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(Please note that as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the businesses along the Camino may not be operating as expected, despite reopening as of June 21st. It would be wise to check with the locals regarding the opening and operations of specific restaurants, bars, albergues and other accommodations recommended in this guide.
If you are going on a Camino during the pandemic, please check the local news frequently, for new areas of outbreak and any new restrictions in travel. Any portion of the Camino may close down at any time to contain a new outbreak!
Also please note the current travel restrictions for travelers from the USA entering Spain, from the US Embassy. If you are coming from Europe to Spain, the European Schengen countries are now allowed to enter Spain. Those of us from outside this area, I am afraid, must be patient!
For detailed information regarding entry restrictions of any country in the world, including entry into Spain, click on this link to the IATA ((International Air Transport Association)). When the page opens, click on the country of your choice in the interactive map to see their requirements for entry. Good luck and be safe out there!)
Day twenty on the central route of the Camino Portugués can be very long or very short, depending on your desires. The total distance for the traditional stage from Tui to Redondela, I measured at 32.2 km (20.01 miles). We chose to do the entire stage in one day, but I have split the stage into two articles for ease of writing. Thus, this article will only cover the Way from Tui to O Porriño.
We were able to walk from Tui to O Porriño with our dear Camino friend, Glyvia, who currently lives in Spain and who joined us for this portion. This was to be our third meeting with her on a Camino, in as many years, but it always feels like we have known her for so much longer!
"Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light." ~ Helen Keller
Here is my interactive Google map of the route from Tui to O Porriño. As you can see, there is a lot of country walking with not very many services between these two cities, so plan your day accordingly.
Despite the many kilometers through the countryside, this day has a lot of pavement walking! It was great for Magdalena in her wheelchair, but not so great for those of us traveling on foot.
Interactive Google Map of Day Twenty on the Camino Portugués, Central Route
This is the elevation profile from Tui to O Porriño. As you can see it is full of little ups and downs with very little elevation change.
While this day can be extended to Redondela, as we actually did, the steep climb after O Porriño makes for a very long and grueling day. The pouring rain that we experienced after O Porriño (see day twenty-one) also added to the difficulty.
It was a Herculean effort for us to make it all the way to Redondela in one day, and most likely, this is true for most pilgrims. Choose your own day's length wisely. O Porriño makes a sensible place to end the day for most pilgrims, after 18.4 kilometers, about half-way to Redondela.
It was raining and bleary-looking, on the morning of our day twenty of the central route on the Portuguese Camino. The question about who was staying and who was walking kept coming up during our breakfast, included in the price of our albergue, and which we had in the lovely kitchen and dining room. There were still a few undecideds.
Matt had only tennis shoes instead of water-resistant shoes and he also had blisters. He did not want to walk in the rain. Magdalena, in her wheelchair, has a much harder time in the rain, due to her hands getting wet and slippery on wet wheels.
All of a sudden, Magdalena says "I am going!" Matt, not wanting to be left behind, agreed to join the group. So, off we all went, not one to be left behind.
Here is a photo of the Rúa Antero Rubin, the street in front of our albergue, the Santo Domingo, as it looked the afternoon of the day before, on day nineteen. I wish it looked like this on day twenty! (If you are looking for accommodations in Tui, click here.)
We set off down the road, with the Igrexa de Santo do Domingo, immediately on our right.
There was a light drizzle as we turned right on the Rúa San Bartolomeu after only a few meters from our albergue, shown below.
In a few more meters we came to this plaza, shown below, and crossed it by this gazebo and cruzeiro. The rain was glistening on the pavement. It is beautiful in the photo and I was in good cheer despite the rain, hopeful for a good day.
We continued on the Rúa San Bartolomeu to pass in front of the chapel of the same name, the Igrexa de San Bartolomeu, pictured below.
Immediately after the church you take a left onto a farmer's lane heading northeast, shown below on day twenty of the central route of the Portuguese Camino.
After about 300 meters on the lane, take a right turn to join a paved road, the Rúa Arraial. Here is Glyvia, our friend smiling for the photo.
In a few hundred more meters, we came to the historic Puente de A Veiga, an original Roman bridge which was a part of the old roman route, the Via Romana XIX. There are picnic tables, if you have the opportunity to rest here.
By the bridge is this sculpture of a pilgrim, below, and to the left of the sculpture on the other side of the road is a small fountain with a scallop shell and a staff (not pictured) where you can fill your water bottles. Here Glyvia and I are posing in the drizzle. If you want more information on this area click here.
The Camino de Santiago does not actually cross the bridge, but travels past it and northward on the Camino Barros, shown to the left side in the photo above.
You continue on the Camino Barros for about one kilometer on this lovely lane, below...
...turning right onto the Sendo Barros, pictured below, with the waymark indicating that you are continuing to follow the Via Romana XIX.
The Senda Barros is paved, and here I was looking back at Borut and Miriam, all smiles in the rain!
Ahead were the railroad tracks we needed to walk under.
Next you come to an intersection with the N550, after about 3/4 kilometer on the Senda Barros, cross it and onto the Estrada Rebordáns, shown below.
In a few meters the next turn is to the right and towards the town of Virxe do Camiño. Glyvia posed for me on the corner at the kilometer marker of 111.5. We had such a good time chatting as we walked and catching up on our lives.
In about 200 meters, you come to the town church. The Camino walks behind the Capela Virxe do Camiño, shown below. The wooden sign informs you of your location.
Just after the church, you join the PO-342, turning left. In a few meters, up and over the bridge you cross the A-55 super highway. The sign lets you know that you are leaving the town of Virxe do Camiño.
The Way stays on the paved PO-342 for a long trudge, or shall I say splash in our case? At least there is a nice, wide shoulder for the pilgrimage traveler to walk upon, as the sign points you toward Mosende.
There is a nice Pilgrim's Path along this section of the PO-342, showing some nice planning on the part of the administrators. They made us our own lane for which I was very appreciative!
The forest all around us was fresh and beautiful from the rain. After about 5.0 kilometers, the sun came out! We went by a nice pilgrim's board with information about the surrounding area and a local map of the Camino de Santiago.
Next the PO-342 walks under the E-1, the Autopista del Atlántico, pictured below, on day twenty on the central route of the Portuguese Camino.
The roadway was easy rolling for Magdalena! Not so great for those of us on foot!
Ahead of Magdalena and Matt in the photo below, is the intersection, where we finally left the PO-342 after about a full 2.0 kilometers.
There is another really nice information board at the turn off the highway on the natural features of the landscape.
Within a few meters you cross the Autopista del Atlántico again, only this time above it. Storm clouds were brewing again as well!
However, we did get a reprieve when the beautiful sun came streaming through the forest on the lane after the bridge, below.
The next landmark we came to was the Cruz de San Telmo, in less than 1/2 kilometer...
...just before the bridge crossing the Río San Simón.
Here is Glyvia and Rich ~ good friends connecting on day twenty of the Camino Portugués, on the central route. While it was no longer raining, and Rich had even taken off his rain jacket, our sunshine was short-lived.
We had fallen behind the rest, Rich, Glyvia and I. Ahead, Team Magdalena was milling about on the road. Were they waiting on us? We were coming into a town, having left the farmer's lane after 1.5 kilometers on it.
As it turns out, they were laughing and admiring the name of the town! Here is Magdalena in A Magdalena! You can faintly see the name of the town on the wooden post to the right of Magdalena.
And Team Magdalena was all lined up in a row, so I snapped their photo as well in the town of A Magdalena on day twenty on the central route of the Portuguese Camino.
Here we are, walking through A Magdalena. There is a café in about 300 meters after entering town, at the first intersection, if you need a break.
You wind around and through the town, following the waymarks, for less than one kilometer...
...until you come to a turn-off to another farmer's lane. Here is Matt performing the tipping technique with Magdalena's chair on the rough areas. He had become quite a pro by now.
Within 150 meters or so, you meet the Río Louro again and cross it on the charming Roman bridge, the Puente de Orbenlle, below.
This lane continues to wander through the forest for about another 1/2 kilometer before coming a T-intersection, below. This is the town of Orbenlle's greeting to the pilgrims. There is a mural depicting the very famous Portico da Gloria from the cathedral entrance in Santiago de Compostela. Pause for a minute and look at the artistic depictions. Then you turn left here onto the street called the Polígono das Gándaras.
Pay close attention to the next instructions! As of autumn, of 2018, after only about 150 meters past the mural, you come to a double waymark, shown below, that seems to be very confusing! I have marked this decision point with a big orange star on the map above!
(A special shout out to my Camino Forum friends, who helped me re-configure the route and John Gilliland for allowing me to use his photo!)
The way down the hill and to the left takes you on a lane that leads you back into the forest, over another old bridge and on secondary roads. This way to the left is labeled "C. Complementario." This is the way that you want to go!
The way to the right, will conveniently take you through the next town, Os Eidos, and the Albergue Casa Alternativo. This is all fine and good if you want to go to these establishments. Unfortunately, this Way also takes you onward into an ugly industrial area for many kilometers to O Porriño, if you don’t return back to the Complementario Route!
The way the markers appear, you may have the tendency to take the right path, believing this looks more like the "official" way! Do not be fooled here!
These double waymarks were not there when we walked this way in the prior spring. It seems that there has been a war of many years, at this very intersection, where paint is removed, yellow arrows changed, wooden signs taken down, all in the attempt to get the pilgrimage traveler to go to the right, through town and by the local proprietors establishments!
Who knows what you will find when you walk through here, as the route wars may continue! But at least, now you know!
This is not totally a bad thing, if you wish for a stop at the nearest cafe. You can tell by my Google map above, on the orange track, that we did exactly that. But at that time, we were still following the yellow arrows as they used to be!
Since it was starting to drizzle again by the time we reached this decision point, we were grateful to walk the additional few meters to the one and only café we had encountered thus far, the Bar Laguna, in Os Eidos after 10 kilometers more or less into day twenty on the Camino Portugués along the central route. Consult the interactive Google map above for its exact location.
When I was writing this information, I noticed the loop detour to the Bar Laguna. I laughed when I realized that indeed we had been walked around to the bar. I thought it was the Camino planners who did this, but I should have known better. In fact, I even called it the "Conspiracy Detour" in my original writing!
Here is a photo of the Bar Laguna. It was a well-timed stop for us. It is about 650 meters off-Camino, and the loop back for a total of about an additional one kilometer if you choose to detour here.
If you decide you don't need a pit stop, take the left hand turn at the double waymark and in only about 300 meters, come to an intersection, go left and come to this bridge, the Puente de Baranco, to cross the Río Louro.
This area must have already received a lot of rain, as evidenced by these muddy ruts in the road after the bridge. Perhaps this is a frequently occurring phenomenon, as there was a nice stone path to the right of the road to walk on!
Where there was no standing water and mud, the lane looked very lush and inviting.
The Camino de Santiago briefly joins the pavement...
...before turning onto another path, below, that follows a canal. It is about one additional kilometer from the turnoff into the forest at Os Eidos, until the forest road becomes a path.
The path turns into a forest road again, for 1/2 kilometer more...
...before joining the pavement, below and walking toward the overpass of the E-1.
Instead of walking under the E-1, the familiar Autopista del Atlántico, you turn right to walk parallel to it on a dirt lane, shown below. At the top of the lane, you turn left to walk over the highway.
Next, you bend to the right after the highway and follow a quiet paved road back into the forest. You come out of the forest and walk through the fields, in the direction of the next town of Centeáns.
North of Centeáns, you turn right to head eastward again, coming to a green beltway.
Cross the Autopista again. It is about 2.25 kilometers from the last crossing of the Autopista through Centeáns until this crossing. We did not see any cafés along this section.
You continue to follow the green pathway on the Rua Guia for about 1.30 kilometers from the highway crossing, where the Way becomes more industrial looking as you near O Porriño.
Come to a small roundabout, where you turn right toward the city, continuing on the green beltway.
Here is a photo of Glyvia, Borut and Rich approaching the roundabout. It was raining quite nicely at this point, and I was eager to get into town to have a cup of hot coffee and to dry out!
Come to an overpass of the A-55 after about 1/3 kilometer. Walk under this highway and immediately look for a path left and to the north along the Louro River. This photo below, shows the turn and the small yellow arrows on two blue signs. This turn is easy to miss and we had a hard time spotting it.
The final segment to O Porriño is a lovely riverwalk along the Louro River for about a full 2.0 kilometers. On a clear day, it would have been an extremely nice, shady and cool walk.
Turn right on the Avenida Buenos Aires to head to the center of town. If you go to the left on the Avenida you will see another albergue, the Alojamiento Camino Portugués, another option if you are staying in O Porriño. As you walk down the Avenida, you will see a sign for a right turn towards the Albergue SendaSur a few meters off Camino. Next pass the large supermarket and the Hostal Louro on your left.
We went onward to look for a café for a break. Our plan was to take a long rest and continue onward to Redondela. We stopped at the first place we came to, the Albergue SendaSur Restaurante in the center of town, just before the rail tracks. Here we are in the photo to the left. It was fabulous to finally get in out of the rain!
Here is a photo of the center of O Porriño, as the Camino crosses the railroad tracks.
Across the railroad tracks and to the next roundabout and to your right is the Apartamentos Porriño and the Hotel Parque Porriño. There is one more private albergue in town, the Albergue Camino Santiago Porriño, and also the Hotel Azul, both farther along the Camino, but still in town. There are several more options that you can click here to see them.
Reaching this restaurant was a double edged sword. While I was ecstatic to get out of the rain, this would be the final stop with our friend Glyvia.
It was here in O Porriño that we had to say goodbye to, Glyvia. Perhaps she was able, but she was definitely unwilling to continue onward to Redondela for the entire 33 kilometers, most especially not in the steady rain! She lives in Spain and she walks sections of the Camino whenever she wants.
It was still hard to put her into a taxi, that would take her back to Tui, where she would collect her car, and drive home to the coast. We reluctantly said good-bye, until our next Camino!
Rich and I had a long and wonderful 18 kilometer walk with our Camino friend Glyvia, chatting merrily as we slopped through the on-again, off-again rain. I have been so lucky on all of our Caminos, meeting very little rain. I am most grateful for this! Day twenty on the central route was my first in which a steady rain was the norm for the day.
While the rain was tolerable for the trip to O Porriño, if you read on to day twenty-one, you will see that the weather conditions were going to deteriorate.
Team Magdalena was still together, working and walking as a group. Thus far Matt's feet held up and Magdalena was happy, focused and her hands were holding up as well.
May your own day twenty on the Camino Portugués, via the central route be filled with growing friendships that will stay with you for the rest of your life. Walk together with your friends, in the dark, lifting each other higher and higher. E ultreia e suseia!
Skip to Central Route Below, for Final Days 22-25 to Santiago
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