Crossing Galicia to the North on the Portuguese Way (Sixth Day)
The Camino de Santiago is not a unique route as most people imagine it. I included myself in this group. When I started planning my trip, I discovered that there are 49 roads in Spain, with almost 16,000 km, some shorter, depending on where you start walking, and others longer, like the French Way, which is 800 kilometers long. There are nine different routes in Portugal, with more than 2,900 km. It is a network that interconnects some old roads with highways, secondary roads, and even streets within cities.
Some sections are more than two thousand years old and were built by the Romans, with high stone walls and paved with cut stone paving stones. All these interconnected routes have in common their final destination, the city of Santiago de Compostela. Since we left the city of Porto in Portugal, we took the central Portuguese road, but today we turned west to continue along the coastal route.
The Coastal Route
Early in the morning, we entered the city of Vigo. It is a fishing and industrial town with ample avenues, gardens, monuments, and sculptures. Vigo is a vibrant coastal city located in the Galicia region of Spain. Situated on the western coast, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, Vigo is known for its stunning natural beauty, bustling port, and rich maritime heritage.
With a population of over 295,000, Vigo is the largest city in Galicia and an important industrial and economic center. Its port is one of the busiest in Europe and handles significant international trade and fishing activity.
We cross a large part of the city between its streets and highways. That section was different from my liking, as any city had a lot of heavy traffic, noise, and smoke. I started to enjoy the road once we left the industrial zone, and we could see the sea, the fishing boats, and the bridges that cross the Verdugo River. When we arrived in Rondadela, we had some delicious tapas with house sangria for lunch. From there, we walked up and down hills, with very steep and challenging slopes, especially from carrying our heavy backpacks. I did it patiently, walking at my own pace and enjoying the scenery because I am 65. The kids were also tired, and they took their breaks.
We arrived at Arcade in the late afternoon when the sun was already going down. Before entering the town, we crossed another fantastic medieval bridge reflected in the golden light of sunset. We looked for a hostel and went straight to sleep.