My experience on the Camiño Portugués on bike (Day 4)
Day 4. Pontevedra - Padrón (40.7 km / 4h57)
Woww!! This stage wasn't as tough as we thought in the beginning. As we are crazy of the head we woke up at 4.00 am. The night before had been charming. We were delighted after spending all night listening to an asshole talking super loud on his phone in the room nextdoor. People have no manners, really!
At 5.00 am we were all set and ready to ride. It was pretty funny because in Pontevedra and its surroundings there are street lights lighting the way up but once you reach the woods forget about it! :) We could barely find the yellow arrows that indicate the way. That's where our iphone lights and a shitty lantern that my boyfriend brought with him were useful. However his battery died before we could use it. We passed near a cemetery, rode through a forest that I pictured really beautiful but I actually didn't see shit. I conceived all kinds of tall and beautiful trees like oak trees, cork trees and chestnut trees. The trial was an authentic Roman road that in some spots was even well preserved. We rode for two hours wondering if in the next turn Slenderman would appear behind a tree and our iphone screen would start to shake and make creepy noises. We also crossed train tracks which have always creeped me out and at night it was even more spooky. The sun was finally out. Slenderman never showed up neither we were eaten by wild animals or kidnapped and murdered. Like that we arrived in Caldas de Reis.
We kept on riding either-on forests or paved roads until we reached a "bar" 2 km away from Padrón. It ended up being a freak show. The owner was probably insane and high for sure. If you wanted to stamp your pilgrim passport, which is always free on the Camiño, he demanded a donation. How can people be so stingy? His dive bar looked really weird, with a lot of junk everywhere and he would never shut up. He was asking creepy questions to a couple of pilgrims who where sitting near us while eating raw mushrooms that he offered them: "Where are you staying the night?.. Yeah... but in which hotel? Don't you guys know the name of the hotel? Let me look it up. Is it this one? Do you know what lamprea is?". We asked for a soda which he literally threw at us without not even giving us a glass. Five minutes later he almost hit us with a pie ("tarta de Santiago") which he left at the table without even offering us a little piece of it. Our theory is that he is a psychopath that butchers pilgrims to make sausages which he then feeds to more pilgrims.
Luckily, we made it to paradise: Albergue Camiño do Sar. It was fantastic. It has a 9.5 in booking and it only costs 15€ night per person with breakfast included. Those who know me well, will be aware that I'm not a huge fan of albergues. Just the thought of sleeping next to a stranger would keep me awake all night. This albergue is nothing like that. It is so comfortable that you don't realize you are sleeping in one albergue. The facilities are super new, clean and comfortable. Bunks are divided with green or violet curtains that make you have your privacy. Inside your capsule, you also have a small light, plugs and a small basket to leave your things. Each pilgrim has his own locker too. The place is owned by a really nice family. All the family members are really kind and polite. The daughter washed our clothes for us and in the morning she left the breakfast ready for us. It was included in the price and consisted of cereals, croissants, tea, milk, orange juice, bread, butter, jam, coffee and muffins. This albergue was the cheapest of the Camiño and the very best. The Camiño passes by its door so you don't have to ride extra and the next town (Padrón) is 6 min away on foot. The owner's brother cares a lot about Galicia and the preservation of the Camiño. The grandfather suddenly appeared riding a bike and later he left in one of the old cars that he fixes as a hobby. That day, we suffered a heat wave. It was totally crazy out. 39 Cº. Luckily, the albergue has a pool for kids. I instantly got in followed by another pilgrim from Extremadura, who was actually a sergeant, and by his lame friends.