This morning you leave Arcade on the monumental and historic stone bridge of Pontesampaio, the site of the most celebrated battle in Galicia during the Spanish War of Independence. In 1809 at the bridge of Pontesampio, an irregular force of Spanish soldiers and armed locals stopped and defeated the 10,000-strong French army as it marched towards the strategic city of Vigo. Less than a month later, the last French soldier had retreated from Galician soil.
You’ll continue through the Tomeza Valley towards Pontevedra, passing by the humble Chapel of Santa Marta, patron of cooks and hospitality, as in the Bible Martha entertained and cooked for Jesus. The chapel is usually open and has a self-service stamp for your pilgrim credential.
Finally, you arrive to the city of Pontevedra. Once you have checked into your hotel in Pontevedra you can explore the town before dinner. The highlight of the town is the Church of La Peregrina, shaped like a scallop shell seen from above and dedicated to Our Lady and the patron of the Camino Portugués.
The Vigo Estuary
In 1702, the Battle of Rande was fought in the Vigo Estuary, just off the Camino Portugués near Redondela. Here, the Anglo-Dutch inflicted a painful defeat on the Franco-Spanish fleet.
A hundred and seventy years later Jules Verne would use this event to explain how Captain Nemo finances his operations: by pillaging the gold and silver in the sunken wrecks.
There is a wonderful monument to Jules Verne featuring Captain Nemo and two divers just off the Island of San Simón, which is close to the Portuguese Camino.