Palas de Rei to Melide 15km (9.4 miles)
After breakfast we were in the foyer saying goodbye to our hosts and looking outside at the showers when Steve asked if they wouldn’t mind taking our group photo. Once outside, but in the doorway, this was done and then Steve insisted they should be in the photo as well,
so they joined us; it was all very friendly and jovial. We said our goodbyes and were off. The rain had stopped by now and it was just drizzling. We needed to find the route again and within a few metres of our hotel we saw pilgrims so we followed them out of town.
After an hour’s walking the temperature was even cooler than previous days. What looked like the start of a shower turned out to be hailstones, this only lasted a minute or so then cleared again. As we walked through a forest and on to Ponte Campana we caught up with the two ladies we’d seen in the restaurant last night. As Steve chatted he found out they were from Texas, U.S.A.
and were enjoying the Camino. Soon after we said the usual, “Buen Camino,” and “Adios,” before leaving them to the rest of the day’s walk.
By now the sun was beginning to show itself again. The path was much as before, going alongside roads then entering forests. Following pilgrims ahead,
we crossed several small
rivers using ancient foot bridges. As we neared the village of Furelos we crossed the final bridge of the day;
it was very busy here with pilgrims gathering to take photos of each other. We found our way through the crowds, across the village square and on to the town of Melide and our hotel.
As we entered the town we saw a lady walker. We had seen her earlier with her friends, but now she was alone. She was looking at her itinerary of which hotel she was staying at and where to find it. When Steve asked if she was OK, she said she’d had a dispute with the others and had been left to fend for herself. On checking in which hotel she was staying, it turned out she was at the same one as us, so she joined us to walk into town.
As we walked we introduced ourselves and she was Jackie from Australia, but originally from New Zealand. She had been walking with five other friends but the group had split up over a disagreement. During our chat we found out that one of the ladies had become ill with suspected pneumonia, and was now travelling via a taxi to the various locations because there were no hospitals until Santiago.
Eventually we arrived at the hotel and said we would book in, then find somewhere to have lunch. Steve invited Jackie to join us and we met up later in the foyer before heading off into town.
It wasn’t long before we were walking down the narrow streets and could hear music being played. As we turned a corner some musicians were playing,
so we watched them a while. Looking around we saw a handy little bar with locals having tapas and drinks. This was very inviting so we went in, got a table easily and chatted a while whilst waiting for drinks. We said about finding the restaurant that was famous for a local speciality, “pulpo” or octopus to us. It was here we planned to eat that evening.
We eventually found the restaurant and discovered we had actually walked past it on our way to the hotel. Heading back to our accommodation, Jackie asked if she could join us for the evening and we agreed a time to meet up in the foyer.
After freshening up with a shower and a rest we met as planned and set off to find somewhere for an aperitif or two before our meal.
The temperature had dropped again and the evening was now quite cool. As we passed the adjoining restaurant to our hotel we saw a group of ladies staring at us. It turned out they were the other members of Jackie’s walking group.
We found a small bar, had a drink then headed to the restaurant for dinner. Checking the menu, other than the speciality it was fairly simple food. Jackie was attempting to encourage Steve & Derek to try the octopus, along with telling us how she cooks it back home, so we ordered a small portion. When the food arrived it looked OK, but was somewhat basic and when it came to tasting the octopus, which I thought was very nice, Steve & Derek were reluctant.
They did eventually taste it, but were not keen and didn’t want any more, so Jackie & I made short work of it.
As we finished our meals and were chatting, Sami and her Auntie Alicia arrived;
they were eating there too. We gave them our opinions about the meals before returning to our hotel where the adjoining restaurant was still busy, which was surprising as it was late. The friend with whom Jackie was sharing a room was actually the lady who was ill and she wanted to check on her, so off she went leaving us to have a coffee and a night cap before retiring for the night.