Sunlight streamed through the windows of my hotel room and nudged me awake.
We had stayed up a bit later than I had intended the previous night. And we drank a lot of wine.
By this point, I had been walking every day for a week. I was ready for a day off.
In fact, I had every intention of taking a rest day in Valença – until I looked at the weather report.
Rain was in the forecast for later in the week. A lot of it.
So, I decided to keep walking while the sun held.
A Morning Ramble along Valença’s Stone Walls
After breakfast, I headed to the city’s eastern walls. I hadn’t gotten an opportunity to explore this part of the Valença yesterday and I was keen to look around.
I climbed the stairs to the top of the walls and was treated to great views all around.
Crossing the Ponte Rodo-Ferroviária de Valença Bridge
Next I headed to the Ponte Rodo-Ferroviária de Valença Bridge. I’ve crossed a lot of bridges on the Camino so far, but this one is special.
The Minho River marks the border between Portugal and Spain. I was not only crossing to a new country, I was crossing to a new time zone too.
I knew it would be much easier for me to communicate once I arrived in Spain. I studied Spanish in high school and can at least communicate the basics.
Portuguese has been more of a challenge (thank goodness for Google Translate!).
Welcome to Tui
After walking for another 2 kilometers, I arrived in the heart of Tui’s Old Town. Tui is a charming Spanish city with a beautiful cathedral situated on a hill.
Many pilgrims choose to start the Camino here because it is just over a hundred kilometers from Santiago. 100 km is the minimum distance that pilgrims on foot are required to travel in order to be eligible for the Credencial.
When I arrived at the Tui Cathedral, I found a large square that was empty except for a few pilgrims. Many looked as if they were just starting their journeys.
I hadn’t eaten any breakfast yet, so I grabbed a table in the square and ordered some toast.
While I was nibbling, David wandered up. David is a pilgrim from New Mexico that I’ve run into several times over the past few days.
It was nice to see him again and catch up. We ended up walking the next section of the Camino together north of Tui.
The Tui Cathedral
Before eating breakfast, I popped inside the cathedral for a stamp.
Once inside, I discovered that visitors are allowed to tour the premesis for €3. I couldn’t resist and soon I was wandering around the Cathedral along with the cloister and the roof.
The Church and the Cloister
As I walked north from Tui, I noticed a few changes due to being in a new country.
The first was the Camino markers. The stone trail signs in Galicia are quite distinctive – and they also include the distance remaining until Santiago.
I also noticed little raised buildings everywhere. David explained that these are called hórreos and were initially built to store grain.
Now that most people don’t store their own grain, they are used for all kinds of things – such as bike storeage or a children’s play areas.
Ponte das Febres Camino Bar
By mid-afternoon, I was ready for lunch. We stopped at the Ponte das Febres bar for a quick bite to eat.
Shortly after this point, the Camino diverges into two paths.
The original path follows the main road into O Porriño. I’ve heard from other pilgrims that it travels through industrial areas and isn’t very interesting.
The alternate path follows along the river in more scenic areas and is slightly longer.
David planned to take the original path since it was closer to his hotel. So, we bid each other goodbye and went our separate ways.
Walking along the River to O Porriño
In this section, the Camino follows the old Roman Road. The trail passes near a scenic river through the woods and over some ancient stone bridges.
When I reached the trail junction, I took the left path along the alternate route. It was a really pretty walk and I wasn’t disappointed.
Welcome to O Porriño
Once I rejoined the main path, I found myself in an industrial area. Eventually I made my way to the center of town but I wasn’t very impressed.
While there is a pedestrian zone in the center of town with some older buildings, it is relatively small. My lodging was located outside the zone in an area that seemed a bit dodgy.
I shared a room with Natalia who joined me later in the evening. We agreed the room was perfectly adequate, but it wasn’t very inspiring.
So, not my favorite place on the Camino. But I guess they all can’t be.
Portuguese Camino Stats
Date: Wednesday, October 13
Starting Location: Residencial Portas do Sol in Valença, Portugal
Ending Location: Pension Cando in O Porriño, Spain
Camino Distance Walked: 12.1 miles/ 19.5 km
Distance to Santiago: 61.5 miles/ 99 km
AllTrails Map Recording
Click here to view my map recording for today:
Note: the distance in this recording doesn’t match my Camino distance because it includes some off-route walking.
Stamps Collected Today
- Previous journal entry: Portuguese Camino Day 8: The Halfway Point
- Next journal entry: Portuguese Camino Day 10: Homemade Vino de la Casa
For more information about my pilgrimage along the Camino Portugués, visit my Portuguese Camino web page.