A beautiful walk between Arcade and Caldas de Reis (Day seven)

July 5, 2023 My travel Journal, The Portuguese Way

The walk between Arcade and Caldas de Reis was beautiful. On the seventh day of our route on the Camino de Santiago, we felt we were already close to our goal, Santiago de Compostela.

A Good Start

We woke up in the pleasant “Hotel Albergue O Mesón” in the small town of Arcade, Spain. Breakfast was included, which was perfect because we didn’t have to go out looking for it. They offered us the house specialty: fresh squeezed orange juice, scrambled eggs, and bread with olive oil and tomato.

The day was bright, without a cloud, but very cold. The first thing we saw when we came out in front of the hotel was the silhouette of a large black bull on a hill, contrasting against the pastel tones of the sunrise. The hostel owner told us his story. The Osborne Bull is one of the tremendous unofficial emblems of Spain. It was designed 65 years ago as a billboard for brandy from Jerez. 200 of them were installed throughout the country, but currently, there are only 92, five in Galicia.

A Bright Dawn

The morning was freezing, and as we moved north, the temperatures decreased. When I started walking, I could see how the first rays of the sun illuminated the frost that shone on the frozen fields. I have always loved this wonder; the little dewdrops freeze instantly, and each leaf is outlined with tiny ice crystals. I photographed them until the sun shone brightly, and they began to melt.

Forests and Fields

This day’s route was spectacular! Within the high, moss-covered stone walls ran a crystal-clear stream that zigzagged between the stones and ferns. The golden light filtered through the trees’ bare branches, creating a magical atmosphere. Each step gave me something new to discover.

After leaving the forest, we crossed several villages surrounded by farms and small hermitages. Everything I saw was like a dream. The already green fields shone in the sun, and the cows grazed to their heart’s content with large bells tied around their necks. I was surprised that some houses had two mailboxes, one for mail and one for bread.

Visit to Pontevedra

We took a break in Pontevedra to explore its beautiful, enchanting historic center. Pontevedra is a lively city, bustling with people strolling its streets and numerous street artists showcasing their talents.

Our bulky backpacks marked us as pilgrims, and we received warm greetings of “Buen Camino” from passersby, along with offers of assistance for our journey. Whenever we paused at a street corner, someone would approach us to inquire about our origins. If it happened to be an elderly person, they would eagerly share their life story in great detail.

After a satisfying meal, we resumed our journey towards Caldas de Reis, guided by the gentle glow of the full moon. Finally, we reached our lodging, ready to rest for the next leg of our adventure.


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