May 13 Caldas de Reis

We get to stay in a private albergue connected to a hotel tonight, which will be fantastic because we get to stay in smaller groups and have hot water for our showers. Interacting with other pilgrims can be fun but is very hard to sleep listening to several people snoring at once. The weather has held up so far and despite the typically rainy climate in Galicia it was still nice and sunny out today. We got to walk some nature trails today, which made the walk go by a lot faster for me. The trails through the woods are easier on sore feet and there is beautiful scenery. I also noticed a lot of people who live along the path of the Camino have decorated their houses with encouraging signs—seashells, images of Santiago, and even short messages to the pilgrims. The Camino is difficult but getting a little bit of encouragement always motivates me to keep going.

We have an assortment of aches and pains, blisters, and injuries, some more serious than others, but everyone has been pushing through. The soles of my feet hurt today but I have had no serious injuries yet, although today I got an allergic reaction from a plant that I rubbed up against. I was worried at first because nothing like that had really happened to me before but fortunately Marguerite was able to tell that it wasn’t too serious and I made a full recovery after a few hours.

This sign was one of the highlights of the day’s walk.
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We saw some houses decorated to encourage pilgrims (and reassure us that we were headed in the right direction).
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Marguerite walking along the Camino. We were in the woods or the countryside for a good portion of the trail today.
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-Felicity

Hello everyone! Today was a great day and a great walk from Pontevedra to Caldas de Reis! It was nice and sunny, warm enough, and even though we are all tired we all pushed through and made it! The hike today was around 16 or 17 kilometers, but like many others it seemed like much longer. Leaving the hotel this morning was difficult to do with our own bathrooms and hot showers, I was excited to see what the next city would bring. The scenery on today’s hike was unbelievable. Even with the wind mills on the mountains (which are very calming and tranquil), the small towns that we crossed through to get here were all beautiful, and there were plenty of small cafés to stop at and grab a quick coca cola or coffee to go. When we got to the city, it was kind of difficult to find the hostel because it is new, but once we found it I was pleasantly surprised that it was a half hotel, half hostel with a café in the bottom with great tapas, great people, and a supermarket across the street. There were many other groups hiking with us that were staying in the same hostel, and good conversations were started with all along the way, all of them ending with my favorite phrase, “Buen Camino!” After we had a quick bite to eat, napped, and got settled in, there was a spectacular traditional Galician music concert in our hostel in which all groups hiking joined together to see. What an extravagant experience! We all sang, danced, and enjoyed each other’s company as well as listening to a new form of music! It definitely helped all of us forget about being hot, tired, and sore for a while. Tomorrow, it is off to Padrón for more exciting new adventures, experiences, and friends!

-Quint

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