On the St. James Way Part 3: The last leg (figuratively)

So, finally this long long-winded story comes to an end in this post! We managed to make our way over the border into Spain, with a bridge over the Mino river giving us a very literal crossing into the new country. Here’s a photo of me smiling maniacally at the exact border point.

border tui valenca

bridge crossing into spain from portugal

You are greeted by a shabby sign and small customs office. In Spain, the Camino truly started to become a “thing”, much more than in Portugal. There was graffiti art on the walls, or statues, or paintings etc. etc. depicting the traditional image of the pilgrim: an old man with long beard, staff and shell necklace.

spanish customs office

Now, I am skipping quite a few towns we passed, O’Porrino, Mos, Redondela, Portela, Briallos, because I didn’t take many pictures there so I’ve just forgotten how exactly we got to each place and in which order. Writing this blog, I’ve realised I definitely need to start writing a travel journal!!

Caldas de Reis

The next photo is of Caldas de Reis, a spa town with natural hot springs. The little fountain in this pic looks unimpressive, but the water was scalding hot. We couldn’t handle putting our feet in for more than a second. Every so often people would come by to fill water bottles or drink from the spring. The water is especially helpful if suffering from respiratory, rheumatic or skin conditions (as I just googled).

caldas de reis hot springs

Okay, I really feel like I’m skipping so much in the Spanish section of this post, because the bottom photo is already Santiago! We again had to take the bus from Caldas, straight to Padron. In Padron, you need to try the famous Padron peppers. They are shaped like chillies, but taste like normal peppers – except every tenth one is really spicy. So eating them (preferably fried and salted) is like a culinary Russian Roulette! So much fun.

Arrival in Santiago (yay!)

We arrived in Santiago fairly early, and immediately made our way to the biggest albergue. It’s important to get a bed early in the day, because they fill up fast!

santiago albergue

Coolest hostel ever, an old monastery with a beautiful courtyard and park surrounding it.

hostel room santiago

I think I’ve lost it. Santiago is a great city, as you can see below!

cathedral square santiago   

The main square in Santiago can be seen in this photo, this building faces the cathedral. You can make your way behind it to get your Camino certificate for two euros, or more and more expensively depending on how nice you want it to be. I got my certificate, because I thought it would be kind of cool to have, but it wasn’t really… and now I think I’ve lost it.

church santiago     

courtyard santiago

roads santiago  view on rooftops santiago  

bandaged feet after pilgrimage

Our poor bandaged feet!

landrover hiking sandals

I have NO idea what possessed me to do the whole Camino with these childrens sandals, but I did and besides being frick-ugly they were pretty practical and my feet didn’t get hot.

wine and apero

Enjoying some wine and apero by the square´in a hotel I could never afford

last photo santiago

The last photo I took of us in front of the hostel

 

Thank you for reading! Part 1 and Part 2

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