What a difference a day can make! We arrived in Pontedeume under grey skies and rain, but woke up to find blue skies and sunshine. It was a fitting shift in weather, as we’d be hiking to the beach town of Miño on our third day along the Camino Ingles.
Our day began fairly ordinarily, with a Camino breakfast at Cafe Bar Martino. This little cafe is located right near the main roundabout in Pontedeume, and situated right alongside the Camino Ingles. We took our time consuming ample tortilla, croissants, coffee, and juice, before getting our packs loaded and ready for the miles ahead.
With our first two days of walking clocking in around 10.3 and 8.5 miles, we were looking forward to a sequence of shorter stages in this middle stretch of our pilgrimage. Shorter doesn’t always mean easier though. The path from Pontedeume to Miño looks pretty simple in the guide book at only 6.5 miles, but the first mile of that path packs in a 500ft climb on the journey out of town.
Stage 3 Overview:
Point to Point: Pontedeume to Miño
Distance: 6.5 miles / 10.5 km
Elevation Gain: 1040ft / 317m
Trail Conditions: A mix of paved roads and dirt paths. Almost no walking along busy streets. Part of this trail cuts through a golf course.
Food and Water: Limited on-trail food options, but it is a very short day. We ventured slightly off trail to grab lunch. Water fountains were plentiful.
End of Day Accommodation: Hotel Crisol de las Rias
After a wonderful breakfast along the banks of the Rio Eume, we made our way uphill through the narrow streets of Pontedeume. I’ve always loved the tightly packed stone structures in old towns along the Camino, the markets, shops, and homes coming to life in history with every passing step. The last two years of Covid appear to have hit these small towns hard though, with ‘se vende’ signs posted in more windows than I could count.
As we approached the 1-mile mark of our daily hike, we could look back and see the shimmering Rio Eume in the distance. After a day of rain and grey skies, it was beautiful to see the landscape on a blue-bird day. Owen was powered by a few bottles of zumo de melocoton (peach juice), and had no problem with the steep 500ft climb out of town.
One of the best parts of the Camino experience is how much unbroken time you get to spend with people. On my first pilgrimage, that time was spent with strangers. On my last two, it has been spent with family. Four years ago on the Camino Portuguese, Owen’s vocabulary was limited to a few words. This time around, he was driving all of the conversations.
One of our favorite ways to spend time on the trail was with creative story telling. Each of us would get a chance to start a story with characters, setting, and plot, and then the others would add to it. So much of our stories were influenced by the land we passed through, the things we saw, and the people we met. Owen started slowly at first with 2-3 minutes of story telling, and quickly evolved into 20-30 minute blocks of world building, character development, and plot development.
Although the climb out of Pontedeume is steep, it is also short! After finishing the major uphill climb of the day, we walked through neighborhoods in the small suburb of Cermuzo. On the outskirts of small towns along the Camino, there is always a beautiful mix of new and old. There can be a brand new house on a corner lot, and an untouched centuries old stone building right next door.
From the town of Cermuzo, we continued on past a few more houses before reaching a well graded forest path along a dirt road. The steps were flying by at this point in the day, as the trail headed steadily downhill. On this stretch of trail, we met a local gentleman walking his french bulldog, Gili. Gili instantly took a liking to us and wanted to continue walking our pace. The gentleman even offered Owen Gili’s leash. After sharing these paces with Gili and her human, we continued on towards the crossing of highway DP-4802.
Unlike our experience on the Camino Portuguese, the Camino Ingles spends very little time along busy highways and roads. The few times on the Ingles we did see a busy roadway, we were quickly able to crossover and continue on a trail away from traffic.
After crossing highway DP-4802, the Camino Ingles passes through the grounds for the Miño Golf Club. It looked like a beautiful course, and I was surprised to see the greens so empty. I live close to a golf course at home, and it is packed with golfers seven days a week.
After leaving the golf course behind, we were feeling ready for lunch. Looking at the guidebook and on my app map, there didn’t appear to be any on-trail food options nearby. Luckily, I was able to spot the cafe bar Restaurante el Pinar not too far off trail in the town of A Casilla along N-651. This brought us to around four miles of hiking for the day and was a perfect place to stop for a rest.
When we arrived at Restaurante el Pinar, we ordered some cold Aquarius (like Gatorade), and of course a coffee for me. The kitchen wasn’t open, but they were able to fix us up with a couple bocadillos. You could tell they were unaccustomed to having pilgrim traffic, because it took them quite a bit of time to find the sello (passport stamp). We were just happy they were open!
After lunch, we continued on for another 1.5 miles before reaching the well known Tetería Peregrino. On each Camino I’ve walked, there have been a few stops that stay in my memories forever due to their full embodiment of the pilgrim spirit. Tetería Peregrino is definitely one of these places.
Tetería Peregrino has a beautiful shaded outdoor seating area patrolled by the sweetest little dog you’re ever likely to meet. There is also a clean restroom, and a gift shop that sells Camino related memorabilia. We took a nice long break enjoying the beautiful weather and met a couple walking the Camino with their 2-year old daughter in a stroller. It was really cool to see another kid on the Camino.
Leaving Tetería Peregrino behind, we crossed over Puente medieval de Baxoi at the 6-mile mark for our day. This restored 14th bridge over the Baxoi river sits right alongside a beautiful recreation area. Had we not just stopped for a long break, it would have been the perfect place to enjoy a rest.
After crossing over the bridge of the Baxoi river, the Camino Ingles parallels the N-651 and passes by some phenomenal graffiti art. This stretch of walking was like being in a street art gallery, with every piece of work worthy of a second and third look.
After 7 miles of walking for the day, we arrived in the town of Miño. We weren’t done walking though. For our accommodations, I picked a hotel that was quite a distance from the Camino Ingles, so that we could stay right along the beach. Owen loves playing in the sand and surf, and I wanted to make sure he had an opportunity to do so on this walking vacation. We lucked out at Hotel Crisol de las Rías and got a room with four twin beds and a beautiful view of the sea.
Another great thing about Hotel Crisol de las Rías is that it has a really good onsite restaurant for snacking, dinner, and breakfast. After an early dinner, we made our way down along the beach, and Owen did what he does best…play! Despite the miles we had covered in the previous days, he had absolutely no shortage of energy and blasted around the beach for two hours.