After reaching Santiago, we decided we wanted to walk to Porto in Portugal next.

Porto’s one of the stops on the Camino Portugués, which also ends in Santiago so there wasn’t much need for elaborate route planning.

The morning after our rest day, we set off to do our new Camino backwards. Our first stage was a 26-kilometre walk to Padron - the home of Padron peppers. Yum.

A plate of Padron peppers

A new route

We had a week to get to Porto but walking all the stages takes about 2 weeks so we decided to skip the rest of the Spanish bits and do all the Portuguese ones instead. We got a couple of trains to the border town of Tui - stopping for lunch at Pontevedra - and after a bit of sightseeing in Tui, we got ready to walk to Portugal.

Pilgrim chapel in Pontevedra, built with a floor plan the shape of a shell

View of the cloister of Tui cathedral

The miňo river at sunrise, from Tui


Portugal’s been great so far. The people have been super-friendly and there’s been plenty to see.

View from the ramparts of Valença fort, across the river to Tui

Tom on a roman bridge near Rubiaes

Pine forest near Rubiaes

A colourful street in Ponte de Lima, with houses in white, pink, yellow and green

Bridge over the river Lima

Magic bins

Spain and Portugal both have clever recycling bins. From the street they look like this:

The magic bins, as seen from the street

But underground, there are secret, bigger bins. It turns out that the ones you see on the street are just openings for bigger bins below. We know this because we saw them being emptied but forgot to take a pic. They’re kind of like this though:

Magic bins when fully raised up, showing the bigger bins below

(Image from City of Sydney article.)


Tree sap

Walking through a pine forest, we saw lots of trees with bags of something attached.

Pine trees with a section of bark removed and cuts made to it with a bag attached just below to capture the sap from them

Close up of the bags of sap resin

We’re pretty sure it was someone collecting pine sap resin. The resin can be used for loads of things, including turpentine. More info in this article on pine tree sap.

The Virgin Mary and the lamppost

We’ve seen a surprising amount of motion-triggered singing things over the last few days.

Here’s a musical Virgin Mary, which made us jump.

And here’s a singing lamppost.

We really are living in the future.