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    • Day23

      Camino Portuguese Day 13

      October 4, 2022 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

      Yesterday afternoon we were watching what looked like a tractor inspection in the parking lot by the albergue. All small tractors, not like the big ones at home.

      Then we went to a Pilgrim Blessing at the Monastery. I read this story in my guidebook:

      “The Cistercian monastery was founded by a knight called Ero in the 12th century. According to a popular legend, Ero went for a walk in the woods one day and came upon a bird singing so beautifully that he fell into a trance which lasted for 300 years. The monastery was abandoned in 1837; restoration began in 1963, and in 1989 Cistercian nuns moved in.”

      The nuns we saw ranged in age from about 25 to 85. It was a nice service with the nuns singing and then saying the blessing in several languages.

      We got some more sugar packet wisdom this morning. I took a screenshot of the google translation.

      Here’s what the guide book says about today’s walk:

      “This is a stunning stage that follows the Ruta de la Piedra y del Agua (‘stone and water route’), passing 51 ancient mills and cascading falls. It then accompanies the River Umia, passing albariño grapevines and fields before reaching the Ría de Arousa and Vilanova de Arousa.
      Read more


      Gotta love Einstein 🙃


      Smart guy.

    • Day22

      Combarro to Armenteira

      October 3, 2022 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

      We stopped for brunch before the hill. Tortilla Español. This time I shared with Sharon and we still had leftovers for later. Combarro is also known for fishing and horreos.

      Then we started to climb. And climb. We went from sea level to over 450m elevation. Basically uphill for about 9 km. We had some lovely views, but it was challenging.

      We arrived at Armenteira, checked out the Monastery, then checked into the Municipal Albergue. Not fancy today.

      Tomorrow will be almost all downhill.
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      Uphill is good. Have an extra cervasa.


      Yes, I did.

    • Day23

      Aldea Labrega

      October 4, 2022 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

      We came up to a Spanish man who was quite excited for us to make a short detour to this special place. He even took my walking stick and drew a map in the dirt.

      It was quite a special display, a little like some fairy tale where everyone was enchanted and turned to stone.Read more

    • Day23

      Barrantes to Vilanova de Arousa

      October 4, 2022 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

      The first half of the day was fabulous, first on the Ruta de Piedra y Agua, then beside the Rio Umia - all on dirt trails. So lovely and mostly downhill. Also alongside many vineyards.

      But because we took our time and a lot of photos, our progress was slower than usual, so by the time we got to our destination we were knackered (Camino term).Read more

    • Day14

      The Day the Rain Came

      October 16, 2022 in Spain ⋅ 🌧 61 °F

      So I’ve been fretting over the weather forecast. Every day it looks like it’s gonna be nothin but rain and so far we have been given a reprieve. Until today. And even then it didn’t start until halfway through the walk. And like Grant says, “It’s just part of the deal”. (Now you know who NOT to go to when you’re shopping for sympathy!)
      Today was the steepest climb of the Camino. After leaving Pontevedra this morning I turned left to take the Variante Espiritual. Although the entire Camino system is considered a spiritual quest, the spiritual variant in particular is extra. Legend is that it follows the path of the remains of St James when his followers stole his headless body after his execution in Jerusalem, put it in a rudderless boat, and sailed it back to Iberia, the site of his great ministry.
      I ran into Heather and Alden leaving Pontevedra. They were also doing the SV, but were just doing the first 11kms today. Heather said that after seeing the weather forecast she had tried to cancel their reservations but wasn’t able to.
      The sky looked ominous so my goal was to cover as much ground as possible before the rain came. The first 5 miles were quite pleasant and then the climb started. I ran into a couple of Spanish women I had spoken to previously. They were looking at a huge pumpkin in a garden and talking about making pumpkin soup- (sopa de calabaza). Sounded good to me!
      Onward and upward! I started to feel my lack of sleep from last night. Too much Coke Zero kept me awake and just thinking about the rain on the steep climb today- catastrophizing and awfulizing and participating in every other type of disordered thinking. I was imagining my body being swept away in a mudslide. Overreaction, you say? Perhaps.
      I came across a cooler with drinks for peregrinos. A man was standing by it. I had my earbuds in listening to a little Brandi Carlile so I didn’t hear him say “good morning” several times until he spoke really forcefully. He wanted to show me his house, which was lovely with a wonderful view. He was German and did not speak English so we tried to muddle through in Spanish. Then he took me to a water fountain insisting I fill my water bottle. Then he told me that the current climb continued for 4 kilometers and there were no facilities on the way. Then he gave me his business card, which was a picture of him being knighted by these men in priest like clothing. His name was Ramon and he said he was a “sir”. On the back of the card was a picture of him in full military regalia with a uniform covered in medals. At the moment I can’t find the card but as soon as I do I’ll give him the full Google treatment.
      Anyway, shortly thereafter it started raining. Finally got to try out my Sea to Summit rain poncho. As I kept climbing I noticed that I hadn’t seen anyone in quite a while. And in fact, I didn’t see anyone else for the rest of the trek.
      As it turns out the most difficult part was not the climb. That was all on paved or gravel roads, so plenty of traction. But shortly before getting to the monastery was a descent through a ravine over a lot of moss covered rock, which was really slippery. And I’m old. And have osteoporosis. So I sat on my butt so as not to fall. So embarrassing!
      And now I have a quandary. I took a taxi down to my accommodation for the night with the intent of taking one back up tomorrow to continue the Camino, but the descent from the monastery is called something like “the path of stone and water”. I’m afraid it’s gonna be the same as that little piece of ravine right before the monastery. Walking from there is a 25 km walk and it’s bound to be slow. And the weather forecast is like 100% chance of rain all day tomorrow. OR I could just walk to my destination from where I currently am. Google maps puts it at an hour and a half. I know me and my Catholic guilt, though. I guess I’ll see how I feel in the morning.
      Read more


      These pictures are so gorgeous!!!


      Again I’m chuckling-not about the different kinds of land you are foraging forward on but your humorous way of sharing it with “us”. The pictures are awesome. 👍👏🤗


      I love he Church with the green doors-do glad I could see inside…

      Eileen Mitchell

      Yeah. Me too. It’s like a geode. Plain on the outside, but magnificent on the inside.

      9 more comments
    • Day18

      Nuts! 🌰

      September 25, 2022 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

      We went for a walk in the forest and came back with like two kilos of wild chestnut. We also had freshly made churro halfway since there was a man selling them in front of the monastery for 1€, who could ever resist that? Ahh it's hard to not to gain weight here! 😁Read more

    • Day7

      Camino Day 5 to Armenteira

      August 10, 2022 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 20 °C

      Holly didn’t feel well so she took a cab and I walked alone. Walked at a fast pace and even ran some. Steep, steep hills today! Met lots of pilgrims from all over—Denmark, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Columbia, Italy, Hungary and finally someone from US. Pilgrims blessing service at the monastery in the evening.Read more

    • Day23

      Ruta de la Piedra y del Agua

      October 4, 2022 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

      Such a beautiful path. It was quite magical, very lush and peaceful. The only noise was the birds and the water. Many waterfalls, ruins of old mills, and nice soft trail.




      paths like these were among my favorites...the scent of eucalyptus, birdsong, gurgling streams...beautiful photos


      Yes, for sure. And this is the best of the best of paths.

    • Day3

      Dia de bodegues

      September 4, 2020 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 20 °C

      Hem llogat el cotxe a Santiago i hem anat a Cambados. Aquí hem anat corrents al Pazo do Fefiñáns i hem provat uns quants vins. Hem anat a dinar percebes i altres mariscs, hem fet una volta pel poble, hem descansat una mica i després hem anat en taxi a una altra bodega, la blava a provar més vins. Més tard hem fet un altre vol pel port, a sopar i a dormir.Read more

    • Day4

      Illa de la Toja, O Grove i bodega.

      September 5, 2020 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

      Ahir vam anar a O Grove, o the Groove, com diu la Zuzanna. D'allà vam anar a l'illa de la Toja, on fan sabons i cosmètics. És una pena que l'hagin omplert de ciment i cases. O Grove està bé, però no mata. De tornada, anem a dinar més marisc i després a una bodega-pazo de Rubianes. Visitem el jardí ple de camèlies, altres arbres i vinyes. Després fem una cata i tornem a descansar una mica a l'hotel. Després fem un vol pel port industrial i a sopar una chuleta ben gran. A dormir.Read more

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