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Day 4 of Camino Portugués Central: Pontevedra – Caldas de Reis (23 km)

Pontevedra - Caldas de Reis

Distance: 23 km / 14.2 mi

The route

Another day, another bout of rain. We donned our raincoats and continued our hike.

Just north of Pontevedra, the Camino reaches a junction for the Variante Espiritual, a popular alternate route on the Portuguese Camino. This coastal route, often called La Traslatio (or Translatio), includes a boat ride and follows the final journey of Saint James’s remains from Jerusalem to the Iberian Peninsula.

However, since we had everything pre-planned and pre-booked, we continued towards Caldas de Reis.

When we reached the town of Alba, we saw the Church of Saint María de Alba. We peeked inside, and after a brief visit, we noticed many pilgrims heading to the albergue next door. We followed suit to get a stamp for our booklets. Inside, we found free water and snacks for pilgrims, and a priest was giving blessings. My mom and I joined a circle, and while she received a brief blessing and speech, the priest stopped by my side and started talking—significantly longer than my mom’s.

As I mentioned before, I was walking the Camino for my mom, trying to help her realize her dreams. Strangely enough, the priest began talking about how he saw my effort in making those around me happy and how I was giving my all to support them. It was a surprising and uplifting experience—how did he know? It was weird but also quite heartening. It felt nice to have my efforts acknowledged – even by a random priest I met on the road<3

Alba
Alba

After a short break, we continued walking, and surprise, surprise—it stopped raining. For the rest of the walk, we found ourselves oscillating between two massive, ominous clouds that seemed to be screaming, “Run!” I was relieved they never caught up with us.

Pontevedra - Caldas de Reis
Pontevedra - Caldas de Reis
Pontevedra - Caldas de Reis
Pontevedra - Caldas de Reis
Pontevedra - Caldas de Reis
Pontevedra - Caldas de Reis
Pontevedra - Caldas de Reis

Caldas de Reis

Caldas de Reis is famous for its thermal waters, which are known for their healing properties. There’s a public fountain with two spouts, built by the town council in 1881, where the water temperature is around 50 degrees Celsius. You can’t imagine how happy my feet were when I dipped them in the warm water for a moment! I was reluctant to get up and keep walking.

We also saw thermal springs on the bank of the Ulla River, where many pilgrims were soaking their feet, but we decided to pass by. Later, I discovered that you can also visit a local spa or stay in a hotel with a private hot spring!

The rest of the city wasn’t the most exciting, but I enjoyed the murals scattered around town, illuminated by the setting sun, and my mom enjoyed visiting a local church.

After a short walk around the town, we headed back to our hotel for the night.

Caldas de Reis
Caldas de Reis
Caldas de Reis

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