After our two mile walk through town, we crossed over the Ponte do Burgo to continue along The Way. We looked at the map and realized that the road out of town would be alongside a busy road. We asked a few people about it, and they thought it would be safest to take a short taxi ride of 3km to the Santa Maria de Alba church up ahead.
After our short taxi ride, we enjoyed a beautiful spell of walking along a natural pathway before stopping for our customary midday lunch.
After that stretch of secluded natural pathway, the path to Caldas de Reis is mostly asphalt road and dirt paths just off of the road. This stretch of walking was surprisingly pleasant, although pretty uneventful.
As we got closer to the city limits of Caldas de Reis, we passed by a few orchards and farms. One of these was right next to The Way and had one of the friendliest horses we met on the entire trip. As soon as we walked up to the retainer fence, he sprinted towards us. Owen is a huge fan of horses, so we decided to take a 30-minute break here to spend some time enjoying the company.
The entrance to Caldas de Reis is one of the most beautiful approaches on the Camino Portuguese. After crossing over a bridge and the Rio Umia, we continued through the medieval part of town and found a place to eat.
We stayed at the Albergue O Cruceiro which had an amazing downstairs bar and restaurant, as well as an upstairs covered patio with laundry services. The World Cup was in full swing with group stage matches, which made for a lively atmosphere in the bar.
We blew another tube on our stroller during the walk into town, so I spent the afternoon grabbing some extras at the local bike shop. While walking back to the albergue, I saw a toy shop and grabbed Owen a few new trucks!
For dinner, we enjoyed a lovely pilgrim’s menu meal of Galician soup, potatoes, chicken, and dessert. We only had two more days until Santiago and that reality was starting to set in. We went to sleep that night doing our best to live in the moment and focus on each step.
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