Day 6 : Hot Foot to Caldas da Reis

You can see that one of the main influences that is changing our daily routine is the amazing weather – with that comes some unseasonably high temperatures.

We’re talking 10 degrees above average on some days .

At 1.00 pm today ……it was 33 and it ended at 36 degrees by 4.00pm

It’ll be this way for 2 more days – so we plan our days around this ….. 😅

Starting with Breakfast on the trail at 7.00am in a bar with a handy full size Grizzly! – ….. bizarre .

The way takes us through vine shade paths , past simple ancient crosses.

And due to a good pace , by mid morning we were on second breakfast at the Soooo welcome O’Cuthberto Bar / Café.

Here’s what happens when you’re told you’re only 45 mins from your destination , and it’s only 10.30am ! 🤣😆🤣👌

Joy , Happiness and Duck impressions using Pringle crisps 🤣 – Try it !

And something i wouldn’t normally notice but ‘Bel’ & Jess’ thought was remarkable – A horse sheltering a sheep from the heat – inseparable- as the long mares tail waved the flies away .

And onward – Steps lighter knowing we are almost there .

And before you know it – an unknown mid market conference hotel – chosen only for that rare Camiño addition for this trip ……?

A Piscina !! …… one of only two in town – we were all right in there – bloomin’ Marvellous in this climate 😁

I had spoken so enthusiastically about the special treatment Pilgrims receive that we had booked for dinner the Santiago trail version of Menu del Dia.

I’ve got to say that the simple walkers carb and protein loaded 3 courses inc Wine & Coffee was the best served Menu Pelegríño I’ve had . At €9 Euros – we actually felt guilty 😉

Note the wine bottle with no label 😅👍

Card games on the bar after. ( plus the world “connect 4 ” trials ) and we’re done fir the night .

I’m sure Caldas de Reis – has some nice parts . After days like this – with babies in tow – Did we see any ? – NO .

Can’t say I missed it really 💕💕💕


Day 5 : The Way to Pontevedra 🏰

We leave “The Goat ” just after Sun Up and head through Arcade which is again a place you could spend a few Hours getting to know – but it’s getting hotter each day and we find the girls are getting uncomfortable by 1.00pm so plan to walk Sun Up to Lunch each day with plenty of stops , hotels with pools and still cover our planned Camiño route .

Arcade ( Arr-Car-Da ) . We’re here by 8.00am ; Entirely downhill From Alto Blanca – There is – however a downside to this upside ( or is it the other way round 😆) Meanwhile its a fine small medieval town …..

With a dozen bars open for Desayunó . Cool by the river at this time .

And sure enough the downside is evident as we head up and up through the villages leaving the river valley . Ciara & Jess here.

Things have to get pretty tough to call in the “Pole-Train” . The ultimate in motivational 6 wheel drive . 🎶 Singing Yellow Submarine 🎶 helps too 👍😉

Terrain soon flattens out as shade returns and a chance for a break in tbe woods.

And we finally reach Pontevedre . Early enough for a long lunch and the Junior Hiker Award 🥇/ Motivation Carrot is soon revealed . ………..

The girls have tried so far this trip (In order – starting with the Simplest )

Alberque ✅

Hostal ✅

Hotel ✅

What’s left ? ……..

Parador ✅

Tbe Barons House in Pontevedre . As far as their Camiño – a mid point , high point

A lush base to explore another characterful town .Designed over centuries to beat the heat – Cool squares, Fountains, Shady Bars and Places of quiet contemplation.

Sleep 💤 never an issue when the last thing you see from your window is this . 💕🙏


Days 3 & 4 – 🥾 Tui ~ Porriño ~ Redondela ⛱

As promised – to give the girls some recovery time ; the day started 8:30 am – in an Artisan Tui backstreet café – Coffee , Juice , croissants, pasties all bakery fresh , bread and croissants, Serrano ham and strong curado cheese .

A short Hop from town – we arrive at a decision point – the guidebooks and blogs make a lot of this being difficult. It really is simple – either keep right on the original Camino through heavily industrialised outskirts or take the new recommended rural left route . Local bars and Hostels on the original route fought this – blacking out new yellow arrows , trying to redirect Pilgrims with their own arrows and signs !!! . From what we saw they shouldn’t have worried – 70% of the pelegrinös we saw still took the original (slightly shorter) route .

The new route is a little longer but cool and green as it follows riverside and woodland paths .

Past miles remarkable granite fencing – Granite houses , Granite everything Porriño is famous for mining it – it’s cheaper than wood here .

Lunch today is carried by Ciara for a riverside picnic later.

Takes us into industrial Porriño, small square , fairground , little architecture, to mention , super welcome from everyone in this dusty Granite based hard working town trying to establish tourism here – with a railway running through it. Engines dragging 10.000 ton Multi Car wagons . Reminds me of a rust belt American heartlands .

And after diner at a corner Caff’ – lovely people . Prices a fraction of fashionable Tui – an early Alberque night – Girls actually enjoyed the bunked ,curtained off sleeping pods – all part of the adventure.

The following day ……… as we leave – feeling this has been an memorable authentic experience – NOT – Everything can be chocolate box pretty – I hear 2 couples saying that on an organised tour when they walk Tui to Porriño they then get 🚌 bussed back to Tui for a second night as nothing suits the tour companies here ! They THEN get 🚌 bussed back to Porriño AGAIN ! to restart their walk – bless.😉


Let’s head to Redondela – the Tweenager Bonus today is that allegedly it has a beach 🏖 ! – let’s sea if it’s true 😆🙏 .

A climb up to the lovely village of Mos-

Great little bars and craft shops ……

Where we meet up Cris &Charlotte from California. Part of our “wave” – that’s people we keep meeting up with , regardless of how fast or slow we all go.

Top of the hill and first sight of the coast .

And into Redondela – we are staying 5k the other side in an Alto Quinta – in what looks to be a Characterful place – but first the search for the beach 🏖!

It’s not easy to find – they don’t appear to feel it’s a tourist attraction and it takes us another 40 minutes to find this deserted picnic spot – but well worth it just to be here for an hour or two.

A memorable picnic and escape from the Midday sun –

But by now we have walked 23k including an extra 4K to find the beach and are way off the Camino . It’s too much to leave this lovely place to climb another steep 2 hours to our hill top farm for the night . Sooo – ………. TAXI 🚕 !!!

And smiling with relief we are whisked to the top of Alto Blanca . The Casa Rural named As Chivas ( the Horned Goat ) is stunning –

Vine shaded and cool – we 4 have a super separate farm building . It’s pretty big – often used for weddings and the Kitchen has a good reputation.

Over the course of the next few hours we tested their Complimentary Tapas , Cold Beers , Childrens Cocktails , G&T’s , Wild coloured burgers , Padrón Peppers, Fresh Fish and laid back hospitality. Thanks to our host Ursula x

It’s been a long day . We crashed asleep 💤 before 10.00pm surrounded by soft rural silence


Day 2 – Rubiães 🇵🇹 to Tui 🇪🇸

We’re excited to see what the day holds – a forecasted 29 degrees means we’re out before 7.00am . The modern Café & Patisserie oddly alone in countryside opposite the Alberqué in Paredés da Coura offers Up first breakfast.

And a “Camino Moment” occurs – 7.30 am – far too early for this – BUT – I’m intrigued to find from the milestones that I’m sharing my way with several other routes most thrillingly- the “Via Romana” – Santiago has a mere AD 800 birthdate – this is the full 2000 years old . Bridges and cobbled roadways set with 1/2 ton stones worn by a million feet and iron shod carts.

The early – pre 11.00am steps are fine ……

…… after this soaring temperatures mean we all seek frequent shady recovery moments. 🙏

Passing humorous Alberques who share the distances to our goals as well as the origins of their guests .

Before we enter Valenća and cross the bridge into Tui and Spain 🇪🇸!! . Never tired of the “half in – half out” game 🤣

I recall the first time I crossed a border – amazed at an ACTUAL difference a simple line could make. In this case it’s not simply cultural – its also Climate , Soil , Vegetation: ~ { Lush to Dry } – …….. this being Galicia it won’t be dry for long .

It’s been way too long a day – harder even than the first days ascent. The final 30 mins is desperate, hot , silent , trudge .

We’re staying in the old town of this medieval city . Highest Street , Top Building , Top Floor , …. it’s a killing last few metres .

BUT ……. I’m astonished at how a couple of hours rest and some crisp , cold Albariño wine wipes that memory away

A good dinner …with some great company – Ciaras’ Australian possé – Jean and Geraldine -.

and some far reaching views from the restaurant terrace ……

………… ends the day on the roof of our Pension – right next to the Cathedral with Jess and I – A 💕 lovely moment

To make it fair on ‘Bel & Jess – I’ve already changed tomorrow’s plans – late breakfast , half the distance , picnic lunch and a cool river walk. – got to keep Morale high !



Day 1 – Ponte de Lima to Rubiães

The hidden story behind today is the ascent of the Alto de Portela Grande . I must admit to being worried about what I am about to take my youngest children through.

Team Harrison 💕 6.45 AM

It’s a hot, long , 20 K gradual ascent , 30,000 steps introduction to the Camino – with warnings that after the first 4K there are no places to stop – so stock up with water and provisions before you leave.

The legendary café Nunês an hour out of town – is a good place for second breakfast before the incline really kicks in.

Because of this baptism of fire I have a small surprise waiting for them with this nights accommodation 😀👍

Before that – we pass Frenchmans cross about three hours later also known as the “the Cruz de Muerte” 💀- probably best to move on !!

The alto steepens and the path is rubble and crumbling inclines. Everyone is holding up really well – it’s an interesting walk and the girls seem to skip all the way through it until we reach …………. an astonishing view . The opening of the Portela grande – the view across the rest of Portugués Camino

Our first Beer at Lunch stop 40 mins later -very welcome 👌🍺🙏🎶

Our Quinta for the night is a welcome sight – Lovely low bungalow that you share with other guests – A slightly posher version of the usual Camino hostel at €20 per head!But a just reward for a tremendous effort by the little ones .

it has the surprise in the garden

Our fellow guests Mariaka & Jacob from Holland and retired Joseph from Arizona (Worked as technical director with the great Robin Williams including on Mrs Doubtfire) – are great company and the communal meal in the evening is just fabulous – Menu Pellegrino –at a simple packed local restaurant at the usual €10 per head for three courses including wine! – It’s good to be back!

Last few minutes of day one from our Alburgé


“Bom Caminho”

Spelt that way it can only mean one thing – we are back on the original way – this time the Camino Portuguese .

This small town on the wise River Lima is a little jewel. Beautiful well preserved buildings – riverside vineyards and parks. It’s a great place to start your Camino if you only have 10 days over school half term.

First taste the night before as we walk through the narrow streets of Portuguese specialities the Alborhiño green wine and Bacalhaö dishes.

We stay at the Arc-Otel opposite the Municipal Alberque. I have not subjected the girls to their first Hostel – yet !! Especially as the first day is so difficult and warns about it in all the guidebooks

A good nights sleep 💤 needed to tackle tomorrow.