The anchor point of our trip to Spain was a one-week walk I had booked ahead. Accommodation was all sorted and someone would take our bags ahead from one day to the next so we could just carry a day pack. We needed to walk about 15 to 20 Km per day.
The walk took us from Tui, on the border with Portugal, back to Santiago de Compostela, and the route was part of the famous Camino de Santiago pilgrimage.
On this first day we walked from Tui to Redondela. Once we arrived there, around 4.30, tired and damp from the persistent drizzle, we caught a taxi for €8 to our Hotel Anotolín in Cesantes.
I relive last year’s fantastic holiday by bringing posts over from the trip blog. This doesn’t aim to be identical to the trip blog, but an improvement, with text edits and more / better photos. Find all these posts under the tag: Spain2015.
10 September 2015: It was still dark when the taxi picked us up in Santiago de Compostela. As we drove south for almost 2 hours I was thinking how foolish it is to get in a car and drive 100 Km away then walk back over several days to a city you don’t particularly like.
The driver dropped us off in Tui on the border with Portugal and pointed us in the right direction. Although we had a booklet with detailed instructions, it was easy to find our way by following the numerous yellow arrows, shells and other markers.
At one point when Deb and I were discussing a particular route option a local appeared and pointed out the official and clearly marked route. A
Hola from us along the way generally netted us a
Bom Dias and
Bom Camiño in response.
Such walks are often seen as the source of great insight as people find themselves, search their souls and so on. After the first day of 5 walking 20 Km per day I have already had a realisation: I came to Spain for a holiday, to do ‘different’ things and to have fun. I don’t need to actually walk every day of this walking trip.
While I’m thrilled that over the course of about 7 hours I completed today’s 21 Km walk, my feet are sore and I’m pretty sure that tomorrow I’ll be achey. This isn’t a pilgrimage for me. It doesn’t have spiritual meaning. I signed up for
a nice walk in the country .
My journal for the day tells me:
This is an opportunity to relax and see some sights. If we feel like walking again another day then we can go ahead and do that.
I was warm enough but ended up feeling damp with the rain, and slightly too cool by the time we reached the end of the walk and the end of the day.
Our hotel here is right beside the water. We’re thinking that tomorrow we’ll take our bags down to be dropped at the next destination, then have a leisurely morning followed by catching the train to Pontevedra which apparently is a lovely place.
The tour company has organised pleasant hotels. They arranged for our bags to be taken to the next day’s hotel for us. They are available by phone if we have problems. While the idea of the trip is to walk every day for 5 days there’s actually no good reason why we have to do that. When we walk all day we don’t have time to see the place we stay the night, although we do see a lot of countryside.
Anyway, we’re taking tomorrow off and will go by bus or train or something to our next stop, Pontevedra, which by all accounts is an interesting place worthy of some time. Maybe the next days we’ll walk again, but we’ll see how we feel.
I’m glad to have had my ‘deep and meaningful’ realisation so early in the piece.
Below are a few more photos from along the way.