Based in Spain since 2006

Arzúa to Arca

Melide to Arzúa

Day 9

Accommodations: Arca (B, L, D)

Walking: 22 km / 14 mi

We start on our journey this morning, leaving Arzúa to Arca. On our route is the small town of Calle, a picturesque village that gracefully combines traditional Galician architecture with newer homes, where the Fresco Tours support vehicle will be available for any of our needs that may arise. Farther down the road we enter the hamlet of Santa Irene, sheltered amongst trees and winding paths.

The Camino near O Pedrouzo.
The Camino near O Pedrouzo.

The town is named after Saint Irene of Tancor, a Portuguese woman who lived in the early medieval period. At an early age she decided to become a nun, though this did not sit well with her tutor, the evil monk Remigius. Remigius gave her a potion that made her belly swell and appear pregnant. This enraged her suitor Britald, who hired an assassin to promptly kill her and throw her body into the Tagus. Her uncle, who had received a revelation about what had really happened, found her uncorrupted body in the river and took it to the local town of Santarem, where it would be venerated. The town houses a small 18th-century chapel and a fountain with supposedly curative waters for crying babies and monthly female pains in honor of Saint Irene. It may cure our thirst too! 

Santa Irene near Pedrouzo
Santa Irene

We continue our journey along green, winding roads to our last stop before Santiago, the small town of O Pedrouzo. Countless pilgrims have stayed in this town and the surrounding area before walking the final kilometers into Santiago de Compostela. And we get to do the same. We rest, collect our things, and sit down for a slightly longer evening meeting as our guides explain our favorite things to do and places to visit (and shop!) in Santiago. The excitement builds as we enjoy a delicious meal and prepare for the final day of walking tomorrow! 

A classic Fresco Tours picnic cheese platter prepared with Arzúa cheese.
A classic Fresco Tours cheese platter
Elevation Profile for the Arzúa to Arca stage on the Camino de Santiago
Elevation Profile for the Arzúa to Arca stage on the Camino de Santiago

Arca to Santiago