This morning we return to Redondela to continue our journey north through the small summer resort town of Arcade, where local summer revelers flock to look for beaches and seaside fun. The town is also home to the yearly Fiesta de la Ostra (Oyster Festival) that takes place in spring. Oysters are a local specialty here as the estuary waters are perfect for their farming.
We 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 that was marching towards the strategic city of Vigo. Less than a month later, the last French soldier had retreated from Galician soil.
Along this part of the Camino signage may become sparse and hard to spot, though our Fresco Tours guides will ensure that we are walking in the right direction. We will continue through the Tomeza Valley and find a lovely spot to enjoy our gourmet picnic with local cheeses at the Fonte Figuerrido. After lunch we will continue to 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.
Once we have checked into our hotel in Pontevedra we will explore the town before dinner. The highlight of the the town is the Church of La Peregrina shaped as a scallop shell seen from above and dedicated to Our Lady and the patron of the Camino Portugués. After we sit down to try the local cuisine and enjoy a glass or two of albariño wine, it’s time to rest before our full day of walking tomorrow.
The Vigo Estuary
In 1702 the Battle of Rande was fought in the Vigo Estuary, just off the Camino Portugués near Redondela. A painful defeat was inflicted on the Franco-Spanish fleet by the Anglo-Dutch one.
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.