Arzua to A Rua

Fresh croissants, just pulled from the oven with cafe con letche. I really could get used to this!

The guidebook says today’s hike will take us through rolling fields and woods. There are ample places to fill water bottles, like this very old piped spring. 

The enterprising owners of this beautiful stone house set up a “serve yourself” coffee and snack bar.

Gary does not pass up any opportunity to have a coffee. I may never get him to hike the Appalachian Trail again! I think this is a modern corn crib. The Camino is a very social experience. There are hundreds of hikers from all over the world and everyone talks to everyone, dispite the many different languages. There are groups of high school kids hiking with teachers and college students walking together and couples and singles and people of all ages. I’m especially impressed by the older folks– ok, older than me. I met a lovely lady in her eighties that only walks a few kilometers a day. Bravo to her!

We passed a man sitting out in front of his house carving these hiking staffs for sale. Many had the scallop shell carved in the wood. 

The scallop shell is one of the most iconic symbols of the Camino de Santiago and today it is used, along with the yellow arrow, to guide pilgrims heading to Santiago de Compostela along its many different routes. Painted on trees, sidewalks, tiles, etc… the scallop shells, help travellers find their way.

There are many stories, legends and myths trying to explain the ancient link between the scallop shell and the Saint James Way. I have taken so many photos of shell tiles decorating houses. The scallop shell is said to be a metaphor, its lines representing the different routes pilgrims travel from all over the world, all walking trails leading to one point: the tomb of Saint James in Santiago de Compostela. Pilgrims all have shells tied to their backpacks. 

Sometimes the walk takes us on stone pavers through tiny farming villages.

It’s a hot day and we are greatful for shady lanes bordered by yellow broom plant.

I can’t believe how quickly we can walk 18 kilometers, about 11 miles. We check into our small Pension Casa Da Fonte, only 5 rooms here, and take a shower and rest. All the restaurants and shops are closed until 7 pm. It’s really hard to get used to this schedule, but in Spain, no one eats dinner before 7 or 8 o’clock. It’s still daylight at 11 pm!

This is the breakfast room but our bedroom looks much the same with stone walls at least a foot thick. There is no air conditioning but it is surprisingly cool. 

Right next to the Pension is a restaurant and bar. Tonight we ordered a pitcher of sangria to enjoy outside under the shade of a huge chestnut tree.

Gary ordered the Coquilles Saint Jacques, fitting for a pilgrim.

I fell asleep in A Rua to the sound of water filling a stone trough. And woke up to roosters crowing in the back yard. Sometimes I feel I am in a time warp but would you believe we had Wifi! What a lovely place to visit.

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  1. Hattie Virgilio says

    I am loving your posts and have forwarded them to my Paoli Presbyterian pastor who is headed to the Trail in July……Thanks for sharing wonderful photos and stories.


  2. Christine says

    Again, a great report. Blogging and sharing your trip with us while writing a daily diary.

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