Camino de Santiago (Ventas de Narón to Melide)

It’s hard to believe we’ve only got three days of walking left! And every day still brings us something new. 

Today started chilly, but not so cold that we needed long sleeves. We walked the first hour or so in dim light, made more dim by the cloud cover. For the first time in days the waning moon wasn’t visible to accompany us. The clouds threatened rain, but didn’t deliver…yet.

The first few hours of walking brought us to Palas de Rei through mist and fog. We stopped there for a mid morning snack and saw Robert again! As we walked into town I remarked that I couldn’t remember where I’d stayed last time I was there, until we suddenly came to the end of a street and I recognized the albergue. It’s strange how well I remember some things and how little I remember others. 

As we left the city, we decided to get our rain coats and rain covers out; it was the right choice as it began to rain lightly but steadily. The path left the road to wander through trees, and as I turned down it I saw a woman with two horses—one of them a miniature horse! With her permission I petted them both. Eventually the rain tapered off enough that we removed our jackets. Naturally, it began to rain hard five minutes later. 

We pushed on through the cold rain until we came across a small bar for lunch. The rain stopped as we ate our hamburgers (Dad and Andy) and ham and cheese sandwich (me). But the clouds still loomed in the sky as we left, so we kept the rain coats on. Sure enough, we finished most of the rest of the walk in the rain. 

When we arrived in Melide, the rain slowed and stopped. We walked through most of the town on the way to our albergue, passing numerous pulperias (pulpo=octopus). Andy tried a sample one was handing out and liked it; I’m not that brave. 

Our albergue, Montoto, is new enough that it wasn’t in the guide book, but it’s fabulous.  We had real sheets for the bed, a towel, and a cookie waiting for us upon arrival. They also have a jacuzzi! The kitchen/living room area is big and open, and each bed has an outlet. 

After showering and refreshing ourselves, Andy and I sat down with the guide book to look at tomorrow, and discovered that, thanks to our albergue’s location in Melide, the 16 kilometer day we had planned will be closer to 14 kilometers. There aren’t really any good slightly longer options (unless we want to go 23+). So we’ll have a reward of an easy day!

Next, we set out to explore the town, finding the church and a variety of restaurants. We came across one whose menu offered pulpo, so decided to come back later for dinner. A quick stop at a grocery store and a fruit market got us breakfast for tomorrow, then we came back to the albergue to collect Sandra, who was also staying there. 

Contrary to their sign, the restaurant did not have pulpo, but what they did have was really generous quantities! We couldn’t finish any of the dishes, although we tried. After dinner I returned to the albergue to reserve tomorrow and the day after, and was halfway successful. Tomorrow’s accommodation is all set, but the first albergue we tried for Friday is already full and the second doesn’t take reservations. So we’ll aim for that and cross our fingers!

We’ll sleep in tomorrow since we have a short day, but I still have much to do before sleep, so I will end this here. 

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