Three days into the the Camino and we’re getting the hang of it… sort of… ish.
Day 2 took us 13 miles from Redondela to the stunning city of Pontevedra, provincial centre and architectural masterpiece. It seems that each time you walk through an alley or down a as cobbled street it opens into a plaza, plaza or Glorieta that takes the breath away.
So different from the solid splendour of Vigo, with its buildings from the 19th and 20th centuries, Pontevedra seems to owe a lot to the 18th Century and earlier.
By the end of the walk we were starting to feel the weight of an extra couple of miles and 12kg rucksacks. The weather forecast was promising rain for anything up to 24 hours, too. Glad of lunch and a rest, but needing to find the hostel and some wet weather gear, we waited out the afternoon deluge before an evening traipsing about shops and sights.
The Slow City Hostel, it transpired, was fully booked (once we’d checked in) but only half occupancy with COVID-19 restrictions in place. So we had a simple bed for the night, only a few other a peregrinos, and got a really warm welcome from the host, Jorge. It’s proving as tough a year for hostels as last, if not worse, but Slow City was a real gem in one of the prettiest parts of town.
Early start after getting to sleep late, we left the hostel a little after 7am. The road ahead was looking challenging but with the threat of rain and nowhere booked to stay we wanted to get ahead.
As it turned out, the promised rain only dropped in for the evening, and just a few drops at that. But the walk to Armenteira included some of the prettiest and most varied terrain yet. Towns and villages, forest trails and beaches, and an unrelenting hour uphill as we approached Armenteira and the monastery we’d been aiming for. 13 miles, 5 hours on the road and the monastery had no room for us.
The route was the Variante Espiritual adding an extra 50 km or so to the overall journey but it’s turning out so worthwhile.
So, it was a valiant attempt but we had to settle for a hotel a short walk from the monastery. I can honestly say the toast fell butter and up, and the Pousada Armenteira proved the most comfortable place yet. And with pool 🩳🏊🏻♂️😎. The sun maybe does shine on the righteous.
The rain didn’t come today the way we expected, so who knows what tomorrow has in store. But at least it’s largely downhill or flat so we can spare a little time for breakfast for once before we leave.