Day 9 Caldas de Reis – Herbon (Jun 25)

At 18.1km we had a short walk ahead of us. So unlike every other day we gave ourselves a luxury of sleeping in (and check out wasn’t till 9.30). It was a pleasant walk.

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I was ready for spiritual feast that was waiting for us in Herbon.I have not been to the mass since I started my walk and I felt I needed to. Uncle John said there are two masses – one in the evening and one in the morning.

Road leading to the monastery was indeed magical and mystical. Strolling down through the forest, then vineyards, along the river, across the bridge. Views were spectacular.

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We were the first ones to arrive, way too early to get in (doors open at 4pm) but it was just nice to sit in front of the monastery look around and listen to the birds.

We finally got in. Place itself did not disappoint. Unfortunately we were told there will be no mass. It made me feel quite upset as it was something I was really looking forward to.

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There was a tour of the monastery before the dinner. I did not bring my camera with me hence no photos ( I took some with Aline’s camera so maybe in two years time or so, when she downloads them I will be able to share). The tour was very interesting (made us even more hungry) but it made me sad to think about the future of that unoccupied monastery with its amazing gardens. It is an amazing place with such a huge potential.

Communal meal was lovely, followed by tea outside and chat. Some stayed out till late at night. Some went to bed straight after the dinner.

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Notes to the editor

Last two monks left the monastery in 2013, but my 2014 edition does not mention in. I know it is not such a big deal. Still it would be nice to know, to avoid disappointment.


Herbon is donativo. Communal meals (very tasty). Fresh smelling sheets. Nice bathroom. Place to wash your clothes. Swimming pool (can’t be used unfortunately).

Don’t go for coffee to the coffee shop beside the river – instant 3in1 is what they serve. Selection of tapas is limited to tortilla. Famous Pimientos de Padron nowhere to be found.

One above the monastery (near the main road) is not much better. They have ice cream if that’s of any use to anybody.


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