On the Way to Portugal

Day 2: Lost my way twice today on the Way Day Padron to Caldas de Reis 18K (+10)

Unlike yesterday, another universe away, today was challenging and difficult mostly because of missing the arrow twice, going way to far before realizing I was wrong, and having to backtrack adding an extra 10K to my walk. Also the challenge of finding the arrows took a lot of mental energy and so I spent my time looking and stressing to see if I’d missed the Way rather than enjoying my thoughts or the scenery. 

The day was clear skies and warm, a bit muggy and promised to be a beautiful day. I had a wonderful breakfast at the hotel and then enjoyed the early morning in Padron, one of the places that St James had preached when he was alive and where his remains were returned to after his death. 

I followed the path and did well with the arrows and the guide book until I missed one turn and then made the mistake of starting to follow a red arrow thinking the blue arrow may have changed color. This took me into some other reality where two people told me I was going the right way and I spent two hours getting back to where started. Interestingly there were signs trying to point me in another direction, a horse twice tried to stop me while his rider berated him for not obeying, but I wasn’t paying attention. Then an hour later I did the same thing by making an assumption that caused another half hour or more detour and both detours had long hills that were needlessly climbed. By mid afternoon I felt like I had to be vigilant all the time or I’d get lost. It wasn’t fun and this was supposed to be fun. So decided to trust that I’d learn to see the arrows and still be able to enjoy the walk. 

I stopped for lunch and ate my sandwich I’d made from extra food I’d had from breakfast. I was beat from walking and found it?s harder to pace myself without Lilly to compliment me. We liked to stop at the same time and our rhythm gave me comfort and stamina. I also missed the conversation and laughter. I like my own company too and hope once I get situated with the path I’ll enjoy myself again. 

I arrived in Caldas de Reis around 3:30 so had walked a good 7 hours. There were a number of other pilgrims going to Santiago in the opposite direction and some would smile and some would ask if I was going the wrong way and some would know I was heading to Portugal. The pilgrim traffic is much less than the Spanish Camino which is nice. I’d also say that the age range is maybe older than that Camino. 

The Albergue turned out to be a hotel and I had a decent room for 25 Euro. After washing clothes and bathing I took a nap before going out to explore the town. It was famous for its hot springs hence the name of the town the King’s Hot Baths. It sits on a river, as do many of the towns in Galacia, and I found a cafe by the water to have a beer. The weather had been warm all day and it was pleasant sitting outside. 

Later I had dinner in the hotel and the food was fine. It was busy with a party downstairs and I enjoyed watching the Spanish come alive. By 11:00 I was in bed and soon asleep.


An abandoned mini chapel. Caldas de Reis. 


Blue arrow. The place St James’ body was first brought to on way back to Santiago. Icecream sundaes for Lilly. 


Field of scarecrows. Mountain Wine. Happy Flowers. 


Way in Padron. Font in Padron showing St James baptizing a child. 


Padron Porta de Santiago. City streets. 


Padron Porta de Santiago. Typically path in this part of Galacia raised grape vines on either side. Willy Goats’ Gruff. 

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