The morning sun and a delicious breakfast prepare us for the day of walking ahead of us. We depart from O Porriño, an important crossroads in Galicia. The town lays roughly in the place where the road from the busy port city of Vigo on the coast heading east towards Castile intersects with the major trade route between Santiago de Compostela and Portugal in the south.
We we will be entering and walking through the wine-producing region of the Rías Baixas. This region extends throughout most of the west coast of the Province of Pontevedra, which roughly corresponds to the south-western part of Galicia. For much of our walk, dozens of vineyards line the Camino, many on what appear to be small family plots. Las Rías Baixas is perhaps the most famous of the wine-producing regions in Galicia, and the native white albariño grape is its flag bearer. Indeed, many Spaniards actually call this wine by the grape, albariño, instead of using the generic Rías Baixas.
As we continue our journey we will pass though the town of Mos. Mos’s call to fame is the 17th century Pazo de Mos, which proudly overlooks the small town square facing the church. This monumental example of local aristocratic architecture was standing in ruins until 2002 when a group of locals found the means and the funds to restore the pazo and provide the district with a space for cultural activities. Tucked away in the pazo is a small café, where we can grab a stamp and a coffee before we continue our Camino to the Chapel of Santiaguiño de Antas at the top of the Chan das Pipas hill. Just after the chapel we will walk by another Roman milestone.
After another delicious picnic lunch, we will descend Chan das Pipas hill through more small towns before reaching Redondela. This town is situated just south of the Ria de Vigo, and the estuary hugs the town from the north-west. From the town you can view the coast and its beaches, as well as the floating barges used to farm mussels and scallops, delicacies of the region. Despite its coastal beauty, Redondela’s main attractions are the two historic train bridges or viaducts that cross over the city. The two rail viaducts that span the town’s sky date roughly from the beginning of the 20th century and are both still in use.
Once we have echecked into our hotel, it’s time to sit down for dinner with group, maybe try some empanada de chocos (typical pie filled with cuttlefish), and then rest our heads for the days to come. Santiago de Compostela is getting closer!