day 26, Portela to Padron, 34 km

27 May 2014

Total distance walked 644.5 km
Average daily distance 24.79 km

We were served a very good dinner by the Portela hospitaleros, including soup, masses of salad, bread and spanish omelette. And there was also wine or beer or soft drinks. There were about 18 of us around the table and it was all very pleasant. We were Germans (the majority), Belgian, Italian, American. Many present had stayed at casa Fernanda and likened the two experiences. The bunk beds were a bit rickety and creaky and there was a lot of snoring going on, but I managed a resonable sleep.

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Last night I committed myself to booking a flight home on Thursday and thought that whilst I have a good internet connection I should complete the check in process this morning. Ryanair, for reasons only known to themselves, have dismissed my account settings and so I had to create a new account in order to check in, which of course took ages longer than it should have. My departure from the albergue was consequently at a leisurely 7:30 am.

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The walking was once again very pleasant through country lanes and farm tracks with a couple of very short spells on the dreaded N550. I reached the stage end of Caldas de Reis shortly after 10 am and 12.5 km and found my first stopping place in a cafe alongside the river and am currently working my way through half a bacon buttie (I shall squirrel away the other half for later). I also stopped to buy a big bag of cherries for later in the day’s journey.

I've seen a few rabbits whilst walking, but this is the first one that hung around long enough for me to get him in focus.

I’ve seen a few rabbits whilst walking, but this is the first one that hung around long enough for me to get him in focus.

There was lots of cloud but it was warm and I was soon stripping off my fleece sleeves and then my jacket. My next stop was on a bench where I worked my way through most of the cherries.

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Whilst sitting there a whole load of young cyclists rode by and I was to meet them several times on the narrow paths through the woods, I heard some Irish accents and at one point, when I stopped to put my jacket back on because of the rain, there was an ambulance collecting one of their party who had come off his bike and broken or dislocated his shoulder.

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I spent twenty minutes or so walking with a couple of Canadians who were really enjoying the scenery and the ancient buildings, just taking short stages and stopping over a couple of nights in pretty towns.

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I stopped again late in the day at a picnic area, and as a guy walked past he told me there was an albergue just around the corner. I thought I would take a look but didn’t really want to stay in the area which is some way outside of Padron and seemed to be situated in a light industrial estate. The place was literally deserted, not even a receptionist, just a note saying to take a bed and he/she would be back. The place was like the Marie Celeste – not a sign of life, but the facilities were pristine and very modern. I decided not to wait around at the Xunta albergue in Pontecesures. Brierly talks of a restaurant for the use of pilgrims nearby, but I didn’t see this.

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After wandering on for a while I stopped at a small bar that was offering a sello (stamp) for my credential and stopped to chat for a while. The guy told me Padron was two km’s further on, but it was a very ‘spanish’ 2 km’s, much more like four!

Going down!

Going down!

I hobbled my way into the town. My feet are still feeling a bit worn out. I put compeed on both my heel blisters last evening but the blister under and between my big toe and the next one on my right foot is difficult to reach and difficult to tape. It feels as though it might be a bit infected, not really surprising considering the number of times I have stabbed it with a needle. I’m not too worried though, just one more shortish day to go, and then they can have a rest.

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I am staying tonight in the Xunta albergue in the town of Padron. Like those in Tui and Redondela it is in a beautifully renovated old stone building. The beds are joined in blocks of four but with wooden slats separating them and they are very sturdy. I was just in time for the last bottom bunk, for which I am very grateful. There are 46 beds with two loos and two showers, for the ladies. There is a dividing wall between the showers and a door between the showers and the loos, but no curtains for privacy. I was a little less bothered this time and as the water was lovely and hot I didn’t rush to get out. Oh, how our standards adjust to what is available!

After a warm morning with some sun, the afternoon and now evening have turned cooler with light rain. I am off now to find a bar for a much needed glass of wine and some equally necessary wifi.

About magwood

Trepidatious Traveller - camino blog is about preparing for and walking the Camino de Santiago. Many future pilgrims have found the blog useful and inspiring, and many who have no plans to walk the camino have simply enjoyed the dialogue http://www.magwood.me
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37 Responses to day 26, Portela to Padron, 34 km

  1. David Wolfe says:

    Your poor feet but only one day left. Have a nice meal and plesant evening. Some more lovely pictures Good luck for tomorrow and enjoy Santiago you deserve it. David xx

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  2. cindy jones says:

    Oh yes your poor feet but so near the end now, so soon they can rest. xx

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  3. DrewFamily says:

    Have a beautiful day tomorrow, and thank you so very much for carrying us along on your Caminho. We hope that Thursday finds you safe at home in David’s arms. xoxox

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    • magwood says:

      Safely home thanks, smothered in kisses from Roly, head-butted to oblivion by Sheba, and on the receiving end of a few hugs from David. All in all, a rather good welcome home!

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  4. Dave says:

    I’ve enjoyed reading about your walk. Thanks.

    From Porto to Santiago, suppose you took a very lightweight tent. Would you say that camping each night was an option along the way? Are you booking accommodation each day or has most of it been pre-booked?

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    • magwood says:

      Sorry Dave, I wouldn’t know what was suitable for camping. Not something I would consider, although it know some do it. I reserved some accommodation on the day that I required it, and some I just turned up and hoped for the best. It is not possible to reserve a bed in a municipal or Xunta albergue. There were quite a few occasions when the accommodation I was staying in became full and people were turned away. I would say that if you are staying in Private accommodation it is best to book the day before or during the morning of your stay.

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  5. Edel O'Brien says:

    Maggie, you are so upbeat. You have had a great epic walk. Nearly there now. Thank you for sharing this Camino with us all.

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  6. Marianne says:

    So, your final day’s walking tomorrow, Maggie. Soon it will be time to give your poor feet some well-earned rest and recuperation. I wondered if you might have another night in Santiago de Compostela because it’s such a lovely city – but on reflection, it’s not your first time there, is it? 🙂

    Once again, fantastic photos. Absolutely delightful 🙂

    Sleep well tonight Maggie ready for your final push in the morning. Very well done! xx

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  7. OzAnnie says:

    Go easy Maggie.,it’s been a great blog.
    Take care of those blisters.
    If u have any insight as to why you developed yours and where they developed, it would be good to know.
    Annie

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    • magwood says:

      Hi Annie. I think the blisters behind my toes were due to the replacement insoles I purchased. They have a ridge of extra padding where the ball of my foot should be, but I have very long toes so it didn’t sit in the correct position. When I replaced the soles with the original ones I got a blist on the side of my heel, below and to the back of my ankle bone. So on balance I thought the blisters behind my toes were less likely to cause problems and put the other soles back in.

      In reality none of the blisters were a real problem and for the first half of the day I wasn’t really aware of them. But as the day’s walk progresses the feet become more tender and everything hurts more, especially on those damned cobbles.

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  8. Johanna Redelinghuys says:

    Wonderful progress. I admire the distances you cover towards the end. We share the love of flowers and plants. I cant wait till evenings to see your day’s harvest of beautiful photos. I will sadly miss your blog. Thank you for giving us so many useful information on the route. When we started planning in December, I thought that the Portuguese way is a rather “off the beaten track”-way. Seems I was totally mistaken. Enjoy your last walk, for now, I hope your feet won’t be too painful.
    Any tips on how to avoid them?

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    • magwood says:

      Thanks Johanna, I really appreciate your feedback. There are not many pilgrims on the walk from Lisbon to Porto, although more than I expected. There were probably 8- 12 a day that we came across during the walk or at the accommodation. But from Porto there are many more and from Tui (the equivalent of Sarria on the French route) many more again.

      Still, on all stages much quieter than the camino Frances.

      I would say to get a really good pair of insoles for your boots with plenty of cushioning, but not with ridges of extra depth as mine had as I think this was the cause of some of my problems, as they weren’t in the correct position for my odd feet (extra long toes!)

      I have to admit that I didn’t pamper my feet at all. I would put some cream on them after my shower, but not in the morning, because if I wanted to apply tape during the day, it wouldn’t stick to greasy skin. Elly spent a lot of time caring for her feet with soaking in oil and various preparations, but she also suffered a few blisters. There is no magic answer unfortunately.

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  9. Michelle Ryan says:

    Thankyou for writing this wonderful blog. I only just discovered this yesterday whilst researching as I’m doing the same trip in late September. Enjoy your final days walk. Xx Michelle.

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    • magwood says:

      Thanks Michelle. I wish you a wonderful camino. If you have any specific questions I can help with, don’t hesitate to ask.
      Bom caminho!

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  10. Kerstin Smith says:

    Hi Maggie,
    You don’t know me, but I feel that I know you very well. I have been following your blog daily and am kind of sorry that your Camino will be finished tomorrow. I’m very happy for your successful Camino, but I will so miss reading your posts, which were fabulous. I’ve wanted to walk a Camino for the past 4 years, but have never gotten the nerve to do so on my own. I feel though that you’ve given me that courage and will plan it for 2015. I even bought a fancy backpack today, and while I was at the shop met a lady of my vintage who is walking the Camino Frances at the end of June! So congratulations on your pilgrimage and have a safe trip home to your loved ones.

    Kerstin Smith,
    Dundas, Ontario, Canada.

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  11. Grania Collard says:

    Sad to have joined your fabulous blog just as you are about to finish !!!

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  12. I’ll be thinking about you tomorrow, walking your final day . All the best.

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  13. Complaining feet are hard to ignore but the end is near. Too bad you can’t put your feet up on the plane. Take off the footwear and wiggle your toes anyway. I’m excited for you and I have only been looking over your shoulder. Lovely country and gorgeous flowers. ~(*_~)~~

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    • magwood says:

      Thanks for all your support Tess, I have really appreciated it. I will soon have time to take a look at your blog and see what you are up to.
      Very best wishes, Maggie

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      • No biggy. I enjoyed all your posts. I’ve been interested but not sure I have what it takes, Lugging the backpack and worry about feet my foremost concerns. Good opportunity to learn a little. 🙂

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  14. Susan says:

    I was in Santiago last October and was very moved by the emotions of the arriving pilgrims. Following your blog has been a similar experience for me and I wish you a joyful end to your journey.

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  15. My goodness! Is it almost over? Say it isn’t so.

    – Clare

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  16. Aurélio (AMSimoes) says:

    Mag
    Another Caminho successfully overcome.
    Give a hug to the Apostolo and remember me. Tomorrow (29th) is my birthday.
    July 17 I hope also give a big hug to the Apostolo after finishing the Primitivo Caminho.
    Good returning home.
    Bom Caminho
    AMSimoes

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    • magwood says:

      I hope you had a very happy birthday yesterday Aurelio. I gave St James a hug for you on the day I arrived in Santiago.

      I hope your camino Primitivo is all you hope for. Thank you for your support and friendship. Say hello to Rita for me.
      Buen camino! Maggie

      Like

  17. Sue says:

    Hola from Oscar’s Bar Maggie,
    Oscar has put a bottle of his best Cava aside for you when get back! Boy have you earned it! On the home straight now… Or probably finished already!
    Talk soon Maggie & so well done.
    Irish Sue x

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  18. Susan Quenneville says:

    Hi Maggie! Congratulations on your beautiful accomplishment!! Just a word of warning about compeed on blisters…if you see that the blister beneath it is getting infected, don’t pull off the compeed. Much skin and tissue will also come off. You might try soaking it or going to a clinic. This happened to me last year 😦

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    • magwood says:

      Ouch, that sounds painful. I used a couple on blisters deep under the skin because there was no other way to release them. They came off in the shower today and all is well underneath. They are a last resort as far as I am concerned.

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  19. S.Ribeiro says:

    Greetings from albergue Portela.

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