Most pilgrims stay in Bruma but we had missed out on accommodation so we had walked off trail to Ordes. I don’t know if I really spent enough time in my last post emphasising precisely how many trucks were driving through the main street of Ordes, where our hotel was. It was like a truck convention had come to town.
It was pretty much a constant stream of loud traffic. The town had a strange vibe, with half the businesses clearly closed down but also a lot of fancy cars and richly dressed pedestrians. All the buildings were soot stained… basically we weren’t sorry to leave. If Pontedueme was 4/5, this was 1/5.
I cannot complain about the staff at our hotel, who were so so friendly and helpful and apologised all the time for their English (this is so embarrassing for me and my ten words of Spanish). Breakfast was … tomato on toast!
Plus a special treat.
As we left the hotel I noticed something significant – a pile of bags with tags. This meant the bag transfer service was available! I got out my little backpack, we put all of Danny’s heavy stuff in my big bag and left it for pick up. Having an AirTag on my bag made it easy to check when it reached its destination and helped us navigate to the right place.
Walking out of town was a pleasure and quickly took us away from the grotty part of town and into the countryside. Along the way was some great graffiti.
Five kilometres out of town was an excellent little cafe with an owner who spoke not only perfect English but with a West Sussex accent despite being clearly Spanish. she has been born in England then moved back to Spain with her Spanish parents to look after her grandmother.
We asked her if pilgrims were annoying and she said ‘only the Spanish ones’ and when we asked how they were annoying she said ‘in every way’ and the gist of it seemed to be that they were very entitled and acted like they were doing her a favour and didn’t realise her business was mainly supported by locals, pilgrims were ‘holiday money’. It was really interesting to be able to talk to someone about the local side of living on such a popular route.
People had left pilgrims messages so I left the orange one in the middle letting people know that the little boxes on stilts were for corn. Later on we met some British girls who had also been wondering. It wasn’t just us who was mystified!
The lady in the cafe had said the walk from then on was easy and she wasn’t wrong. Either that or Deb had been right about day five and onwards being easier… or the cooler weather made a difference. Maybe it was all these aspects combined?
Most of the walking was by fields, through trees and on roads.
There were definitely more people on the trail today as both routes had properly joined. We kept leap-frogging groups and saying hello … well, hola! When everyone says hola it’s really hard to work out who speaks English.
We had a nice chat with some Spanish men who spoke English at a rest stop by the second last pilgrim bath of the day.
The last part of the day was beside a highway but behind a hedge, thankfully. Also it was a gentle downhill for once.
Then through industrial estates but they seemed quite new and busy.
Apart from Danny’s epic blisters we both agreed that it was by far the easiest day. Most of the other pilgrims had walked further than us though as we had stayed at a town that wasn’t exactly on the trail. We had wondered if towns not on the official route would still give us stamps but it turned out to be fine no matter where we went.
As we sat with a snack under some lovely wisteria, too early to book into our accommodation, the weather turned a bit.
My bag had been taken to a different hotel so we had to pick it up before our accommodation. The AirTag was a super handy way to find my bag. The lady at the hotel was very annoyed that my bag had been sent there when we weren’t actually staying at her hotel and she said ‘maybe it was there, maybe not’ but a nicer member of staff went to look and found it immediately. If I hadn’t been able to track my bag with my phone I would’ve had a proper panic!
Our apartment was on the third floor so after we lugged our bags up we went out for food – delicious arepas at a bar that was playing almost nonstop Adele videos.
We bought some wine and snacks and by 7pm we were on the couch watching Drag Race.
Danny’s feet had been hurting so much that we decided to book another night in Sigueiro. It turned out to be a great decision as it started raining during the night and hasn’t really stopped since!