Portuguese Coastal Route, Camino de Santiago.

On Day 10 of our Portuguese Coastal Route, my aunt and I hiked from Pontrevedre to Caldas de Reis (about 14 miles).

Pontrevedre is definitely a town I’d love to spend more time exploring. However, we needed to get moving today…two more days until we arrive in Santiago de Compostela.

Once pilgrims depart the town, they have to make a choice: a more direct route to the destination, or the “Spiritual Way” (which involves a coastal route, and then a boat ride). We opted for the direct option.

After yesterday’s climbs and descents, today’s relatively easy walk through woods, towns, and vineyards came as a welcome surprise. The route was so well marked that I used electronic navigation just to track our speed.

An Ancient Roman Road

Today’s route took us along Roman Route XIX, built some 2000 years ago. We have hiked through so my eucalyptus forests by this point, and each and every time it is a treat.

The Spanish do an excellent job of re-directing pilgrims OFF busy roads. More often than not, the route they created had us weaving between vineyards, and peering into vegetable and animal farms.

Casa de La Misericordia

One of the most uplifting sights I’ve seen this trip was a visit to the Casa de La Misericordia “House of Mercy”, a mile or so past Pontevedra. The ancient stone building is adjacent to a 16th century church, and is the most welcoming rest stop.

It offers a clean toilet, shower, microwave, coffee, washing machine, and rest lounge. I was impressed that – with no one there – they were trusting in our honor not to run off with supplies or donations.

What wonderful generosity of spirit!

Plenty of Pilgrims Today

Today marked the greatest concentration of pilgrims my aunt and I have yet seen on the Portuguese Coastal Route. That makes perfect sense. The closer you get to Santiago de Compostela, the greater the likelihood of coming across one.

Based on its strategic location on the route, one cafe/bar has to be basing its entire business model off of pilgrims. After stopping for cups of cafe con leche, we noticed to our amusement that we could recognize half the faces there. In terms of nationalities, the bulk of pilgrims hail from the U.S., Germany, and Republic of Korea.

There’s money to be had in keeping shops open! Almost everyone craves a jolt of caffeine when they are carrying weight and walking double-digit miles.

Portuguese Coastal Route

Whoever your journey takes you, Buon Camino!

Portuguese Coastal Route, Camino de Santiago.

By Katie Cerezo

Thank you so much for visiting. 😊 I have always loved traveling, and my legs are my primary means of transportation. It's a beautiful world, and I'm eager to explore it…one step at a time.

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