Leaving Baiona we headed northeast. This put us facing the sun and into the mountains away from the beautiful coast. Goodbye flat costal route. After a few twists and turns, we found the yellow arrows on trees and rocks in steep pine forests. On numerous catch- our-breath, lower your heart rate breaks, we met pilgrims also catching their breath from Ireland, Chile, Canada and Uruguay. Hours later we all found the same restaurant to enjoy a break, share stories and eat and drink. Yes, more tortilla and beer. There were also plates of patatas bravas and meats. Leaving our fellow pilgrims, we passed through more small family farms with church-shaped grain holders. They are called Hórreos. They are built of wood or stone and are raised off the ground with pillars to help keep rodents away. Entering Vigo, the largest city in Galicia, was a bit of a surprise. It seems bigger and more sprawling than Porto and Lisbon. Also, after so many lovely villages and seaside towns, this is a major metropolis. There is Castrelos Park , which is big and beautiful to break up the busy, traffic filled streets as well as great murals and street art. The etymology of ‘Vigo’ is diminutive city. It was named by the Romans and now it is a disorganized mess. It is divided into an upper and lower and can take a very long time to cross. Pretty much once you settle into an area, you are not making plans to cross town. One of the draws to this city is the small three-island archipelago located in the mouth of the estuary. There are many ferries that make day trips there, Islas de Cies. These three ‘Islands of the Gods’ have one of the best bird observatories in Galicia, great diving and top rated beaches. That’s another vacation!
A long day of squinting in the sun, crossing slippery, rocky hills and city streets has dampened the desire to paint the town tonight. We will stay close to our hotel, sip wine and eat cheese at a local taberna and head to Redondola tomorrow.