Stage 23 Caldas de Reis - Padrón
St. James' pattern
As we approach Compostela, references to St. James multiply. Today's stage is a real preview of what you will find the next day. But if in Compostela we find the end of the Jacobean legend, with what for many is the urn of the apostle (for others it is his cenotaph), Padrón is the beginning of his mythical arrival in Galicia. We will get to know that story further ahead.
The stage is divided into two forest sections, crossed by narrow paths: old ways, open by crowds of anonymous arms long gone, kept between walls and old trees. Just outside Caldas, the medieval bridge over the Bermaña River reminds us that the way is as old as the memory of men. The only climb of the day is up to Gurgollón, but it is worth resting a while in Carracedo, as the green Galician landscape is beautiful.
From the top, the Bermaña River valley is replaced by the Valga River valley, which accompanies us to Pontecesures. Once you have crossed the Arousa lagoon, you will find yourself in Padrón and, however much you want to rest, you must plan a visit to the parish church and the Carme fountain, where you will learn the story of the arrival of St. James' body to the Galician coast.